How do I make sure my pets are safe during storms? Sunday 23 April 2017 @ 09:38

CatDuring a stormy season, it is vital that you have a plan to help you keep your family safe and happy at all times. This means every family member: whether they have two or more legs, fur or feathers, hands or paws. In short, don’t forget to include your pets in your preparations for severe weather.

If you find yourself anticipating a cyclone or storm, you need to stop seeing your pets as independent characters and start recognising that they are domestic creatures who rely on you for protection. Be safe and considerate, but also be patient. Many animals are strongly attuned to unusual weather and can grow agitated before we even notice the first signs of the storm.

In light of recent storms, we’ve put together a few tips on keeping your cuddly companions as safe and happy as possible when it becomes time to set up a base in your own home or begin an evacuation.

Tan Pug Covered With Brown Blanket:What do I do if I decide to stay home during the storm?

If you decide your best plan is to stay at home and weather the storm, you’ll need to keep your pet as calm as you possibly can. Pets are very good at sensing and imitating their owner's mood and behaviours, so you must make sure to remain calm and comforted yourself before trying to help them. Once you’re ready, it’s time to pet them, cuddle them and reassure them - doing this can also have the effect of soothing you, so this is extra-important!

Soothing storm-related anxiety can become a little easier if you take the time to set up a safe-zone for your pet in your home. Depending on the type of space you have available, this can be anything as compact as a snug crate or as generous as a small room towards the centre of your house. If your house has a basement, this would be perfect as the storm will be less noticeable below ground.

CatWith your safe-zone ready, your next step should be to try and distract your pet from the stress of the storm, especially where other excitable animals are involved. Turn on the TV or radio to something that your pet finds soothing - calming music or gentle viewing - and close your curtains if you can. Don’t make your pet sit through the storm on their own: feed them, cuddle them, play with them and make sure they know you appreciate their good behaviour.

Remember that it is NEVER a good tactic to punish your pet’s bad behaviour during times of stress, such as storms. A storm is frightening for everyone, but especially for those who do not entirely understand what is happening around them. Your pet isn’t being scared, jumpy or anxious just to annoy you. They simply don’t have the variety of ways to vocalise concerns that we do.

What do I do if I decide to evacuate?

Black and White Kitten on Brown TextileIf you have somehow come to the conclusion that leaving your pet at home when it’s not even safe enough for you to stay there, try to give it a little more thought. Although they may seem like it at times, our pets are not superheroes. If your house isn’t safe for you, it definitely isn’t safe for them!

Trying to evacuate yourself, your family and your pets in a time of crisis may seem like a disaster waiting to happen, but it’s actually very manageable. Animal control centres, friends’ homes, special pet shelters and even animal hotels (if you feel like really treating your pet to a luxury evacuation) are all potential safe spaces for your pets to stay until the storm is over.

Make sure you bring your pet to their place of refuge with all of their necessary equipment: their cage or carrier, plenty of food, a bowl to eat from, information about specific care requirements, bin bags and old newspapers to keep the place clean, any medications they need along with information on dosage, their leash and their collar with all of the proper identification and information attached. It may sound like a lot of stuff, but it’s worth it for peace of mind. Above all ensure you and your family are safe.

Reunions

Our aim is to make sure as many pets as possible get to be with families who will love them and give them all the care they need no matter what, and this includes reuniting wandering animals with their worried parents. Here are just a few of our recent success stories!

Chinook Nanook and ZuniChinook Nanook And Zuni
“Although Pets Lost did not directly help, the checklist of things was a great guide in what to do. Also, it was obvious from the Facebook coverage that it did get out to a number of people. Small dollars well spent!”

ToecutterToecutter
“Thankyou so much lost pet finders !!
Your alerts helped immensely
Toecutter was seen on site and through alerts.
Thankyou also to the awesome girls who promptly rang me and reunited our boy.
Very much appreciate all the help and so happy and relieved to have toecutter home.”

BlossomBlossom
“The advice you gave to put up flyers in the immediate area ASAP and to keep calling her name whilst doing so, helped as it was whilst I was walking down the back lane 500m away from where Blossom was lost, that I heard a familiar meow coming from a back lane garage in the distance. We finally got her out of there and a jumpy but repentant Blossom followed me back home :) I'm so happy to have my darling cat back.”

Miley


Miley
“Found on lost pet finders in 2 hours, thank you”



ArchieArchie
“This evening we got the call he turned up in the local area to where he was lost. The story given, truth or not is irrelevant - hes back with loved ones and thats all that matters.
Did LPF help, you bet. Everyone of the many who helped spread the word and got Archie's disappearance out there to the many eyes, ears and snouts are responsible for bringing him home. Thanks cant begin to express the gratitude. A very happy family member of Archie's!
Tim”

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De-Mat That Cat! Sunday 16 April 2017 @ 08:55

RussiaLast month, we discussed some important parts of kitty care including combing and brushing your long-haired cat and keeping him calm during bathtime. These posts were prompted by one of the pets we supported through Hunter Animal Rescue - Russia, a 4kg Domestic Medium hair. This week, we’re going to continue our set of tips for caring for these fluffy superstars. It’s time to unmat that cat!

How do I remove mats from a long-haired cat?

Cats who are elderly, ill or overweight can struggle to reach certain parts of their bodies when grooming. However, these aren’t the only felines at risk of getting matted! Any cat, even those with shorter coats, can get matted hair as a result of a buildup of dander or dust. Most of the time a mat will come out with just a simple bit of brushing, but extra work can be required for harder mats.
For those new to kitty care, a mat is a clump of hair which has grown knotted or tangled over a period of time. Some of these mats form as a result of the everyday actions of your cat, while others build up over a longer timeframe on cats who aren’t groomed properly. If they are left without grooming, these mats can become sore or irritating to your cat’s skin, even causing an infection in some cases. This may cause your cat to emit an odor which could make you think about bathing it, but there’s a high chance this will only make the matting worse. Always check your cat for mats before bathing him, and try to remove these first to avoid worsening the tangle.

Ginger cat grooming itselfKeep your cat’s fur dry. Allowing the coat to get wet can result in the mat setting tighter, making it even more tricky to remove. If necessary, you can use an anti-static spray or purpose-bought detangling product. These, however, are not generally needed.
If you do decide to invest in a detangling product, it is vital that you remember only to use products which were specifically designed for the animal in question - not, for example, a children’s detangling spray. Unless the product was created with cats in mind, there’s a strong change it’ll contain something toxic to your furry friend, and it’s not worth taking that risk for the sake of a dollar!

Begin by trying to comb the mat out. Most mats and tangles can be removed by simple brushing, and regular brushing is important to the health of your cat’s coat anyway! If the mats are too thick or tight for your regular comb, try using a wide-toothed comb or a more gentle brush. Cats with thick undercoats can benefit from special undercoat combs, which have two sets of teeth which are of different lengths. Hold the fur that’s closest to your cat’s skin with your fingers before brushing out the mat to avoid pulling your cat’s hair and to maintain control.

White catFor the best possible results, start at the bottom of the matted area and work your way up towards the roots. However, if the mat is simply too dense for regular combing, it may be time to cut the mat out. For this, you can use a razor comb or mat comb. These are purpose-made brushes with built-in blades which will cut your cat’s hair as you brush it. Razor combs work well if you’re able to get under the mat, but again remember to hold your cat’s fur carefully to avoid tugging.

If none of these methods help your cat’s matting problem, you could use an electric razor to carefully shave the mats away. If possible, pay a professional groomer to do this for you as you do not want to risk injuring your cat. If you have no choice but to do it yourself, be very careful and hold your cat’s skin tight and flat so you do not cut him.

catYour cat’s skin is very fine and will be sensitive to the heat produced by an electric shaver. When removing mats, press the razor against your arm first to make sure it isn’t warm. Continue checking for heat every now and then until you are finished.

Reunions

Above all else, our aim is to make sure as many pets as possible get to be with families who will love them and give them all the care they need no matter what, and this includes reuniting wandering animals with their worried parents. Here are just a few of our recent success stories!

MillieMillie
“Along with the help of some locals who were alerted by LostPetFinders and a LOT of letterbox drops within a 1km radius, Millie was reported found to us by a lady to whom I dropped the third-last leaflet one km away :)
We are overjoyed.
She is injured and not eating yet, but we have only just come home from the vet moments ago.
My heart goes out to all those people who are missing their beloved animals. The pain for us was excruciating. Thank you Tony for your encouragement and your advice, and to the kind neighbours who phoned and texted me and urged me not to give up.”

MirkaMirka
“Your service was fantastic, thank you so so much. Thanks for all your alerts and all your tips.
She reappeared last night very skinny, quite injured and spent the night at the vet emergency clinic.
If anything, it has been a great moral support knowing your members were aware and on the lookout for her. Thank you once again”


SmokeySmokey
“He came home on his within minutes of me listing with your site! But I did follow the advice to keep calling his name and he just answered and came home so happy”

Cleo


Cleo
“I was so glad that your service was available, I was about to send out an alert after Cleo was missing for 18 hours but she was found.”

Teco


Teco
“Great tips on what to do list to help find your loved ones eg poster, ring vets and put add in other sites.
Thank you for your help and great ideas.”

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How do I keep my cat calm at bath-time? Saturday 18 March 2017 @ 00:00

RussiaLast week we talked about how to go about combing and brushing your long-haired cat after meeting Russia, a 4kg Domestic Medium Hair. Russia was our Pet of the Month for February, and is currently on trial in Booragul with thanks to Hunter Animal Rescue. He was born back in March 2013 and has grown into a happy boy with a great love of smooches. The only thing bigger than his heart is his stunning hair, which needs a fair amount of brushing and pampering in order to keep it from getting matted. This week, we’re going to continue our discussion about caring for cats with a longer coat, just in case you ever end up with a cat like Russia.

Bathing a Long-Haired Cat

Wait! Cats clean themselves, they don’t need baths!

Well, sometimes they do. Many cats don’t actually end up with the best hygiene regardless of their natural tendency towards grooming. Cats with this problem can end up struggling with sticky, greasy coats. Furthermore, if your cat has a weight problem, they’ll only be able to groom the areas they can reach. Without regular baths, the back half of a fat cat can become matted, causing their skin to flake and get infected.

Russia

There’s a good chance your long-haired friend may need to be bathed, as they can end up with feces, litter and other undesirables stuck in their fur. Certain cats, such as many Maine Coons, will love being bathed if you get the water warm enough. However, it’ll come as no surprise that a lot of cats will hate the experience and may claw and bite you for trying. You’ll find you get the best results if you introduce the experience of bathing to your cat when they’re just a kitten.

It’s generally necessary to take a couple of precautions before you try to bathe your cat. Always remember that no matter how sweet and friendly your cat usually is, surprising things can happen when they get stressed or upset. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to ask for help when taking on this task - after all, two heads are better than one! As the bath will be a stressful experience for both you and the cat in question, it’s also a good idea to set up everything you need in advance, rather than expecting your feline friend to sit and wait in the tub patiently for you to find your supplies.

cat

If your cat is likely to be particularly anxious about the bath, it can be a good idea to use a product like Spirit Essences’ Scaredy Cat or Comfort Zone’s Feliway Spray - products which soothe and calm a worried cat. These can make the task a far less stressful experience for both of you.

The ideal pet-bathing setup would involve a raised tub, which would allow you to wash your cat without risking back pain. Most pet owners do not have access to a raised tub, but you could consider using your kitchen sink as a handy replacement which will save you from bending over to use your bathtub.

catIt’s also a great idea to lay something down on the bottom of the sink or bathtub so that your cat will be able to sit and stand on a less slippery surface. This doesn’t need to be an expensive piece of equipment: an old hand towel will suffice. The water you use should be only slightly warmer than room temperature so as not to scald your cat or startle it with cold water. Make sure you also have a second, dry towel to hand so that you can dry your cat as soon as the bath is finished.

When you’re picking shampoo for your cat, you need to make sure you use one that is cat-friendly. It should be one with no added colour or scent, no sulfates, no additives at all. Keep an eye out for shampoos that are mild and gentle, preferably organic and always designed specifically for cats. Never use a shampoo designed for humans, as you need one with the correct pH balance for your cat.

catIf you put all of these precautions in place and your cat still flips out, you need to just let them go. A distressed and angry cat will do all it can to get free, and those claws and teeth can do some real damage. Your safest plan is to step back and try again when your cat has calmed down.

Reunions

Above all else, our aim is to make sure as many pets as possible get to be with families who will love them and give them all the care they need no matter what, and this includes reuniting wandering animals with their worried parents. Here are just a few of our recent success stories!

Timmy Puss Puss


Timmy Puss Puss

“I felt at ease that over 200 people were notified. One if my Neighbour's that I handed the flyer to got the notification so I was very happy with the service”

 

PetuniaPetunia
“Thanks for your help. Petunia has now been found safe and well.
Thank you so much.”

George


George
“Fantastic service.
He was found inside a neighbours house a few doors down.”


CasperCasper
“I used your tips and the people rang me after identifying Casper on the council website- he had spent several days/ nights on their roof. Thank you I think you provide wonderful guidance when faced with the predicament of a lost family member.”

AlfieAlfie
“Thank you for your wonderful service, Alfie has returned home after being missing for 30 hours, he is in perfect health. Thanks again for your support. Sharen xxoo”

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Combing and Brushing a Long-Haired Cat Saturday 11 March 2017 @ 08:09

RussiaLast month, we met Russia, a 4kg Domestic Medium Hair. Russia was born in March 2013 and is currently on trial in Booragul thanks to Hunter Animal Rescue. He’s a happy, smooching boy with a big heart and bigger hair, who needs a fair amount of pampering and brushing to keep his luscious locks from getting matted. This week, we’re going to talk about caring for cats with a longer coat, in case you ever end up living with a feline like Russia.

With their beautifully soft fur and stunning appearance, long-haired cats can easily become their owners’ pride and joy. However, with this extra little luxury comes a little extra work, in the form of a few more grooming responsibilities. While long-haired cats will groom themselves just as much as any other cat, they do need a little more help and brushing to keep their hair from matting.

The amount of time you’ll need to spend grooming your furry friend will be determined by the type of fur they have. Cats with finer, silkier, softer hair are unlikely to pose frequent problems in terms of tangles. Meanwhile, those with thicker, fluffier hair could easily need your help more often than you’d expect.

For example, Persian cats have thick, luxurious hair which tangles very easily. This means they need to be brushed every single day and bathed monthly. Meanwhile, Turkish Angora cats have fur which rarely tangles and needs less grooming as a result - it needs brushing only once a week. Special care needs to be given to breeds like Selkirk Rex cats, whose long fur grows in curls similar to those of a poodle. This fur needs to be carefully combed a few times a week, and then fluffed back up with the hands to restore its natural bounce.

RussiaCombing and Brushing

Brushing a cat isn’t always easy. Some cats like being brushed, some don’t. In either case, the sooner you start brushing your cat, the better. Once it’s familiar with the sensation of being brushed, it’ll get easier for both of you. We have a few main tips that you should keep in mind when it comes to brushing which will hopefully make this process as quick and painless as possible:

Get the right brush. The type of brush your cat needs will depend on which breed it is: some breeds need a comb to manage matted areas, others are happier with a regular brush. You can ask your local vet or pet store for advice on which brushes you should be looking at.

Choose the right location. The grooming process will be a whole lot easier for both of you if you can sit somewhere both you and your cat are comfortable, and somewhere it won’t matter if your cat sheds. Make sure your cat is at ease by petting it until it licks you, purrs, lies down or gives any other sign of being comfortable and happy. When brushing, use the same motions you would when stroking it gently: starting with long, slow strokes. Carefully observe your cat’s behaviour: if it shows signs of being unhappy or tries to bite you, you’re either hurting it or brushing where it doesn’t want you to. Remember to reward your cat every now and then with a treat for sitting still and letting you groom it.

RussiaMake sure your brush isn’t getting clogged with hair. Keep checking the brush every now and then, throwing away any clumps of hair that gather around the bristles. You can clean the brush extra-thoroughly by using a comb. Keeping the brush free of shed hair will increase its efficiency.

Understand that your cat is probably uncomfortable. There’s a high chance your cat will be in a pretty bad mood by the time its grooming is complete - especially if it had been particularly matted - and will want to get away to relax and recover on its own. Remember that this is completely normal, and don’t worry that you have done something wrong by looking after its coat! Always remember that…

Cat grooming itself

  • Cats usually love getting brushed.
  • You should never be forceful when brushing your cat, and only brush where it wants to be brushed.
  • You should never, ever do something to your cat that you wouldn’t want done to yourself (within reason)!
  • You should always be very gentle while grooming your cat.
  • You should only try to brush your cats when they’re in a good mood.

Reunions

Above all else, our aim is to make sure as many pets as possible get to be with their perfect families, and this includes reuniting wandering animals with their worried parents. Here are just a few of our recent success stories!

CharlieCharlie
“Thank you for everything and letting us post on your page. Thank you for the support and everyone that shared. There's always hope for every lost pet. I truly am grateful.”

CleoCleo
“Your service was great! She was just very close to home and our neighbours heard her crying near the train line.”

KillswitchKillswitch
“Thank you so much! The flyers that were provided helped us. He was found by the neighbour a few streets away locked in his garage. Apparently Killswitch helped greatly with their rat issue. :) Again, thank you so much!!”

AlfieAlfie
“Thank you for your wonderful service, Alfie has returned home after being missing for 30 hours, he is in perfect health. Thanks again for your support. Sharen xxoo”

ChubbsChubbs
“Because of the alerts people checked their garden beds sheds and houses.”

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Pet of the Month: Russia Sunday 19 February 2017 @ 08:17

RussiaOur last few posts talked about how to identify if your rescue pet was abused by previous owners, and if so how to go about helping its rehabilitation (Post 1/Post 2). This was in honour of our previous sponsored pet, Lucy.

Lucy was the second of our sponsored pets with Hunter Animal Rescue, a not-for-profit organisation whose goal it is to find happy new homes for abandoned pets facing euthanasia. All of the animals rescued by this extraordinary charity are kept in foster homes rather than pounds, and given the quality of life they need and deserve until they are finally paired with their forever homes.

This month, our sponsored pet is Russia, a 4kg Domestic Medium Hair. Russia was born in March 2013. He’s a happy, smooching boy with a big heart and bigger hair, who needs a fair amount of pampering and brushing to keep his luscious locks from getting matted.

Russia’s ideal home would be with someone he can call his own, but who knows how to be firm. He has a funny habit of making himself the boss of his household, and gleefully claims ownership of his human companions whenever he’s given the opportunity. This means that if you aren’t willing to be strict and to assert dominance, he will very quickly begin to rule the roost.

RussiaIt’s highly recommended that Russia is taken in by a previous cat owner, as his dominant personality may come across as annoying to those who are unaccustomed to the cat life. If you are an experienced cat parent, however, you’ll understand that all of his displays of dominance are truly displays of affection. Completely full of love, Russia is extremely affectionate and inquisitive, but also gets pretty jealous of anything that steals his limelight!

Highlighting once again that he would work best in a family used to caring for cats, Russia gets on just fine with children provided they know how to properly pat and pamper him. He is especially fond of scratches under the chin.

Russia is even able to interact with dogs in a friendly, calm way. There was a puppy in her foster home, and the pair learned to get on just fine together. When it comes to other cats, Russia is able to coexist happily with his fellow felines, though he does tend to get a little jealous if you give them too much attention. He’s a sociable boy, but he prefers to chill on his own by the window or in cosy hideouts.

RussiaIf you’d be interested in adopting Russia - or another cat like him - the information on how to go about this can be found on Hunter Animal Rescue’s website.

Reunions

Above all else, our aim is to make sure as many pets as possible get to be with their perfect families, and this includes reuniting wandering animals with their worried parents. Here are just a few of our recent success stories!

CasperCasper
“I used your tips and the people rang me after identifying Casper on the council website- he had spent several days/ nights on their roof. Thank you I think you provide wonderful guidance when faced with the predicament of a lost family member.”

Zorro
“Thank god, LPF contacted a vet which contacted me asap as they had found my dog!”

Zorro

Squirrel

Squirrel
“Fantastic website with great advice”

Po

Po

“The service was great, thank you. Our little Po came walking in the house this morning and he hasn't left our sides since. We are very happy to have him home.”

CocoCoco
“Signing up with Pet Alert gave me peace of mind and the helpful tips gave me positive activities to do”

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