Sheltering Hands Care Giver Training- November 5th
Our next Community Cats Care Giver training will be held on Saturday, November 5th from 3-5pm. All individuals who want to use our Community Cats TNR services must attend a training meeting before they can register to have their cats spayed or neutered. The Care Giver Training will be held in the Tuxe Center at our Surgical Center on US Highway 27. For more information and/or to reserve a spot in the training, please call Susan at (352)840-0663, option #2.
The upcoming holidays are usually exciting and fun filled times for us humans. However, they can be stressful and even deadly for our companion animals. Below you will find some tips to help both you and your pets have a great holiday season. As always, if you have questions or concerns, contact your pet's veterinarian.
Holiday Tips for your Feline Friends
- Kitty Safe Space- Set up a quiet space that you can put your cat(s) in where they will feel safe and secure. It is important to introduce them to this room/space BEFORE holiday guests arrive. Ideally, this should be a space they feel very comfortable in. The room should have sleeping and hiding spaces as well as food, water, litter box and toys. A favorite blanket or towel can help.
- Escape Artist- Be sure your cat is microchipped and that you have a good picture of him/her BEFORE the holidays. Cats will often dash out an open door when strangers arrive. It is normal to greet people at the door and that brief time allows kitty to escape the new people. It is much safer to put kitty in an area away from the front door while guests are coming and going.
- Kids and Cats- Many children love cats, but cats can be overwhelmed by the squeals of delight and the quick hands reaching out for them. Let guests know if pets will be around and take a few minutes to show children how to best interact with your cat(s) or to leave them alone if they do not want to be petted. In general, very few cats can deal with lots of children they don’t know around them.
- Coats and soft items- That lovely new cashmere coat may seem just perfect to its owner, but your stressed cat may think it needs a “little something”. To protect your guests’ belongings, keep them out of reach of your cat.
- The regular please- Keeping your cat on his or her regular diet will help them better cope with the holiday stress. This is NOT the time to introduce new foods or to be “nice” to your cat and give them a miniature turkey dinner. If you have any questions about your cat’s diet, be sure to speak with your cat’s veterinarian.
- Candle caution- Many people love using candles at the holidays. Be aware that many inexpensive candles use a petroleum base and when it burns it emits fumes that are not healthy for you or your cats. Another danger is that candles can be knocked over by a curious or scared kitty. You may want to consider some of the newer LCD candles that “burn” without fumes or heat.
- Flowers and plants- We love them, pets are often sickened or poisoned by them. Be aware that many common holiday plants are toxic to pets and keep them out of reach.
- Pet Mix Up- Many people like to travel with their pets and most people think their pets will get along with other pets. If your cat does know the dog or cat in question and has gotten along fine in the past, great. However, the holidays are not the best time to try and start a new feline friendship.
- Perfect as I am- Most cats DO NOT like to wear costumes. You may want to take a picture of your cat in a little Pilgrim hat, but if he or she does not want to, please respect your cat’s feelings.
- Ask the expert- As always, if you have any concerns or questions about how to help your cat have the best and safest holiday possible, be sure to speak with your cat’s vet. They know your cat and how to best keep him or her safe and healthy.
From all of us at Sheltering Hands, may you have a wonderful holiday season and a great start to your New Year.
Do You Have Some Time to Share with a Cat in Need?
We invite you to join us in our mission. Whether you have an hour or several hours, we have a place for you and would love to speak with you about our many volunteer opportunities. To reach our volunteer coordinator, please call 352-840-0663 and press option #5. Here are a few places we could really use some help-
- Staffing of our gift shop at our surgical center- Wednesdays
- Socializing at CoCo's House, any week day
- Cat Care at CoCo's House on weekends
- TNR help on surgery days, training provided (especially Fridays and Saturday or Sunday)
- Volunteer Coordinator- use your administrative skills to develop and improve our volunteer efforts
- Communications- Do you like creating newsletters and keeping everyone up to date on events? Do you have computer, internet and word publishing skills? We would love to speak with you about ways you can help improve our communications efforts.
- Secretary- Our Board is looking for an individual to prepare and send out the agenda and Board packet for the monthly meeting and record the minutes of the meeting.
Our mission statement- “Improving the lives of cats through humane care, spay/neuter, adoptions, education and support services.”
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