By Kate Hughes
When you adopt a cat whose history is a mystery to the shelter or rescue organization, you might find yourself trying to determine how old your new feline friend may be. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the easiest task. Once your kitty reaches adulthood, pinpointing a birthday becomes increasingly difficult. However, there are some indicators that can help you and your vet make an educated guess. Dr. Michael Nappier, an assistant professor of community practice at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, says that these indicators are far from precise. “But they are more able to give owners and vets a general idea,” he explains.
By John Gilpatrick
Adopting a dog is a joyful decision. You’re choosing to bring home a new family member that you will love unconditionally.
But just because it’s an overall positive and pleasant experience doesn’t mean you should act on a whim. A new dog needs attention, physical and emotional support, and requires new financial commitments. “Pets are not an accessory, a fashion statement, or in any way some ‘thing’ to be tossed to the side,” says Kristi Littrell, adoption manager for Best Friends Animal Society. “Dogs are living, feeling creatures who are a member of your family.”
In making this life change, you need to be fair to yourself, your human family, and your new dog. So while you’re going through the dog adoption process, make sure you NEVER do these six things.
By Lindsay Lowe
“Should I get a second cat?” If you have one kitty at home, chances are you’ve asked yourself that question at some point.
It’s true that many cats can benefit from having a feline buddy. Although cats have a reputation as solitary animals, they are social creatures and can thrive on forming close bonds with other creatures.
Certain changes in behavior, such as irregular sleeping, eating, or grooming habits, may indicate that a cat is lonely and could benefit from some feline companionship. That said, if you notice behavioral shifts, don’t automatically assume your kitty needs a friend, cautions Marilyn Krieger, a certified cat behavior consultant and owner of TheCatCoach.com. “Whenever you see a different behavior, it’s very important to take the cat to the vet to make sure there isn’t something physical going on,” she says.
If you are thinking of bringing home a second cat—and your vet thinks it’s a good idea—here are seven signs that your cat may benefit from some feline companionship.
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