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John Locke lounges at home. Owners often say they don’t care if their pet is “fat” — there’s just more to love! Courtesy of Rebecca Flanagan hide caption

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Courtesy of Rebecca Flanagan

John Locke lounges at home. Owners often say they don’t care if their pet is “fat” — there’s just more to love!

Courtesy of Rebecca Flanagan

 

When I looked at my appointment book for the day, I thought something must be wrong. Someone who worked in the fitness industry was bringing his cat in to the Tufts Obesity Clinic for Animals. Did he confuse us for a different kind of weight management clinic? Is he looking to get muscle on his cat or maybe kitty protein shakes?

I was utterly surprised when I called for my appointment in the lobby and an athletic man stood up with an almost 20-pound cat! I asked if I could speak bluntly with him. Why does someone who clearly knows a lot about keeping healthy need to bring his cat to a veterinary nutritionist? What would he say if the cat was one of the people he helps to keep fit every day? Our conversation then went something like this …

“Well, I’d tell her, suck it up, buttercup. Do some kitty pushups and no more treats!”

“Well, I have to ask, then, what’s stopping you from doing this with your cat?”

With a worried look of guilt on his face, he replied, “Well, Dr. Linder, I mean … she meows at me …”

This was the moment I realized that I was treating pet obesity all wrong. I needed to focus less on the pet and more on the relationship between people and their pets. That’s what is literally cutting the lives short of the dogs and cats we love so much.

An obese pet isn’t a happy pet

As with humans, obesity in pets is at epidemic proportions. Over half of the dogs and cats around the globe battle the bulge.

While overweight pets may not face the same social stigma as humans, medical and emotional damage is being done all the same. Obesity in animals can cause complications in almost every system in the body, with conditions ranging from diabetes to osteoarthritis.

Owners often say they don’t care if their pet is “fat” — there’s just more to love! It’s my job to then let them know there’s less time to provide that love. A landmark life span study showed that Labradors who were 10 to 20 percent overweight — not even obese, which is typically defined as greater than 20 percent — lived a median 1.8 years shorter than their trim, ideal-weight counterparts.

Another study shows that obesity indeed has emotional consequences for pets. Overweight pets have worse scores in vitality, quality of life, pain and emotional disturbance. However, the good news is those values can improve with weight loss.

Furthermore, humans struggle to succeed even in the best conditions — and so do pets. In one study, dogs on a weight-loss program were successful only 63 percent of the time.

A study showed that overweight pets have worse scores in vitality, quality of life, pain and emotional disturbance. Olivia ZZ/Getty Images hide caption

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Olivia ZZ/Getty Images

A study showed that overweight pets have worse scores in vitality, quality of life, pain and emotional disturbance.

Olivia ZZ/Getty Images

Showing love through food

So where exactly is the problem? Are foods too high in calories? Are pets not getting enough exercise? Is it genetics? Or do we just fall for those puppy dog eyes and overfeed them because they have in fact trained us (not the other way around!)? From my experience at the pet obesity clinic, I can tell you it’s a bit of all of the above.

It seems veterinarians and pet owners may be a little behind the curve compared with our human counterparts. Studies show that it doesn’t really matter what approach to weight loss most humans take — as long as they stick to it. But many in veterinary medicine focus more on traditional diet and exercise plans, and less on adherence or the reason these pets may have become obese to begin with. (This should be easy, right? The dogs aren’t opening the fridge door themselves!)

However, the field is starting to understand that pet obesity is much more about the human-animal bond than the food bowl. In 2014, I worked among a group of fellow pet obesity experts organized by the American Animal Hospital Association to publish new weight management guidelines, recognizing that the human-animal bond needs to be addressed. Is the pet owner ready to make changes and overcome challenges that might slow down a pet’s weight loss?

One interesting editorial review compared parenting styles to pet ownership. As pet owners, we treat our cats and dogs more like family members. There’s a deeper emotional and psychological bond that was not as common when the family dog was just the family dog. If vets can spot an overindulgent pet parent, perhaps we can help the parent develop strategies to avoid expressing love through food.

Managing obesity in pets will require veterinarians, physicians and psychologists to work together.

Many veterinary schools and hospitals now employ social workers who help veterinarians understand the social aspect of the human-animal bond and how it impacts the pet’s care. For example, a dog owner who has lost a spouse and shares an ice cream treat every night with the dog may be trying to replace a tradition he or she used to cherish with a significant other. A social worker with a psychology background could help prepare a plan that respects the owner’s bond with the pet without negatively impacting the pet’s health.

At our obesity clinic at Tufts, physicians, nutritionists and veterinarians are working together to develop joint pet and pet owner weight-loss programs. We want to put together a healthy physical activity program, so pet owners and their dogs can both improve their health and strengthen their bond. We also created a pet owner education website with additional strategies for weight loss and pet nutrition.

Programs that strengthen and support the human-animal bond without adding calories will be critical to preserve the loving relationship that is the reason we adopt our pets but also keep us from literally loving them to death by overfeeding. Hopefully, we can start to chip away at the notion that “food is love” for our pets.

Find more of The Conversation’s obesity series here. Reposted with permission.

Showing Love Through Food May Be Making Our Pets Obese And Unhappy

Source

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/01/12/577088315/showing-love-through-food-may-be-making-our-pets-obese-and-unhappy

A man spotted a cat wandering alone near a road-stop off the highway. The scrawny little kitty stuck her head out of the tall grass as he drove by.

Supplied by Davy Gallant

Davy Gallant from Québec, Canada, was on his way home with his son Toby when they noticed a cat by the road. She was just skin and bones. “There are only eight houses on the 5km (3-mile) road… Not much traffic. As we always do when we see thin, shabby looking animals by the road, we stopped,” Davy told Love Meow.

This is not the first time Davy found an abandoned animal in the area. He has rescued a number of cats and dogs over the years, including his previous cat CousCous who was with his family for 14 years before her passing.

“We give the animal a few minutes to warm up to us. If they come running, we give them a home (or try to find one). If they avoid us, we alert the local animal shelter to send someone over to help.”

The moment Davy stopped his car, the little stray came running, begging for attention and pets.She was extremely affectionate, purring non-stop.

Supplied by Davy Gallant

The kitty had spoken, so Davy and his son brought her home. They named her Barley.

Barley hadn’t eaten a proper meal for so long that she could hardly swallow food. “We wetted some nibbles to soft them up. She was starved,” Davy said.

Baths to wash off all the fleas.Supplied by Davy Gallant

Barley was covered in fleas. The family bathed her in warm water and used tweezers to pick off the ones that couldn’t be washed off. Several days later, the kitty was finally flea-free.

She was always in someone’s lap and never wanted to be alone again.

Supplied by Davy Gallant

“We thought she was three months old but the vet looked at her teeth and said she was at least 6-7 months. She’d been malnourished for a long time.

“We couldn’t believe it. She was the size of a tiny kitten, and she’s still very small,” Davy told Love Meow.

Supplied by Davy Gallant

Three months after they found her, Barley blossomed into a gorgeous fluffy cat.

Supplied by Davy Gallant

“Her life now is great… She shares the house with the family, Kinoa the cat, Bella (a rescue dog) and Maika the Munsterlander,” Davy told Love Meow.

Supplied by Davy Gallant

The day before we found her, my daughter asked if we could go look at cats,” Davy told Love Meow.

We all looked at her and said, when the time is right, a cat will come to us.”

Supplied by Davy Gallant

“We love her! She’s simply the sweetest little cat ever!”

Supplied by Davy Gallant

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http://www.lovemeow.com/scraggly-cat-road-rescued-man-2547073994.html

People traditionally think that cats and dogs don’t get along, but it’s not always true. There are things you can do to help your dog and cat get along if they don’t already.

According to She Knows, spaying and neutering your pets will keep their hormones in check and reduce the chance of them being aggressive with each other.

It’s always best to keep their food apart to prevent them from fighting over it. You’ll also want to make sure you’re spending time individually bonding with them. When introducing pets for the first time— you’ll definitely want to keep them in separate areas and introduce them slowly, pulling back if there are any signs of aggression.

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YouTube Screenshot

Source: YouTube Screenshot

It’s also a good idea to let your dog get some exercise before meeting the cat so they don’t scare the cat off with excess energy. The cat shouldn’t feel restrained and should have a place where it can seek shelter if it gets scared.

The cat’s kitty litter should be kept away from dogs and the cat should have its own little space where the dog isn’t allowed.

Cats apparently will not be rushed into a relationship so you may have to be patient with them. But the dogs in the video below know nothing about patience. They want to be friends with cats and they want to be friends with cats now.

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Source: YouTube Screenshot

These dogs don’t care about easing into the relationship or feeling out it out. These dogs want these cats to be their best friends forever and immediately.

Despite their massive size over the cat, the dogs move right in and try to nuzzle or lick their small four-legged friends.

As you can see, these cats are not having it. This hiss and take a whack at the dogs trying to gain their affection and want nothing to do with them. While it takes them a little bit of time to start warming up to the friendly pups, the cats eventually see that the dogs just mean well.

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Source: YouTube Screenshot

You can watch their adorable interaction in the video below of “Dogs Annoying Cats With Their Friendship.”

The video is so adorable that it’s gotten more than 8 million views on YouTube.

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The post Dog Tries Everything Possible To Befriend Cat, Gives It One Final Go appeared first on Animal Channel.

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https://animalchannel.co/dogs-annoying-cats-funny/

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In Jefferson, Iowa, after public outrage and pressure from animal welfare organizations, city administrators suspended the city’s practice of trapping and fatally shooting feral cats on Thursday. A city ordinance permitted residents to use traps from the police department to capture the cats. Police officers would pick up the traps, determine if the cats were feral and shoot them.

According to WhotvNews, Jefferson City Councilman Matt Wetrich, stated feral cats can damage the ecosystem by killing millions of birds in the country and defended the idea of shooting cats. The cats shot had been deemed “unadoptable” while other cats had been moved to the animal shelter and made available to new homes.

The city code states officers can “humanely destroy feral cats,” but debate has increased whether shooting cats is humane. The Animal Rescue League of Iowa states the code also says this should not be a routine practice, however the ARL stated the Jefferson police use this method about once a month.

The council argued that boarding cats in shelters and euthanizing them by more humane methods is more expensive than shooting them. The ARL, along with the Animal Protection and Education Charity, asked the city to implement spay, neuter and release programs which have been proven to be more effective.

A city review could take 18 months to complete and get the new program operative.  For now the city is looking to temporarily house up to 30 cats and raise money for a new shelter.

Did you know that if you want to get updates from a Facebook page, you need to do more than “like” it? To get recent postings in your Facebook feed, you must also hover your mouse over the word “following” and then click “see first” from the drop-down menu. You may want to check back with your favorite pages on occasion because Facebook often changes your settings, no longer having your having your favorites among those to “see first.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

California man accused of stealing and burning his mom’s pit bull – read more here.

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https://petrescuereport.com/2018/iowa-city-suspends-police-killing-feral-cats-after-public-outrage/

When Alana Hadley arrived home with her four-month-old rescue kitten, she was very excited to show the cat his new home. Hadley had rescued the formerly stray kitten from the Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus. She thought the cat, Ares, would be happy to finally have a home of his own. But to her surprise, the kitten seemed upset.

The kitten cried nonstop. No matter what Hadley did, he wouldn’t stop crying.

Alana Hadley Source: Alana Hadley

Hadley thought the kitten was crying because he wanted attention, so she cuddled with him and gave him lots of toys. But he was still upset.

Door County Humane Society via Facebook Source: Door County Humane Society via Facebook

Finally, Hadley realized why Ares was so upset: he missed his sister, Aphrodite.

Ares and Aphrodite had spent their whole lives together. They lived on the streets together, and when they were brought to the Humane Society, they still spent all their time together. Hadley had been planning to adopt the two cats together, but unfortunately, someone had already put in an application for Aphrodite. Neither the shelter nor Hadley had realized how hard it would be for Ares to be away from his sister.

Alana Hadley Source: Alana Hadley

Hadley went to the Humane Society to explain the situation. There, she learned luck was on her side: the application for Aphrodite had fallen through, and she was available to adopt. Even though Hadley was pregnant and also had a dog at home, she knew she had to take the kitten. It was the only way to make Ares happy again.

As soon as Hadley brought Aphrodite home, Ares turned into a whole new cat! He became playful and joyful.

Door County Humane Society via Facebook Source: Door County Humane Society via Facebook

The two kittens now spend most of their time in the room that will soon become the baby’s nursery. They cuddle up together for naps, and they play with toys together. They also enjoy playing with Hadley’s dog, Sisko.

Hadley also shared an update about the cats on Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus’s Facebook page:

Door County Humane Society via Facebook Source: Door County Humane Society via Facebook

Aphrodite and Ares have an amazing bond, and the two cats love spending time together. These cute kitten siblings are so happy to be reunited!

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Rachel Shapiro

Rachel Shapiro is a contributing writing at Shareably. She is based in New York and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.

Source

https://animalchannel.co/kitten-who-misses-his-sister-wont-stop-crying/

Most recently, a cat named Paws made headlines when she was named as a tying contender for a Guinness World Records title.

PEOPLE Source: PEOPLE

The affectionate kitty from Northfield, Minnesota, shocked cat lovers worldwide when her owners shared her photos online.

CNN/KMOV Source: CNN/KMOV

Instead of the average 20 little toe beans, Paws boasts a whopping 28 toes— the exact same number as the current record holder.

Paws was discovered by Walter Nichtigall; she was a homeless kitty that would roam the man’s his maple syrup farm near Cokato.

Conscious Cat Source: Conscious Cat

Walter found the kitty a loving home with his spouse’s mother, Jeanne Martin. When they took a closer look and realized she had 28(!) toe beans, they lovingly named her Paws.

As mentioned, most kitties have 20 toes total between their four paws. But Paws has way more than 20, with 3 extra toes on both front paws, and one extra on each of the back.

CBS Minnesota/Viralnova Source: CBS Minnesota/Viralnova

Paws’ extra toe beans are caused by a congenital condition called polydactyly, known to also affect humans and dogs.

According to Mother Nature Network, polydactyly is a genetic mutation which is passed down through a dominant gene. Therefore, if one parent kitty has extra toes, there’s a 40-50% chance their kittens will have extras, as well.

Roham Sheikholeslami/Flickr Source: Roham Sheikholeslami/Flickr

For the most part, polydactyly is completely harmless, and as veterinarian Kelly St. Denis said in the Lion in Your Living Room documentary, “People like to see this because it’s quite cute.”

Reddit Source: Reddit

Polydactyly can be beneficial to a cat. In fact, throughout history sailors often opted for a polydactyl kitty, believing that they were good luck. Additionally, they thought their large paws made them better mouse hunters and gave them extra balance on the open seas.

Paul Thompson/The Animal Rescue Site Source: Paul Thompson/The Animal Rescue Site

Jeanne Martin, Paws’ owner says her “catcher mitt” paws help her grip onto narrow surfaces— and now, it looks like a Guinness World Record title may just be one of them!

The current kitty record holder for the most number of toes is a ginger tabby cat named Jake from Bonfield, Ontario, Canada. He lives with his owners Michelle and Paul Contant and was named the record holder back in September of 2002. Here he is below.

Jake The Polydactyl Cat/Facebook Source: Jake The Polydactyl Cat/Facebook

Nowadays, whenever Jeanne takes Paws to the groomer, she has to remind them to cut every nail. Lucky for her, they don’t charge extra!

Congrats to Paws and Jeanne for the World Record tie!

Hear their story below!

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Britanie Leclair

Britanie Leclair is a writer at Animal Channel.

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https://animalchannel.co/paws-28-toes-jeanne-martin-record/

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