How to keep a cat off the table

Let me encourage you that you are not alone in struggling to keep your cat off the table. It's going to take a little bit of persistence. Cats are stubborn and they can make you feel like they're never going to cooperate when really they're just testing you.

It looked like my cat was never going to stay off the table, but with some time and persistance, it did work and I was able to eat my supper in peace.

Here's how it went:

  • Technique 1: Simply remove the cat from the table. With great enthusiasm, Grace would jump up on the table and try to stick her cute little face right into my dinner. I picked her up and set her back on the floor. This was quite a fun little game for Grace to keep jumping back up on the table and it gave her a lot of exercise.
  • Technique 2: Bring out the squirt bottle. Surely, getting wet will teach my cat to stay off the table already. Grace had many showers that night and was pretty angry.
  • Technique 3: Cover the table with aluminum foil. Since cats don't like loud noise, they will run away from the table. Grace looked scared but stood her ground by laying down on top of the aluminum foil covered table.
  • Technique 4: Put peeled oranges on the table. Since cats don't like the smell, they will stay far away. Grace was too stubborn. I needed more oranges.
  • Technique 5: Be obnoxiously noisy. I shook a piggy bank with gusto whenever Grace jumped up on my aluminum foil and orange peel covered table. Poor Grace backed away, and gave me a look. But, she couldn't let me know I had something that might work, so she once again layed down on the table.
  • Technique 6: Remove them from the room. This will at least give you some peace to eat while you're working on 'training' your cat. Honestly, I've found your attention can be the best motivator for a cat's behavior. When they stop getting that attention, it can make bad behaviors seem less fun.
Why persistance works:
Now that she's older, Grace rarely tries to eat my food and she runs far away whenever she hears the sound of aluminum foil. If Grace jumps on the table to get at food now, I just have to lightly push on her back end a few times and she gets the hint to get off the table and I'm able to actually eat dinner!

I did, however; make one concession, I stopped trying to get her off the table when it was empty.It was too cute anyway when she'd hug the chair in an attempt to keep from being removed from an empty table. I decided I won the war, I could let her have a small victory in that battle. If it's important to you that the cat stays off the table at all times, by all means, keep up your persistence and don't give in.

What You Can Do About Hairballs

There is no "cure" for hairballs, but there are some things that you can do to minimize the rate of regurgitation:

Groom your cat. The more hair you can get off your cat by brushing him, the less he will swallow. Brush your cat regularly, then wipe your kitty down with a damp cloth to remove hairs missed by the brush.

Hairball product. If the problem still exists, you can also use petroleum-based products (such as Laxatone) that act as a laxative and lubricant to facilitate the passage of matted hair through the intestine. These products, which are pleasant tasting to cats, can be fed in paste form or applied to your cat's paws to allow your pet to lick it off.

Hairball remedy treats or food . You can also give your cat treats containing mineral oil to break up the hairballs, such as Pounce® hairball treatment. Some pet food companies now manufacture food for cats with recurrent hair or fur ball problems. Ask your veterinarian what she or he recommends.

In my experience, the 
FURminator is one of the best tools on the market today for removing hair and dander from your cat's undercoat. FURminator gets way down into your cat's fur, through the topcoat and into the undercoat, to remove loose hair and dander. And you will be AMAZED to see how much hair it actually removes. 

Information from the Cat Crazy Newsletter by Dr. Jon

How to Spoil Your Pets

Isn't it fun to spoil your pets and hear their soft purr or see their fluffy tails wagging? From owning pets and hearing ideas from other people, I've learned a lot of great ideas to spoil the pets that bring us so much joy and entertainment:

  • Get your dog little boots to keep his or her paws warm on those chilly winter nights.
  • Sing your pet a little lullaby. If they aren't howling or complaining, sing till your heart's content!
  • Brush your pet often, especially if they shed. Many pets love the attention and it prevents hairballs in cats and keeps dogs comfortable and looking debonair.
  • Give them plenty of treats but be careful in feeding human food to your pets. Foods like chocolate and onions can be poisonous and many plants are toxic to cats.
  • Give them their own warm cozy chair or blanket or they'll just take over yours anyway.
  • Give your cat Catsip milk (it's easier on their digestive system than cow milk)
  • Take your dog with you through the drive thru. They love the attention from the employees and you might find a place that will actually give your dog a little something.
  • Give your kitty a box to play in or just don't kick them out when they try to jump in any open box lying around the house.
  • Play with them lots. There's no better toy for your furry friend than you.
  • Get your cat or dog a pet drinking fountain. They'll love the fresh running water.
  • Put a window bench near the window or sometimes leave the curtains open on a low window so Fido or Fluffy can stare out the window and hear how cute they are from your neighbors.
  • Give them little pet massages until their heart is content.
  • Dampen and squeeze a wash cloth with warm water and wipe their head and ears with it to comfort them, especially when you're doing something they're not particularly fond of like maybe bathing.
  • Regular vet care and dental care.
  • Give your kitty a little bit of Tuna. They'll go crazy begging when they smell it
  • Take your dog to Mounds or another pet store that will let you bring your dog in. Let them sniff out all the toys and have fun wandering around like a kid in a candy store.
  • Put birdfeeders near the windows to amuse cats.
  • Take your dog to the doggie park or go on lots of walks outside.
  • Let your kitty out into a screened in porch or sunroom if you have one or a room with lots of windows. They love exploring and enjoying all the sunlight. It's great for the indoor cat.
  • Tell them everyday you love them. I really think they understand.

Feel free to leave a comment and share all the ways you spoil your furry friends, so we can all get even more ideas for pampering our pets :)

Tips to Quiet a Barking Dog

Growing up, we had a dog named Benji. He liked to bark and bark and bark, especially when left home alone. So, what can you do if this is a problem for you?
  • Give your dog lots of exercise. She'll be more interested in resting than barking when she's tired.
  • Give your dogs bones or a toy to bite. This can be very helpful in keeping your dog occupied so he doesn't bark so much when you're leaving him home alone.
  • Give the dog the gift of your scent. Rub your dog's favorite toy in your hands so, she can be comforted by your presence when you're not home.
  • Make a distracting noise. If your dog likes to bark at certain noises, try making distracting noises like a radio or vacuum cleaner during those times.
  • Pay attention to what your dog is trying to tell you. Sometimes, Fido may have a message he wants to get across. In this case, once you respond to him appropriately, he will quiet down.
  • Reprimand your dog. Tell her to be quiet firmly.
  • Reward your dog. If he quiets down after being reprimanded, pet him, praise him, even give him some treats.
  • Get your dog wet. So, you're at your witts end. You've tried a lot of stuff, you've reprimanded your dog and she's still barking. It may be time to get out the spray bottle and squirt her.

Many Ideas to Recession Proof Your Pet

Veterinary Care:
  • Look into low cost or free programs for spaying/neutering your pet. or
    Altering your pet can prevent certain health problems, so spaying and neutering may be cheaper in the long run. Also, it make keep you from being driven crazy by your pet. I discovered it's no fun when a cat goes into heat or when a dog befriends the visitation pastor's leg.
  • Don't neglect preventative care. It can keep your pet healthy and save money in the long run.
  • Call your vet when you have questions or concerns. They can let you know whether it's necessary to bring a sick pet in. They can also give you advice to take good care of your pet, preventing unnecessary vet visits.
  • Ask for a written estimate for veterinary procedures up front.
  • Consider various options for paying your vet bills. Ask the vet office if there's any kind of payment plan or look into using a line of credit to pay your vet bills. It may be a lot more fiscally reasonable than paying with a credit card.
  • Think about taking your pet to a vet school for vaccinations. Though veterinary students aren't as experienced, they do have a supervisor. But, don't do anything you aren't comfortable with just to save money. You may also wish to go to a more experienced vet for more complex vet visits.
  • Research pet insurance at Depending on coverage and pre-existing conditions, this may or may not be worth it for you.

Pet Meds:
  • Try household objects for toys.
    FOR CATS: milk rings, a crumpled up paper ball, untied shoes, a box, a paper bag, string (only with you holding it supervising, cat's could choke).
    FOR DOGS: any kind of ball that's big enough to not be a health hazard, empty plastic water bottles, old socks or towels (make sure it's big enough to not be a choking hazard), homework (just kidding).
  • Toys don't have to be complicated or expensive to entertain your pet. The best entertainment for your pet is you. It doesn't make much difference to an animal if you have a cheap little ball or mouse or some expensive gadget. Some sellers on Etsy make affordable and fun pet toys.
  • Check out rummage sales and thrift shops for pet toys.
Pet Safety:
  • Keep pets away from the following harmful foods and plants
    CATS: Stay away from onions, garlic and related root vegetables, chocolate and caffeine, grapes, raisins, bones from meat, mushrooms, raw eggs,poinsettias and easter lilies. Dairy products and dog food can also be hard on cats over time. There are also many other houseplants and plants that are toxic to cats.
    DOGS: Stay away from chocolate, caffeine, onions, garlic, mushrooms, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, baby food, raw fish, raw eggs, fat trimmings, poinsettias and easter lilies. Cat food and dairy products can also be hard on dogs over the long run.
  • Here's a list of toxic plants at It is long and not all-inclusive, so it's best to not keep houseplants around your animals.
  • Also, try to pet proof your home as much as possible. From, personal experience, cats and glass vases with silk flowers in them don't mix well. Luckily, my cat was okay. Spray bitter apple spray on electrical cords. It can be a good idea to keep very young pets confined to a room without many electrical cords and other things they can get into when your not home.
  • Keeping your cat inside can do a lot to help reduce costs. You could also try just bringing her outside on a cat harness. You may need less vaccinations and it can prevent a tragic vet visit. Not to mention a lot of stress!
  • Keeping your dog fenced in can save money by keeping him safe from accidents. Ask your vet if this will reduce the amount of non-core immunizations your dog needs.
Pet Food
  • Give your pet plenty of water to drink. Dehydration can cause an unnecessary vet visit.
  • Feed your pet a good well balanced pet food.
  • Research different brands of pet food. The most expensive brand is not always the best. You may wish to consult with your veterinarian. If you ever change pet food, do so gradually, a ding a little less of the old and more of the new every day.
  • Avoid buying pet food from your vet. See if you can find the brand they recommend somewhere else at a better price. Also, consider buying the pet food in bulk at discount and warehouse pet stores.
  • Visit your pet food company's web site. Sign up for newsletters and special promotions. Many companies will even e-mail you coupons and special offers.
  • For an occasional treat: Bring your pet with you in the car to a drive up and ask if they have any food they can give your cute pet. My parents used to bring Benji with to Frostee Freeze and they got a free doggie cone for him.
Home Pet Care:Pet Freebies:

Introducing a new cat

Introducing a new cat can take a little patience. Your existing cats may see the cute new bundle of joy as a threat to their status as king or queen of the house.

Here's some tips that can really help:
  • Be sure to have any new pet examined by a vet before bringing them into your house. Especially have them checked for FIV and Feline Leukemia, which can be passed to your other cats.
  • Give your new cat their own room where they can be away from all other animals. This is a good room to put the new cat's toys, bed, litter box, food and scratching post in.
  • It is likely that the cats will hiss at each other even if there is a closed door between them
  • Rub a towel on each cat and let the other(s) smell that cat on the towel
  • Change places for the cats a few times. Let the new cat have the run of the house while the existing cat(s) are checking out the new cat's room.
  • Wait a day or two, then open the door a little bit and let the cat's sniff each other.
  • When you feel it's time, let the cat's play together under your supervisou. Some hissing and growling is nothing to be concerned about. However, it they start getting very physically aggressive, it's time for you to intervene.
  • Reward the cats with praise and treats if they're being good.
  • If things aren't going well, separate the cats.
  • Make sure to separate the cats when no one is home until you're confident they've learned to tolerate or befriend each other.
  • Try to give all cats equal love and attention, so they don't get jealous.
  • Make sure they have their own litter boxes and food supply.
This can take a while anywhere from a few hours to months. Don't get discouraged. It took Grace and Korina quite a while to adjust to each other. Now they run after each other playing and wresting. Korina has even learned to copy Grace.

How to keep a cat from biting

First of all, know that you are not alone. My cat, Grace, took up biting as a hobby, but it has gotten better.

Here's some tips that can help curb your cat's biting:
  • Don't give them attention when they bite. Especially if it's biting during play. Cats can use biting to get attention or because they think you make fun prey to play with. Walking away or putting them in a separate room can give them the idea that biting you is not fun. If your cat gets in wild moods where they are extremely bitey, a time out either in their crate or a separate room can really help. I've seen my cat become amazingly sweet after 10, 15, 20 minutes alone in my bedroom.
  • Spray them with water. Most cat's don't like being sprayed with a water bottle and this can be a deterrant when they try to bite. However, if your cat is in a mood where they keep trying to bite you even as you keep spraying them with water, it's time for a time out for kitty.
  • Give them play time where they can act out their aggression on toys instead of you. It is a natural instinct for cats to hunt. They need a little time to be able to act that out in positive ways. It doesn't have to be an expensive toy. Paper bags, milk rings, a piece of string while you're holding it and supervising all work great. Some cats love to chase after the light cast by a flashlight.
  • Put Bitter Apple Spray on your hands or feet. My cat used to love to bite my toes as a kitten. It was very annoying. So I bought some bitter apple spray at Farm N Fleet to spray on my feet so she wouldn't like biting my toes anymore. I also sprayed some bitter apple spray on electrical cords just in case. This bitter apple spray I found was marketed for dogs - to keep them from biting at their skin and fur, but it can work for cats too.
  • Discourage letting your cat play with your hands. It seems obvious, but I admit I've done this. It's fun for both the cat and me to try to catch my fingers, but it can be a really bad habit to get into.
  • Say NO when they bite and move away from the cat.
  • If they don't let go quickly when they bite, touch their nose with your finger. Cat's don't like it, and it can make them want to let go.
  • Watch their signals. If their tail starts whipping when you're petting them, it's a sign they're getting annoyed or are irritable and they may need to be left alone for a while.
  • Investigate the cause of the biting. Is there a new addition to the family? Has their status as king or queen been disrupted? Are they scared? In heat? Bored? Defending their young? Are they just playing? Are they overstimulated? Are they teething?
  • Be patient. It takes time. Please don't give up on your pet because of a bad habit. With time and patience, these bad habits can get better. I was almost ready to give my cat away when I first got her, and she has grown into a wonderful cat.
If you have any additional advice or suggestions, please feel free to comment.
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