Dear animal lover,
Here's our August newsletter, highlighting the latest news on animal rescues and animal welfare across Quebec and Ontario (click the bolded words to read the full stories). If you have any news or upcoming events you'd like us to share next month, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article of the Month
How to bring another cat into your home
By: Melanie Dziengo
Opening up your home to another cat when you already have one is a big decision. You should consider whether you’re financially able to do so, ensure you have the space, and decide if your current cat is amenable to another cat sharing its home.
After saying “yes” to those questions (and more!), the next step is to introduce the cats properly so that their relationship functions appropriately. Read on to find out more about how you can go about introductions appropriately. This is also the second in a series of three articles. If you want to read part one, click here.
Keep them separated
When you bring a new cat into your home, it’s essential that it has a separate space from the resident cat so your new cat can get used to its surroundings safely. The room should also be a space where the cats can smell and hear each other. It is also a good idea to give them treats when they are sniffing around so the cats can associate the other cat’s scent with a positive experience.
Another useful tactic is to switch the cats around after two or three days. This, again, allows the cats to get used to the other’s smell. Another option is to scent swap. This means petting each cat with a cloth around its cheeks, and leaving the cloth in with the opposite cat so that it can smell the other cat.
Let the cats see each other slowly
When you feel it is appropriate, or the cats are not hissing or growling at the door, and you think the cats can begin to establish a relationship, you can let them visually see each other. This may include installing a baby gate that neither cat can jump over, or having a screen door. If this isn’t possible, open the door of your new cat’s room just enough so the cats are able to sniff each other and touch noses. This also a time when you should encourage the animals to eat and play near each other. However, if one cat doesn’t seem amenable to eating near the other cat, put a larger distance between the eating areas. Over time, you can move the cats closer together and allow them to eat near each other.
The first face-to-face introduction should be closely supervised. Do not leave the room when the cats are physically together for the first time! Let the cats explore the space and physically meet each other. If they initially ignore each other, it’s okay. Let them lead the interactions. Also, give the cats space to run away, should they want to.
Overall, keep watch of the cats, and pay attention to body language. If the cats start to get aggressive, hiss, or growl, you can make loud noises, jingle a set of keys, or clap your hands to distract them. If the standoff continues, you should put them into separate parts of the house to calm down.
On the other hand, if the cats interact well, leave them be as they are on their way to establishing a strong relationship, and may soon become the best of friends!
Let them spend time together
After the initial meeting, let the cats continue to interact with each other. Keep their bowls and litter boxes separate so that they are not fighting over their territory. The animals themselves will continue to build their relationship, so you have to be patient! If you feel like they are interacting appropriately, leave the cats alone. If you think they need some intervention, contact your vet or an animal behaviourist for help.
Overall, when you bring a new cat into your home, it is important to introduce the cats slowly, while also being consistent, so that they can build a strong bond. And, doing so will help establish a new family dynamic, and hopefully, a relationship that will last a lifetime. Good luck!
Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat illnesses, so it is important to take them out for a walk during the early morning or late evening, and adjust the exercise to modify it when temperatures are high, according to the Ontario Veterinary College.
Firefighters in Calgary came to a cat’s rescue after it was stuck on top of a utility pole; it was stuck between parts of the mechanics, and couldn’t move. When they moved what the cat was pinned under, the cat was able to free itself, without the firefighters’ assistance.
Rubble, the world’s oldest cat passed away at 31-years-old last month. He was a Maine Coon, and became the oldest cat in the world last May. The cause of death is said to be old age.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says it will stop commercial puppies, who are under eight months old, to be imported from Ukraine after 38 puppies were found dead at Pearson International Airport in June. The CFIA says it will keep the ban in place until it is certain that import conditions and international transport standards are in place, and that the future animals can travel safely.
The Montreal SPCA says more animals are coming through their doors because the animals’ owners are being forced to give them up due to the city’s housing crisis, and COVID-19. Many families cannot find pet-friendly housing, and some are strapped for cash because of the pandemic.
Toronto Cat Rescue (TCR) says more than 150 cats have been rescued from a hoarding situation in Toronto. Toronto Animal Services is removing the cats from the home, and will care for the animals, especially because many of them have health issues such as upper respiratory infections and mites. TCR is working on bringing in 50-70 cats into their care.
The pandemic has brought together pets and humans, in some cases for the first time. Toronto Life spoke to a few Torontonians who adopted pets, and learned about their new bonds.
A cat voting in the United States presidential election?! That happened for a family in Atlanta, GA. They received a voter registration application for their deceased cat, Cody Tims, in the mail. The family says that even if the cat were still alive, it’s unlikely Cody would’ve been allowed to vote. And, he would’ve voted ‘Democat.’
Before getting a dog, you should know the costs of pet ownership. Petfinder has you covered with this post. Costs are expected to start at $395 in the first year. And, puppies cost more than adult dogs!
Dog lovers in Halifax had a get together last month to raise awareness about the precarious situation dogs are put in by breed-specific legislation. They say there is a stigma surrounding these dogs, particularly if they’re labelled as ‘pit bulls,’ when, in fact, pit bull is an umbrella term used to describe appearance.
A Bradford, Ont. woman, Irene Louro, and her team of volunteers, helps pets and their owners reunite after experiencing a traumatic event such as a fire or car crash. After finding out a pet is missing on Facebook, they provide support to the family, and then a physical search is done in small groups. The Facebook group, called Bradford Ontario Lost and Found Pets, has more than 2,300 members.
Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food is investigating a French bulldog breeder called We Love Frenchies. Claims were made that the breeder was not transparent about the dogs’ health, and where they came from. Some dog owners allege that their dog’s stickers were originally from Ukraine, while the breeder told them the dog was bred in Montreal.
A Smithville, Ont. woman says her cat, Hobbs, — who had been missing for nearly 10 years — was found and returned to her care. Hobbs was found at the Lincoln County Humane Society in St. Catharines after being turned over by a resident. Hobbs had a microchip that was scanned, and it traced back to his owner, Frances Lommen.
A cat in England has tested positive for Coronavirus according to the British government. It is the first case of an animal contracting the virus in the country. They also say the animal got the virus through its owners.
A cat, now named Trax, was rescued after being found tied to train tracks in Sudbury, Ont. The cat immediately had to have a rope removed from his neck. Other than suffering from rope burn, he will make a full recovery, according to the rescue, Pet Save, who is now taking care of Trax.
A dog named Buddy became the first dog in the United States to contract COVID-19, and he died last month. Veterinarians are not sure if Buddy’s cancer made him more susceptible to contracting COVID-19, the virus made him sick, or if it was a coincidence.
Pets of the Month