Rats!!

Someone asked me the other day if I thought a hamster would be a good pet for her 5-year-old. I’ve been asked this question before and I always give the same answer. “No.” In my experience, hamsters are temperamental little shits and not very sociable. If I were to get a pet for a 5-year-old, it would be a rat. It’s my advice every single time.

“Ew,” you say? They are awesome pets! Seriously, domestic rats are wonderful pets for kids because they’re very social animals. They love humans and human interaction. They’re intelligent and can be trained to do tricks and puzzles. You probably think rats are dirty. You’re absolutely wrong. Rats clean themselves more often than cats!

If you’ve ever given a kid a hamster, maybe you noticed that they got bored with it pretty quick. That’s because hamsters are solitary little shits and they hate to be bothered. Who wants to play with, or clean up after a critter who’s likely to bite your hand? A rat will be more fun because they are sociable and love to play.

My pet rat, named Yogi, used to play like a cat! He’d run and hide behind a pillow on my couch and when I’d ‘find’ him he’d jump and run and laugh! Yes, laugh. They make this squeaky little noise when they’re happy and it’s adorable! Of course, I had to watch so that my cats wouldn’t try to eat him for lunch but when we finished with playtime, he went back to his cage.

Yogi loved bites of banana and Cheerios. When I cleaned his cage he would “clean house” which meant he moved things around in his cage the way he wanted them. He had a great personality. Most rats live around 2 years but my Yogi lived to the ripe old age of 4!

If you want your kid to have a good experience with a first pet, including the responsibility of taking care of that pet, then a rat might be a good fit. Just be sure to do your research. Rats do have some special needs, such as a good piece of wood to chew to keep their teeth from growing too long. They will also need a cage with a solid bottom rather than wire. Once you’re set up with the proper supplies, you and your kiddo will have a blast!

BobCat, BobCat…

We’ve had a stray cat hanging around for 3+ years now. I’ve felt so bad about him being out in the freezing cold winters and the hot and humid summers but I knew he would have to be neutered and have his shots before I could even think about bringing him inside. Even if I did that, I was always afraid of Jack and the stray getting into a fight to the death because they are both males and Jack has always been a bit on the aggressive side. He still picks on Honey Bear every chance he gets. 

I finally decided to get the poor cat, named BobCat due to his bobbed tail, neutered and vaccinated. It was money well spent but I worry that BobCat will disappear and that’s $143 lost. It could have been more but our vet’s prices are reasonable. Thank goodness. 

So, that was last week. I put a Seresto collar on him for fleas and ticks and gave it a day to work. Then began integration with Jack, Alice, and Honey.

First, I brought BobCat inside in a carrier. He looked around and peered through the little holes at the television. He turned and looked at us through the door. The other cats stopped in their tracks when they saw him. He stayed in the carrier for about an hour.


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He looks like a bunny from behind!

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I finally took BobCat out of the carrier and put a harness and leash on him. I put him in my lap and he soaked up all the lovins and cuddles he could get! 

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I didn’t get any photos of him exploring the house because he was still on the leash. I had to ensure I had control to avoid any fights to the death! Unbelievably, we had no conflicts and all 4 ate their evening meal together! Afterward, BobCat went back outside to give the other 3 a break. I feel bad that it got so cold last night but poor BobCat isn’t ready for indoors all the time quite yet.

This morning, BobCat came back inside but this time with a vest and leash, no carrier. (The harness I had on him yesterday was a bit too tight. The vest was just right.) He must have slept in my lap or alongside me in my chair for a couple of hours! He was so content and lovable. He even fell asleep for a bit! 

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I removed the leash and eventually the vest because the other 3 cats decided to hide in my bedroom. I closed the door and let BobCat roam the house, checking everything out on his own terms. He checked out all of the litter boxes. He looked under, around, and behind everything in the house. Every time he passed one of the cat toys, he stopped and kicked the shit out of it and then took off. It was quite funny to watch!

When Jack wanted out of my bedroom, I opened the door and let the 2 of them eyeball each other for a short while. Thankfully, no fights BUT Jack’s patience started to wear thin so I put BobCat back outside. He’ll have to stay another night outside. It’ll be colder tonight than it was last night but he has an insulated dog house to sleep in. 

This integration thing is going to take some time, especially since Jack is such a jerk! It took 3 stinkin’ years to get Jack integrated with my other cats. At that time I had 5 others. BobCat won’t be the problem! 

Wish us luck! If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears! 

 

 

Pet Products I Use and Love!

I am not receiving compensation for the following product recommendations. Recommendations are more trustworthy when the person giving the recommendation isn’t being paid for it, yes? These are items that I use personally and you may benefit from them as I have.

Litter Genie – If you have cats but hate the stinky stink of a litter box, you’ve got to give this a try! The Litter Genie uses a special plastic for the bag refills that contain that stink and make it a breeze for scooping poop (and urine if you use clumping litter). My only suggestion is that instead of tying a knot at the end of the bag, use zip ties instead – you won’t waste as much of your bag refills.

My Pet Peed – This spray is awesomely purr-fect! Clean the pet mess as best you can first and then use this spray to remove the stain and/or odor. I have used this mostly on blood because my cats don’t have accidents often. We sometimes have an accidental “outside of the box” issue and this works like a charm. I can’t emphasize this enough! This stuff is Da Bomb! I was especially impressed when Dad fell on his face and busted his nose open. There was a huge puddle of blood on the carpet. I crossed my fingers and used My Pet Peed on the spot. It took a couple of tries – it was a huge spot – but it came out! Amazing!

Furry Freshness – Coming in second to My Pet Peed, is another spray made specifically for pet odor removal. Furry Freshness is the first spray I tried and I think the ingredients are similar, as it does the same thing. Clean up the pet mess as best you can, spray this on the spot and let it rest. It foams up and removes the odor and/or stain.

Pet Odor Exterminator Candles – I first discovered these candles when we changed to our current veterinarian. From the moment we first walked into the building there was no odor. You know what I’m talking about…that familiar pet odor that all veterinarian offices have. This one did NOT. The reason? The Pet Odor Exterminator candles were lit in the reception area and various other rooms. I was sold and purchased a few of the candles that day. The candle attacks and removes cat, dog, reptile, and other small animal odors…and they don’t do too bad on human stink either! These candles come in various scents and my favorite is the Orange Lemon Splash. I’ve yet to use this company’s other products but they have sprays, car hangers, and fabric fresheners.

Tomlin Immune Support L-lysine supplement – Lysine was recommended by our veterinarian when I asked if there was anything I could do aside from yearly vaccinations to protect my cats from respiratory ailments. It’s reasonably priced, considering it goes a long way! Just sprinkle a scoop of lysine on your cat’s canned food, mix it in and they don’t have a clue. Easy peasy!

HomeoPet – A great brand with various liquid drop formulas that target specific pet problems, including UTIs, Nose Relief, Digestive Upset, Fur Ball, Skin & Itch, Incontinence, Anxiety, and more. Just add a few drops to your pet’s canned food and it’s done. I have a cat who has allergies and always has a sniffly nose if I don’t give her the drops for Nose Relief.

Kitty Tube Oat Straw – If you have outside cats, or want to provide a warm place for feral cats, straw is the recommended bedding for cold weather. I have a medium dog house lined with insulated wrap and oat straw on the bottom. BobCat (he has a bobbed tail) has a place to sleep when it’s cold. Kitty Tube has insulated shelters, made in the USA and from recycled materials. I need to get one, but it’s a bit expensive. When I do, I will let you know what I think!

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What pet products do you use and love? I’m open to new ideas! Leave your recommendations in the comments!

Throwback Thursday

In 2017, my Smokie was still with us. She lived to be 15.5 years old. She had a rough life after being hit by a car or kicked by a cow (not really sure what happened to her) when she was only about 2 years old. She was mostly blind after that accident. Her sniffer still worked, though!

Here she is waiting for a bite of my lunch. She knew I was eating chicken! 

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Caturday With Jack’s Pack (of Troublemakers)

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Jack (on the left) and Alice fighting for attention – can’t give one ‘nubbins’ without the the other! Alice is disgusted that she has to share mom with Jack and Jack is disgusted that he has to share mom with Alice!

Have a super Caturday from Jack and his Pack of Troublemakers!