Note: My decisions about when to vaccinate my cats should not necessarily be the same as your decisions. Every option comes with its own risks, and you have to decide what’s best for your particular situation and your unique cats.
I am an irresponsible pet owner.
My cats are past due on their vaccinations, and they’ve pretty much always been behind on vaccines since I became a cat owner in 2005.
The current records show that Scout should’ve had his distemper vaccine a year ago. And both cats should’ve had their rabies vaccines 30 days ago. Most cities have laws that require all pet cats (and pet dogs) be up to date on rabies vaccinations, so that makes me a criminal. My cats are also not licensed (never have been), which is another offense.
I believe the majority of indoor cats are “behind” on vaccinations for the following reasons. These are not scientific reasons but my own opinions.
1. The cost of vaccinating a cat is a barrier.
The number one reason people do not vaccinate their pets is because they can’t afford it. It’s not because they’re irresponsible.
Luckily there are a couple ways to save money on vaccinations for your cat:
First, ask your local humane society or other shelter if it offers any vaccination clinics or if it knows of any free or discounted vaccination opportunities in your area. If there are, make an appointment and don’t be late. Most will run on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there very early and wait in line.
I’m glad I created the 2014 mutt calendar, because mixed-breed dogs deserve a calendar just like purebred dogs have their own calendars.
I wasn’t sure if the idea of a mutt calendar would work, but there are some encouraging signs.
Some people thanked me for creating the calendar because they could never find mutt calendars anywhere else. I’ve had many conversations with mutt owners who love the calendar and can’t wait for another one next year. I’ve had others tell me they’re already planning which photo to enter for the next mutt calendar contest. Some even emailed to tell me exactly where they’ll be hanging their calendars. I love hearing where people will display the mutts.
And so, the mutts are taking over! The calendar features 12 unique mixed-breed dogs owned by readers of this blog.
Until sold out, the mutt calendars are available for $7.99. They will make great Christmas gifts for dog lovers. Order here.
It’s been two years since I wrote a product review of Soft Claws. Soft Claws are nail caps you glue over a cat’s claws so when a cat scratches he does not do nearly as much damage to furniture and carpets. The caps may even decrease damage by 100 percent, although that’s just a personal observation – not a company claim.
Soft Claws are also sold under the name Soft Paws and are often marketed as an alternative to de-clawing. I agree. If you are thinking about de-clawing your cat it’s worth it to give Soft Claws a try first. Check them out on Amazon (affiliate link). I’m glad I did not go the de-clawing route with my cats when we got a new couch two years ago.
After using Soft Claws since then, I just wanted to say I still recommend the product. It’s worked really well for both my cats. There was definitely a learning curve on my part. It took me a few tries to get a good gluing system down. It also took a few tries before I learned exactly how short the nails should be clipped beforehand and how much glue to use. If the nails are too short, there’s not enough nail for the caps to stick to.
Pros and cons to Soft Claws nail caps for cats
Pros to using Soft Claws
1. The caps prevent nearly all scratching damage, at least from my two hellions.
2. My cats don’t seem to notice they’re wearing the caps after about five minutes of wearing a new set.
3. Buying a set of nail caps for about $18 is cheaper than a declawing surgery (although the costs of the caps could be more than declawing over the longterm).
4. The nail caps are a kinder solution to the cat if you believe declawing is inhumane.
5. The caps stay on very well once you figure out how to apply them. There is definitely a learning curve for the human administering the caps, and some people give up and blame the product.
Why Christmas is the perfect time to adopt a cat
The holidays are the perfect time for many people to adopt a cat, assuming they plan ahead and know what they’re getting into. Here’s why:
1. What better gift than to give a cat the gift of life?
Aren’t the holidays about giving? A few million cats are still killed annually in U.S. shelters due to a “lack of homes.” If you adopt a cat, you are saving a life. I can’t think of a more meaningful way to celebrate the holidays.
2. It doesn’t have to be a “surprise gift.”
Certain rescue volunteers tend to freak out over the idea of animals as gifts. Of course, there are always going to be situations where people give family members cats without thinking it through. But not all gifts have to be surprises, and even if they are it can still work out. A friend gave me a 12-week-old kitten as a surprise, and I still have Scout 8 years later. He’s awesome, and everything worked out perfectly in our case.
But not all gifts have to involve putting a bow on the kitten and placing him under the tree as a surprise. The gift could be planned in advance so on Christmas Eve the family goes to the shelter to choose a cat after thinking it through for weeks. Or maybe the gift involves one family member paying the adoption fee of a cat for another family member.
We should give pet owners more credit.
Where did you get your dog?
Note: My 2014 Mutt Wall Calendars are $7.99 this week with free shipping. 10 percent of all sales will be donated to the Nevada Humane Society.
I’d love to hear from you.
- Do you have a mixed-breed dog, or a purebred dog?
- Where did you get your dog?
I own a black Lab mix, and some people are under the impression that most mixed-breed dogs come from shelters. I’ve had people look at my dog and say to me, “Oh, bless you for adopting a rescue.”
But my dog is not a rescue dog. Like most mutts, he’s never set foot in a shelter.