Cats Coping with Change

 

Dear Folks,

If you hadn’t heard, September is Happy Healthy Cat Month!

cats coping with change

 

So let’s make sure to honor and appreciate our feline companions and feline relatives (feline nieces, nephews, grandkitties, what have you 😸 ) for the remainder of the month and always! As we usher in Autumn, change tends to be on the mind. And as we recognize, especially this month, kitties and cats for the many ways they enrich our lives and all the reasons why we love them, let’s remember how change affects them.

In general, our feline friends are known for frowning upon change. 😾 In order to keep them at their happiest and healthiest 😻, this is an important thing to keep in mind, especially at this time of year. Again, with Fall comes change — young ones going back to school or moving to college, parents returning to work full-time, new schedules, perhaps a new face or two coming to stay for a while. Of course, cats can be affected by certain major changes that can happen at any time of year, such as a move or the loss of a family member or family friend. Two things to remember: moving away from a family member (or that family member moving away from us) can affect kitty just as significantly as the passing of a family member, and that having decreased contact with her humans (e.g. change in humans’ schedule) can also affect kitty’s mood.

To be the very best gato guardians we can be (¡NEW term ALERT! 😄) , we must be aware of certain “red flags” in kitty’s behavior. Here are some telltale signs our gatos give us to let us know they are not doing so well with this change. Let’s always be mindful of our cats’ wellness. After a change, let’s be aware of the following and do all that we can to help our cats cope:

1. A Change in Appetite

After a major change, cats may experience a loss of appetite. This is a potentially dangerous situation and not to be overlooked. In cats, a prolonged lack of eating can lead to inappropriate fat infiltration into the liver, a potentially fatal condition called hepatic lipidosis. If your cat refuses to eat for more than a day, contact your veterinarian and seek treatment.

2. A Change in Energy Level

A cat who is grieving or trying to process some other profound change may become markedly lethargic or extremely hyper. In either case, kitty is searching for emotional equilibrium. Be patient and a little extra forgiving to a cat who becomes ⚡The Feline Flash⚡ after a change. Burn off his extra energy with interactive play. Conversely, gentle play can help a lethargic cat get out of a funk.

 

cats coping with change

 

3. A Change in Vocalization

Loneliness or loss can lead felines to become increasingly vocal, perhaps at odd hours of the day or night or with a different pitch or intonation than we’re used to hearing from them. On the other hand, a feline who is usually very vocal may become silent.

4. Increased Neediness

When faced with a change, some cats will cling to anything familiar. You may notice that kitty has become a lap magnet, and she may insist on sleeping with you. She may accompany you to the bathroom, check to make sure you’re okay in the shower, and even cry when you leave the house.

5. Searching for a Missing Companion or Friend

If a loved one has moved away (or if we have moved away from them), if a pet companion has disappeared, or if a family member has passed away, a grieving cat may look for them, even call out for them (i.e. change in vocalization). Kitty might stare out windows waiting for them to return or investigate places where his pal used to sit and hang out.

 

cats coping with change

 

6. Depression

A grieving cat may lose interest in activities they once enjoyed or may approach playtime with less enthusiasm than normal. They may sit and stare for long periods of time rather than exploring their surroundings or observing birds out the window like they used to.

7. Stress-related Health Issues

Cats often respond to stressful change by exhibiting behavior such as over-grooming. The stress of grief can weaken a cat’s immune system and leave them more susceptible to respiratory infections or other illnesses. Stress can also lead to vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, and cystitis (swelling or infection of the bladder and urinary tract).

Be supportive and comforting toward your feline companion during times of major change or transition. Spend time simply sitting with him, talking to him, and giving reassuring pets or light massages. Remember to keep their routine as consistent as possible during this time. The amount of time it takes for your cat to adjust to a significant change will depend on her unique temperament, how close she was to the person or pet she is missing, and the support system she has around her.

Lastly — and most importantly — do not make the mistake of thinking your cat’s change in behavior is due to the stress of a change, when it may very well be the result of an illness. ALWAYS check with your veterinarian to make sure that changes in your cat’s appetite, energy level, or litter box habits are not due to a physical health problem.

Thanks for reading!.. Now go LOVE on those kitties!!! 💗💗🐱

Peace and Love,

Duck and Turtle

 

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Tips for Keeping Your Dog Warm and Well When It’s Cold

I think most of our fellow Burqueños would agree we haven’t had much of a winter this year in the Duke City. Nonetheless, Jack Frost could still visit us, as I do recall us getting several inches of snow on a March 1st a couple years ago — it is New Mexico, after all. 😀

That said, we are grateful to the good folks over at Land Rover Albuquerque for putting together and sharing with us the following infographic titled “Safety Tips For Keeping Your Dog Warm When It’s Cold.” We here in Albuquerque still have plenty of cold (possibly frosty) mornings to wake up to and a handful of cold nights ahead. And for our friends and followers outside New Mexico, this could come in handy for weather you’re currently dealing with or maybe about to experience…

…so save the graphic to your phone, print it out, post it on your refrigerator, and use it as a handy reference year after year to keep your fur babies well and warm in frigid temps.

Oh! And share it! Share it far and wide with your family and friends, on your social media, and in your community groups so that other dog parents know more about how to keep their beloved pooches warm and well. ♥

For your information:

albuquerque-pet-sitting

 

Great thanks again to Land Rover Albuquerque! Visit their website here www.landroveralbuquerque.com or visit them at 5010 Alameda Blvd NE here in Albuquerque!

 

P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥

 

Love,

Duck & Turtle

Keeping Your Pet Happy-Go-Lucky for Halloween

Halloween is the best occasion for masquerade, fantasy, and playful whimsy! It is a time when both kids and adults like to get creative by dressing up. So then, it is no wonder that many of us like to get our pets in on the costume fun too! (Guilty as charged… see our Ruca and Kourry below 🙂 )

Whether you’re dressing up your fur kiddo as a delicious food, a shark, or a UPS man (some of our personal favorites 😀 ), it’s important to remember that your pet’s safety and comfort come first.

Here are a few helpful tips courtesy of petsmart.com to keep your best friend happy in his/her costume this Halloween:

  1. Keep your pet’s identification tags visible despite their adorable costume. This is especially important if you’ll be taking them for an evening walk on Halloween. Halloween means trick-or-treating means more foot traffic and activity than usual in your neighborhood; this could spook them, and they might dart. Keeping your pet’s ID tags visible is also important if you’ll be opening and closing your front door more than usual for trick-or-treaters; your pet could see this as an escape opportunity!
  2. If your cat or dog (or ferret) is not comfortable being dressed up, don’t force it. Some pets are more amenable with clothing than others. If dressing up is something that is new to your pet, start early, go slowly, and practice putting the costume on/off them several times in the weeks before Halloween to get them used to the idea.
  3. Be careful of costumes that confine or constrain your pet, especially around the arms and legs.
  4. Make sure there are no small parts of the costume that your fur baby could chew on or ingest.
  5. Ensure any capes or dangling props won’t cause your pet to trip or lose his/her footing
  6. Once your furry bestie is dressed, check around their ears, eyes, nose and throat to make sure they can properly breathe, hear and see.

Follow these tips, and you and your pet are both sure to have a blast this Halloween! Last but not least, follow us on Instagram at instagram.com/duckandturtle , where you can Direct Message us photos of your pets in costume (or in general) and have them featured on our feed! Happy Haunting to you and your critters, and may the Great Pumpkin bring you all many delightful treats with the wonder of Autumn. 🎃🍂🍁

~ Duck & Turtle

Happy International Balloon Fiesta 2017!

Dear World,

Welcome to Albuquerque!! Enjoy International Balloon Fiesta 2017 and the Land of Enchantment! 🌄🌞🌈🎈

Dear fellow Burqueños,

Happy Balloon Fiesta!! Enjoy the wonder in the sky, and try not to get a cramp in your neck! 😅😅

With both Autumn and Balloons in the air, we simply love this time of year, and we hope you do too! Whether this is your first time attending the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta or you are a yearly regular… may you make some incredible memories and have some great experiences while here. Enjoy our city and state, and come back soon!

Peace and Love ✌💖🌏,

Duck & Turtle 🐥🐢

The Puppy Mill Project’s Spoof of A Netflix Favorite Drives Attention to Important Cause

What do you get when you mix doggies with our favorite Netflix binge show? ..Our undivided attention!

Today is National Puppy Mill Awareness Day, an initiative started by The Puppy Mill Project to educate people on the tragic reality of puppy mills and to urge the public to help in abolishing the cruel practice.

To do our part in spreading awareness of the inhumane but still legal practice of puppy mills, we’re sharing this⬇ clever, cute and eye-opening video created by The Puppy Mill Project and Findster. The clip is a parody of the opening of a popular Netflix show (and one of our personal faves!) — Orange Is The New Black. We appreciate the smart choice here to use a current and well-liked pop culture staple as a way to reach a wider audience, grab their attention, and pull it in toward this important cause. Though the video opens with some light canine comedy (who could resist?), it is the message at the end that takes center stage.

Watch the video below and read more from The Puppy Mill Project here. Then, do your part to spread the message by using the hashtags

#EndPuppyMills

and

#PuppyMillAwarenessDay

on social media!

Peace and Love,

Duck & Turtle 🐥🐢

Having a Pet Memorial Service for Your Beloved Baby and Other Ways to Honor Pets Who Have Passed

Many of us have dealt with the loss of a beloved animal companion at some point in our lives, and perhaps — not surprisingly — have had or wanted to have a pet memorial service for your departed friend because that’s simply how much they mean to us. I (JN) have experienced the loss of two beloved pets in my life: our little Olivia (pictured below)

new 008.jpg

— our green-eyed female feline princess with attitude(!) — who, when we moved from an apartment to a house, ventured out the new doggy door to explore a neighborhood she wasn’t familiar with, and sadly, never made it back. Although we believe sweet Olivia to be still alive and bringing joy to a new family (and will always hold out a tiny bit of hope for her safe return), the loss, her absence, is equally as profound and heartbreaking as the death of my dear dog Rusty. Rusty, for whom I unfortunately never had a proper pet memorial service. Rusty, my chocolate Lab who uniquely holds the title of “My Last Childhood Dog/Brother.”😊❤ I did A LOT of growing up with him, and he saw me through a lot! Rusty fell ill and passed away while I was in college, so I never had the chance to say my goodbyes or give him the send-off I would’ve wanted to give him.

With today being National Pet Memorial Day, this got me thinking… how would I honor my beloved, departed pets? Would I make it an event and hold a formal pet memorial service for them? With my Rusty’s death being so long ago and with our unyielding small sliver of hope that Olivia might one day return, I probably would not, myself, do a formal pet memorial service. The beauty of honoring your pets, though, is that there is no right or wrong way to do so, no manner too understated or overstated. Here are some ideas that came to mind:

1. Pet parents can honor their babies who’ve passed with a beautiful, traditional pet memorial service. Start by sending out memorial announcements to all who knew and loved the deceased pet, everyone whose lives the pet touched — animals included. Choose a nice, relaxed, and quiet setting such as a private home or backyard, a secluded park, or an open courtyard on a campus such as a church or university. This can be a large or small gathering of family and friends. The pet memorial service can include remembrance speeches, poetry tributes, and light refreshments for after the service. It is likely a somber and respectful occasion out of sensitivity for the grieving. Yet, it can still remain lighthearted and even entertaining with reminiscing on and anecdotes about the pet.

2. Pet parents can organize a less formal event such as a play date with all the deceased pet’s siblings, cousins, and friends! Choose a spacious and safe location such as the pet’s favorite park or a private backyard. Get festive with decorations, include special treats like pastries from a dog bakery, have plenty of dog toys and even a wading pool if it’s warm out. Entertain your human guests with human food — have a barbecue or a potluck or a barbecue potluck! 😁 Display large photos, a collage, or a slideshow of the pet you’re honoring. Make a memorial keepsake banner in his/her name and have all your guests sign it with their handprint or paw print. ❤ Although a traditional pet memorial service can be just as much a celebration of your pet’s life, this type of send-off for your deceased pet emphasizes the celebration part! Yet, it is still equally as meaningful and loving as a traditional service. If it sounds like the kind of afternoon your pet would’ve loved and that reflects his/her spirit, then that is what counts!

3. A pet memorial service can certainly involve just you and your pet, or the token you’ve kept that represents your pet’s physical body. It can include just the immediate family — you, your spouse, your kids, the deceased pet and surviving pets. It can be as simple as a moment of silence, reflection, and saying goodbyes either separately or with everyone present. Take a long walk on a trail or at a park that your pet loved; reflect on your time together. Write down your reflections and keep it with mementos of your pet to read back upon later.

4. I mentioned above a memento, or a token you keep that represents your pet’s physical body. This can be an urn containing your beloved pet’s ashes, a shadow box memorial, a clay paw print, or a piece of jewelry with the pet’s paw print and name that you can wear everywhere. Rather than a pet memorial service, the memento itself can be the way you honor your pet, and it is beautiful! Again, there is no right or wrong way to bless up your departed companion, no manner too understated or overstated.

5. Finally… Create something! It’s cathartic! ..Write a poem about your beloved pet, for your beloved pet. Make a collage that celebrates their uniqueness as well as your time together! Or do both like I did for a great friend of mine, Professor! (see below).

For Professor 1.jpg

Paint a masterpiece inspired by them! Create an ofrenda (or offering) for them, a semi-permanent art installation, perhaps in your backyard. Incorporate their toys, beds, their house or crate, their gear, flowers, etc. Alternatively, make a temporary ofrenda to display during one of my favorite and most meaningful occasions, Día de Los Muertos. If you’ve never celebrated the ancient occasion and maybe you’ve had a loved one (pet or human) pass away recently, consider partaking this year (Oct 31 – Nov 2). It can be helpful in the grieving process and can help you stay feeling connected to departed loved ones. You may even decide to hold your pet memorial service during Día de Los Muertos, tapping into the sacred meaning and festive energy of the moment.

These have been my thoughts on how to give a pet memorial service and otherwise honor your best friend, and that is all for now, folks.

In closing, here’s to ALL the pets who have touched our lives over the years who have passed on or are otherwise no longer with us — thank you for spending the precious years of your life with us. We miss you. You will always be loved and never forgotten.❤ #NationalPetMemorialDay

Love,

Duck & Turtle 🐥🐢

Happy International Cat Day!

It’s a little late, but I couldn’t let the day end without celebrating in some small way all the felines of the world… What would our earth be without all of you?? …Boring and a lot less cute, that’s what! 😀

So, here’s sending a special “MEOWT OUT” to ALL cats the world over! Lots of love to each and every one!

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CAT DAY!!!

🐈❤🐈🐱💜🐾💙🐈💚🌍🎉🖒🤗🐈

Love,

Duck & Turtle 🐥🐢