Home for the Holidays 2014

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Welcome to our special
“Home for the Holidays” page

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Welcome to our special “Home for the Holidays” home page. We are so glad to be sharing news with you about our organization, some of the great people in it and, of course, the cats we all love and care for. Our website is growing and filled with lots of great information we hope you will enjoy. Look for  some holiday hints to help you have a fun, safe holiday season with your feline friends. We will also be showcasing a very special cat, Molley, one of many we have looking for their own loving “Home for the Holidays”. To learn more about Molley, click here.

Great News!- Our sweet Molley has found a very special home for the holidays! Her new mom is delighted with her and she is adjusting to her new feline brother! Thanks to everyone who shared their good wishes for Molley.


holidays3Holiday Safety for Your Pets

The joy of holidays is enhanced by the participation of our beloved pets.  Thought and care must be taken, however, to avoid dangerous situations and items that can harm or even kill your cat.  Beautiful Christmas trees can present a climbing adventure to an energetic cat, resulting in a toppled tree and broken ornaments.  Trees may need to be secured to the wall to keep them steady.  Water kept at the base of a live tree may seem like an extra drinking bowl, but that water can contain dangerous fertilizers or sprays applied to the trees when they were growing.  Use netting over the opening of the tree stand to keep pets out.  Citrus sprays or peelings left at the base of the tree can also deter cats.

holidays4Extension cords should be pet-proof and well-concealed.  Wires and batteries should be kept away from pets so that electrical shock is prevented.  Drooping or dangling Christmas lights on the tree could be an irresistible temptation leading to an accident.  Tinsel is especially dangerous to pets, as is any kind of loose string or ribbon.   If swallowed, these items can lodge in the intestinal tract causing sickness and even death.

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Appropriate gifts and treats to distract your cat from other temptations include balls they can   snag with their claws and simple catnip-filled toys such as those made by Sheltering Hands volunteers to raise money for our organization.  A sure-fire toy guaranteed to excite any cat is the wand with flying feathers attached.  This is where string can enter play in a safe manner when the toy is manipulated by the cat’s best friend – you.
Gifts such as these can divert cats from begging for holiday food.  Play it safe and don’t give people food or drink to cats.  Grapes, raisins, onions, spices, alcohol, and coffee are harmful, but chocolate is probably the most tempting and dangerous food to pets.  They like the taste, but consuming chocolate can lead to feline death.  So keep the chocolate Santa Claus and the Hanukkah gelt safely concealed.  Also, many plants such as mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, lilies, and amaryllis are toxic if eaten by cats.

But perhaps the reward for all this peril comes to the cat when the gifts are unwrapped, the wrapping paper scrunched into balls and thrown for the cat to chase, and all those shiny empty boxes are left  for him or her to luxuriate in.  Here your fatigued feline can curl up and rest, happily excluded from the chatter and safe in this hideaway for another holiday.
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Gifts at Brick City

Play is an important part of a kitten’s life, and remains vital when the cat matures.  Vigorous play keeps a cat alert, stimulates circulation, and lets them exercise their need to hunt.  Time and energy expended in play can also reduce destructive behavior around the home and toward other animals in the household. 

   The first consideration in a toy is safety.  A cat will play with almost anything that catches its interest –a plastic ring from a milk container, a cork or a bottle cap.  They enjoy playing with small light objects that they can bat across the floor easily or catch on a claw and flip.  However, very small objects like beads and sequins, even if attached to a bigger toy, should be avoided.  These can chewed off and swallowed.  Also, threads and strings that may come loose can endanger a cat’s life if ingested.  Battery-powered toys moving around the floor may seem threatening to less aggressive cats and scare them away.  But non-threatening interactive toys such as a ball that can be chased around a track can become a favorite toy.  A toy does not have to be fancy to capture the cat’s imagination.  A scratching post is a MUST for every cat.  A tall post covered with sisal allows a cat to get a good stretch while digging in his claws.  Paper grocery bags and boxes of all sizes seem to hold great appeal for cats to hide in and spring out at family members.  They also offer shelter for a short nap.  Catnip in a soft toy can excite and stimulate your cat without causing harm or being addictive.

However, the cat’s play will always be enriched when you are a playmate, tossing a ball the cat might fetch, enticing runs and jumps by dangling and waving a wand toy, and praising a skillful move.  Your company helps socialize your cat and strengthens the bond between you. 

   Safe, inexpensive and pleasing cat toys can be purchased through Amazon Smile to benefit Sheltering Hands and at Brick City Cat Hospital in Ocala.  Check out the colorful assortment and help support our efforts to save cats.

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Speaking of gifts, we have a very special one of a kind Christmas Cat statue up for auction. All proceeds benefit Sheltering Hands. To see additional pictures of the statue and learn more about it, please go to our Auction page under How Can I Help.

The current bid is $50.00. Bidding will be updated as bids are received. Bidding closes on December 1st. Good Luck!


 

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