Alley Cat Allies Offers Winter Safety Tips for Cats as Temperatures Drop Nationwide

As temperatures have dropped around the country and with more icy, wet, snowy months ahead, Alley Cat Allies (ACA) is offering some helpful winter weather safety tips to those who care for cats in their communities. Winter care for outdoor cats or ferals is vital; its importance cannot be understated.

“Community cats are well-adjusted to living outdoors, but when the temperature plummets, a few extra steps will ensure they stay warm and safe,” said Becky Robinson, president & founder of ACA.

To give community cats in your neighborhood a helping hand during the winter months, Alley Cat Allies recommends the following:

Ally Cat AlliesProvide an outdoor shelter and a refuge from cold and wind.

Shelters are easy and inexpensive to build. You can see do-it-yourself (DIY) examples and photos of winter cat shelters and shelter building plans at www.alleycat.org/ShelterGallery—including a “5-minute shelter” made from a Styrofoam cooler. Some manufacturers sell pre-built cat shelters, but even a large plastic storage tub will work with simple modifications.

The shelter should be elevated off the ground and placed in a quiet area. The size of the shelter should depend on the number of cats in the colony. A good-sized shelter offers a space just big enough for three to five cats to huddle—but space should be limited if there is only one cat who needs shelter. The door should be no more than 6 to 8 inches wide to keep out bigger predators. A flap on the door will keep out snow, rain and wind.

Insulate the shelter against moisture as well as cold.

Straw (not hay—they are different!) resists the wet and keeps a homeless cat shelter warm, and it’s the best choice for insulation and bedding. Avoid blankets—they absorb moisture like a sponge.

If you have a shed or garage, give the feral or community cats access during the winter and severe weather. Make sure to remove dangerous antifreeze products, which are lethal when consumed. If you must use these products, use the less-toxic kind made with propylene glycol instead of the highly toxic ethylene glycol. Though propylene glycol is still toxic to cats, it is much less so than conventional antifreeze.

Provide fresh water daily and additional food.

In extremely cold weather, cats require larger food portions and fresh water twice a day to prevent dehydration. Wet food in insulated containers is ideal for wintertime, but extra dry food (which will not freeze) is also fine. Foam insulation can be applied to the hollow underside of a regular plastic feeding dish to slow the freezing of food and water.

Prevent cat dehydration by keeping water drinkable:

  • Use bowls that are deep rather than wide, and place them in a sunny spot.
  • Purchase heated electric bowls (found in many pet shops).
  • Do not put out hot water—it’s counterintuitive, but it freezes faster.
Image Courtesy: Catster

Image Courtesy: Catster

Cats will find shelter, whether you build it for them or they find on their own. But in heavy snowfall, it is important to clear snow away from entrances and exits of shelters so the cats don’t get snowed in.

Avoid salt and other melting products.

Alley Cat Allies does not recommend using salts or chemicals designed to melt snow near homeless cat colonies. These products can be toxic and they also injure cats’ paws. While there are products marketed as “pet safe,” we still recommend using caution.

Check your car before you drive.

Check under the car before starting it, as cats will sometimes crawl into the engine or hide underneath for warmth. One time I found my own indoor/outdoor cat lying on top of my tire under the wheel well. THANK GOD I looked before I started the car and left. Hence, give the hood of your car a few good taps before you start the engine. Remember that antifreeze is lethal to cats and other animals. Keep it out of reach!

More information about winter safety for outdoor cats can be found at www.alleycat.org/WinterWeather.

About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has nearly half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. This year, Alley Cat Allies is celebrating 25 years of advocacy. Learn more and get involved now at www.alleycat.org.

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Lucy Pet Foundation Will Show Kitten Bowl Commercial Featuring Furry Fumbles & Serious CGI

Special Commercial for Animal Welfare Group Airs Feb. 1 During Superbowl on Hallmark Channel

The Lucy Pet Foundation (LPF) is a truly fantastic and reputable animal welfare non-profit; their purpose is to end the euthanasia in shelters that’s due to pet overpopulation (which we all know is lucy fndn logolike, close to being public enemy #1 in terms of animal welfare issues in the US).

So it’s totally exciting news that they have a Super Bowl (okay a Kitten Bowl) commercial coming up on February 1 that has been well-received and raved about! The best Bowl commercial this season just may be on the carn-sarn Hallmark Channel!

*By the way, I’ve been assured by the brand that this commercial will change the way America looks at cats and dogs forever. Wow. That’s a hefty statement! So how the heck are they doing it?

Lucy Pet Foundation’s groundbreaking #DogsVsCats football game commercial airing on Super Bowl Sunday, will feature the most high-tech CGI (computer graphic imaging) ever done using animals, and is bound to be among the most discussed ads of the year! #CANTWAIT!

Lucy Bowl Teaser from Lucy Pet Foundation on Vimeo

The founder of LPF, past president of Natural Balance Pet Foods, animal devotee Joey Herrick, has put over $1 million into The Lucy Pet Foundation, and oh by the way, he will never draw a single penny in salary from it. How’s that for love and dedication…?

Apparently for Mr. Herrick, it’s about more… It’s about doing the right thing. And it’s about the animals! Herrick (et. al. at the company) hoped to draw attention to the fact that 80,000 pets are euthanized each week in shelters across the US, simply due to overpopulation, overcrowding, etc. Another wonderful thing about The Lucy Foundation?

This Doggie Linebacker is set for play this Sunday!

This Doggie Linebacker is set for play this Sunday!

ALL THE ANIMALS IN THE VIDEO ARE RESCUES! OMG, right!?

And aside from that amazing display of attractive humanitarianism, I’d like to again point out to my lovely readers the awesome #DogsVsCats football game commercial. YES – there will be cats with uniforms on people. And for the theme? Well The Lucy Foundation just wants you to let them know whether you are #TeamCat or #TeamDog? So go take some pics and send over your best selfies, portraits, action shots, and mug shots (not literal– please don’t get your dog arrested, BOL).

One last little tidbit (tidbone…?) of coolness to tell ya’. The director of #TheLucyBowl commercial is Sam Nicholson, one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed visual effects wizards, known best for Heroes, 24, The Walking Dead and Star Trek I! Wow! Now I really can’t wait to see this spot!

So I’m pretty sure I know what I’ll be doing on Superbowl Sunday besides not watching football. I will be hooting and howling over some seriously funny kitty and doggie football action at the Kitten Bowl on the Hallmark Channel; be sure you’re on the lookout for this kooky commercial you guys – you won’t want to miss it. And also, don’t forget to check out the teaser video here.

The Kitten Bowl airs at 12/1 Central on Superbowl Sunday on your local Hallmark Channel.

 

This post was brought to you in an effort to raise awareness about Lucy Pet Foundation’s upcoming ethical pet population campaign. Lucy Pet Foundation provided all images and information about the commercial, but all opinions in this piece are of the Administrator and Owner of ThoughtsFurPaws.com, JL Smith. If you’re a blogger interested in spreading the word about this campaign, while also enjoying the chance to earn a donation for your favorite rescue, contact bloggers@lucypetfoundation.org and request more information.

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Temptations® Cat Treats Launches #PackAttack: Real Cats, Real Treats, Real Videos, Real Fun!

User-Generated Content Inspires Cat Video Campaign; Users Encouraged to Submit Their Own #PackAttack Temptations® Video

How many of us absolutely adore the antics of our furry felines? How many of us get a total kick out of said feline furballs flying and flinging themselves around the house after toys, nip and treats? (Raise your hand. Mine are both up.)

Right – exactly.

So leave it to that Temptations Logotantalizing and tasty kitty-cat treat brand, Temptations® to share with us an awesomely enjoyable and ultimately enterable video campaign, the #PackAttack. They’re hoping to convey and emote just how humorous, cute, endearing, etc. it is that our kittehs will go to any lengths for their fave treats…

Temptations® brand started #PackAttack because they noticed a pattern of user-generated photos and videos of undeniably destroyed packs of cat treats uploaded by consumers. (MOL, MOL) Inspired by these stories of real cats going to extremes to tear into packs of delicious treats, Temptations® launched #PackAttack, which showcases this real cat behavior that’s been entertaining us for years– and encourages consumers to share their own #PackAttack experiences. So just how far will your cats go to get to those tantalizing scrumptious treats? (I know my Mad Max will actually open the pantry door, abscond with the bag, and drag it out of the kitchen into privacy if its within reach, MOL.)

 

 

Here’s the original #PackAttack video:

This funny cat video, comprised of user-generated videos, is evidence (like we really needed it…) that our sweet kittehs just can’t keep their pitter-pattering paws (or, more appropriately, their teeth) off of Temptations®; you can see all sorts of cats of all ages on the video tearing up the treat packages to pieces, ripping them to shreds, dragging them around, sniffing and pawing intently and more! It’s very amusing!

The #PackAttack campaign definitely demonstrates the irresistibility of Temptations® cat treats, of which I was already acutely aware, thank you very much Maxwell Anderson Smith (and Sasha, too!).  In addition to the finished video cut, a reel of the making-of the video highlights real cats’ indisputable affection for the treats and demonstrates what happens when cats are introduced to Temptations® treats, proven by the oh-so-many visuals of torn-open treat packages.

And guess what? The Temptations® brand wants to keep hearing from genuine, real-world cat lovers about their #PackAttack experiences! Brand fans and cat-lovers are encouraged to share their cat stories, photos or videos on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #PackAttack! If your cat goes to extremes to get his paws on Temptations® treats, join the brand’s campaign by posting your #PackAttack photos!

For more information on Temptations® treats, the #PackAttack campaign or to check out the video, visit Facebook.com/Temptations.

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DIY Pet Holiday Gifts & Charitable Gifts for Pet-Lovers

Pet Holiday Gift Ideas from the ASPCA are Fun, Festive & Functional!

Enter to Win a Holiday Gift Pack Chock Full of Goodies!

So all of us are uber-busy celebrating and/or preparing for this most festive of seasons, right? The turkey and the trimmings, the brisket and potato latkes…Well, as your fur-baby’s forum hostess, (OK so I’m not a baby, nor do I have fur, but I do own this blog! MOL/BOL), I feel it’s my duty to give you more details on pet lovers’ gifts and gifts for pets this joyous holiday season. The fine folks at one of my favorite animal welfare organizations, ASPCA, put together a helpful gift guide here for those with and without paws because, well, the ASPCA is cool like that! (If you’re down for more pet gifts, check out my ThoughtsFurPaws 2014 Pet Holiday Gift Guide.)

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For DIY enthusiasts or those trying to cut back on holiday shopping costs, I suggest these fun Do-It-Yourself pet toys and treats:

  • For dogs, braid together two strips of an old t-shirt for a fun chew toy. Directions and photo here.
  • For cats, use a t-shirt and a few easy to find household items to create a cozy cat tent. Directions and photo here.
  • Since cats love tuna, this quick and easy treat will keep them occupied during your special holiday dinner… Photo with directions here.
  • For tasty a reward, make pumpkin pie cookies (perfect for both cats and dogs) with this simple recipe. Photo with directions here.

If you’re looking for something a bit different, how about considering one of the awesome gifts from the ASPCA’s Online Store? After all, they are gifts that give back…They have delights including:

There are also choices you can make this holiday season to help those less fortunate furballs… The purchase of one or more of the following gifts is considered charitable in that it too can make a significant difference for an animal in need:

So perhaps the best news is this: one lucky person will win an awesome ASPCA holiday gift pack for themselves (or to give to another) on ThoughtsFurPaws.com. The gift pack includes an ASPCA mug, tote and blanket, plus more items like dog and cat toys, cookies (human) and Swiffer cleaning products!

ASPCA 2014 Holiday Gift PackHere are the rules and details you’ll need to know to enter to win:

  1. Tweet this blog post OR anything about the contest using hashtag #ASPCAT4PHolidays
  2. Enter up to two photos of your dog or cat in a holiday scene by emailing them to me or Tweeting them to me using the above hashtag.
  3. Pets DO NOT have to be dressed up, but we want the photo to have a seasonal tone (wintry, holiday, etc.)
  4. Please use a cute caption with your photo, and/or tell us why you love the ASPCA.
  5. Again, entries are accepted beginning now, via Twitter or via email to thoughtsfurpaws@gmail.com.
  6. The last day to get your entries in is Saturday, December 27 at noon EST.
  7. One winner will be announced that same day in the late afternoon; he/she will be contacted separately via email or Twitter by the Administrator.
  8. Two original photo entries per person only please.
  9. If emailing, please put this in the subject line: “ASPCA Holiday Pet Photo Contest

*Contest being sponsored by the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), in conjunction with this blog, ThoughtsFurPaws.com. All opinions herein are those of the Administrator, JL Smith. This post was written in conjunction with the ASPCA and our Administrator. ThoughtsFurPaws.com never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews, nor does it perpetuate the circulation of misinformation.

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Win a Trip to the Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge®; Enter Online for More Prizes!

Do you long to experience the California Coastline? Are you craving a bit of beachy-keen excitement? Are you eagerly anticipating the, um, agility course and doggie-diving platform, like me??

Wait, what???

Yeah, that’s right, I said doggie-diving…

Pro Plan FoodPurina® is hosting the Western Regionals for its famous Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge® in Orange County, CA’s dazzling surfing mecca, Huntington Beach, next year. It’s my official bloggerly duty to tell you how YOU could win tickets to it (a 3-day stay!) and to give you the deets on the other paw-some prizes and how to get ‘em!

The Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge® Sweepstakes is a premier event that showcases absolutely uncanny canine talent from all over the US. You’ll be able to see amazing dogs competing in agility, disc, racing and more! The nationwide event is an Olympic-style showcase that will blow your hair back! I actually got to see some of the action at Purina Farms once and I can assure you it’s exciting and like nothing you’ve seen before. (Seeing those Jack Russells race across the field is priceless!) Competitions include head-to-head weave pole racing, large and small dog agility courses, fetching and more. In the doggie diving competition, a crowd favorite event, dogs take a running leap off a 40-foot dock into a 19,000-gallon swimming pool!

The Western Regionals will be held in the spring of 2015 in southern California. One lucky Sweepstakes winner will get two roundtrip airline tickets, a 3-day/2-night hotel stay in hot and hoppin’ Huntington Beach, ground transportation and spending money, PLUS a $500 PetSmart gift card! WHOA!

So how do you enter? Well go ahead and visit the Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge® Sweepstakes page and enter away! The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C. who own a dog. Internet access and a valid email address are required to participate. The Sweepstakes runs through noon EST on December 30.

If you’d prefer to do something a bit lower key, then you can take part in the social media contest I’m having, too/instead! Simply head to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and useIncredible Dog Challenge the hashtags #GreatDog2014 and #ThoughtsFurPaws; then explain how the photo exemplifies your dog being a great dog. If you’re entering on Facebook, you do not have to use the #T4P hashtag: you may post directly to the page to enter here.

Three winners will be awarded a bag of Purina® Pro Plan® valued at $17.99. This contest, presented by Purina® and hosted on ThoughtsFurPaws.com, starts TODAY – NOW!

You may enter through December 30, 2014 at noon EST; three winners will be announced later that evening. Don’t forget to show me some grrrr-eat dogs in your photo entry – and use #GreatDog2014 and #T4P.

About Purina® Pro Plan®

Bring out the best in your dog! Formulated by experts. Trusted by pros. From dry dog food to wet entrees to nutritional supplement bars, Purina® Pro Plan® products are formulated to help you bring out the full potential of your dog. For more information, visit https://www.proplan.com, or find the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

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