Thursday, June 07, 2012

Information Resources for Cat Owners (with gratuitous cute cat photos!)

I may as well own the stereotype. I am a librarian and a cat lady. Okay, well really I love all kinds of animals, but cats certainly have a special place in my heart. I have a cat (pictured right!), and when I'm not being a librarian, I sometimes volunteer at Richmond Animal Care and Control to help socialize homeless cats and get them into happy homes as quickly as possible.

June is Adopt-a-Cat Month, and I can list lots of reasons why you should have a cat around. But that's not what this post is about. Just one tidbit: According to the CDC, having a pet around can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Pets also increase opportunities for exercise and socialization.

If adopting a cat is in your future (June is Adopt-a-Cat Month, you know!) or if you already are cat crazy like me, here are some resources about cat ownership that might be useful to you.


Books at Your Library

Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean by Jackson Galaxy
Cat lovers who watch Animal Planet's "My Cat from Hell" will already be familiar with the name Jackson Galaxy, the show's big, bald, tattooed cat behavoir expert. Think "Nanny 911," but for cats, not kids. This book falls somewhere between memoir and advice book. It tells the story of how Galaxy went from drug-addicted musician to world-renowned cat behaviorist. Scattered in the story are lessons on the author's "cat mojo" techniques. This is a touching memoir that can help you become a cat whisperer, too.

Cats for Dummies by Gina Spadafori and Paul D. Pion 
When I first adopted my cat, this is was my go-to resource to answer all the questions I had. The "For Dummies" series is great for reference on general topics, and this book is no exception. It is extraordinarily well-written and complete in its contents. Because this book covers so many topics that are involved with sharing your home with a cat, it is a good guide for helping you to decide if owning a cat is right for you if you are wondering whether to make the commitment. This is an all-around reliable guide to help you learn about cat health and behavior.

The Complete Cat's Meow by Darlene Arden
This is a charming cat ownership guide that contains particularly good verterinary information. It's concise and informative, as well as fun to read. Grooming, litter box issues, behavorial problems, characteristics of specific cat breeds--it's all in this book.


Online Resources

ASPCA Cat Care Pages
From general cat care to pet food recalls and disaster preparedness, the ASPCA's website has extensive guides on getting you through all the various dilemmas of pet ownership. The ASPCA offers particularly good information on help with behavioral problems (we've all got our issues, right?). Check out their "Virtual Pet Behaviorist" if you have a question but can't make it through a whole book on cat care.  

"Make Your Own Homemade Cat Toys" Guide from Squidoo
My young cat is either sleeping or playing, and she needs lots of toys to keep her busy. Buying cat toys can be expensive, especially when you're not sure what kind of toys your cat might like. Try using this online guide to explore ideas for homemade toys. Making toys at home is easy, free, and environmentally friendly. This guide has lots of great ideas for ways to keep your kitty busy, but beware of the advertisements scattered among the useful links.

The Humane Society of the United States' "Cat Care Essentials"
This is a list of "essentials" all cat owners need to know. This is the absolutely necessary information you'll need to know before getting a cat. After reading this list, you'll know if your expectations of cat ownership are reasonable.

Petfinder's Cat Care Page features listings from animal rescue organizations from across the country. It's a great place to find your perfect pet, but the site also features excellent articles on adopting pets and caring for them once they're at home with you. Need help deciding what kind of cat would be right for you? Where you should keep your litter box? How to make vet visits less stressful? This site can help with these questions and hundreds more. There's a ton of great information here, including some videos for you visual learners.

Jackson Galaxy's Words of Wisdom Video Library
This is a small library of videos on the Animal Planet website featuring cat behavior expert Jackson Galaxy. In each video, he provides tips on various techniques for addressing cat behavior issues. He discusses handling frightened cats, bonding with your feline friend, proper techiniques for playing, and more. These videos are great if you're a visual learner and would rather see a technique performed than read text about it.


Happy Adopt-a-Cat Month, feline lovers! I hope I've inspired you to learn something new about cats. Now I just have to show off some of the homeless kitties available for adoption at Richmond Animal Care and Control. Stop by the shelter to meet them if you're ready to take the plunge during Adopt-a-Cat Month!



"Big Kahuna"

"Wavy Gravy"


Portland Veterinary Clinic said...

Thanks for sharing this great info. Feline pet care is not as simple as others seem, that's why we are telling people garfield is really not that real.

Steph said...

CatDaddy was a wonderful book! I highly recommend it to those looking for a book focusing on cat behavior!