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8 Spooky Facts All About Black Cats October 12 2018

There are few cats that are as iconic as the black cat. Especially when Halloween rolls around. What would our Halloween decorations be without a yowling black cat with its back arched and fur standing on end? And what would our Halloween costumes be like without at least one girl gettin' spooky with it as an iconic Black Cat? 

 

While there are tons of superstitions swirling around the much maligned - and also much beloved - black cat, there are just as many interesting facts that make them unique.

1. Black cats’ bad rep stems from the Middle Ages.

Pope Gregory IX decided that black cats were used to worship the devil and saw them as evil creatures. The belief only continued to spread across the world - and the ages. Thanks, Greg. 

 

2. Black cats were often thought to be witches’ familiars.

The Puritans (circa 1600s) believed that witches could actually shape-shift into black cats and spy on their neighbors.

 

3. Black cats were thought to be a sailor's best friend.

Sailors and their wives saw black cats as guardians of safe passage. These inky felines were seen as harbingers of such good fortune that they became a hot commodity, and some sailors couldn’t even afford to buy them.

 

4. In Ireland, Cait Sidhe, pronounced “caught shee,” were mythical, fairy-like creatures who took the form of large, all-black cats were said to be the King of the Cats. 

On the night of Samhain (a Celtic festival similar to Halloween), if you left a saucer of milk out for the fairy cat, your house would be blessed. If no milk was left for the mysterious black cat, you would be cursed and all your cows' milk would dry up.

 

 

5. They are said to be "super cats."

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health discovered that the genetic mutations that cause cats to have black coats may offer them some protection from diseases. 

 

6. They can rust.

All right, so your black cat won't actually rust if you leave them out in the rain. They will complain VERY loudly, though. But if your black cat has a tabby stripe gene and spends hours napping in a sunbeam, their fur can turn a rusty brown color. Why? The sun’s rays break down the pigment in their fur to reveal the underlying tabby stripes.

 

7. Black cats make excellent wingmen.

In Japan, young women are encouraged to own black felines to increase their chance of romance. And in the English Midlands, giving a bride the gift of a black cat was thought to bring her good luck. 

 

 

8. Black cats are often overlooked for adoption.

Black cats are often the last to get adopted and may be passed over for cats of other colors despite the fact that they're just cats like any other cat. It could be because of the superstitions surrounding their inky fur or the belief that black cats are harder to photograph.

Do you love black cats? Let us know in the comments! 


8 Purrfect Couples Costumes For You and Your Cat October 12 2018

Looking for the purrfect couples costume idea for you and your significant snuggler to wear this Halloween? And if your significant snuggler also happens to be a cat ... Don't worry - we've got you covered. Here are eight of the best couples costume ideas (for you and your cat) that we could gather!  And once you've got the purrfect costumes planned for you and your feline, we have a few tips and tricks to get your cat to actually like wearing their Halloween costume - or at least tolerate it long enough for a cute photo. 

1. For you and your cat that share a loaf like no other.

cat loaf cat bread costumeVia KellyReeves, Twitter

 

 

2. Beekeeper and a tiny li'l Bumblebee Bee, a set that is simply as sweet as can be.

cat bee costume

3. Partake in a live-action Pokemon game! Star as Ash and Pikachu, just don't hurl Pokeballs at your cat.

cat couple costume

 

 4. A Cat Burglar and a Loose Canon Kitty Cop

police cat costume

 

4. EP - Extra Purrestrial

5. Kitty-Cat Cowboy and his trusty steed: Guy in a slightly unsettling horse mask. 

cowboy cat costume

 

6. Doctor Adorable and his attending nurse, a couple's costume exclusively for cats.

halloween couple costume cats

 

7. Pirate Captain Cat and his trusty Parrot, whom he tries really hard not to eat. It's a constant struggle.

pirate cat costume halloween cat costume

 

8. Mermaid and Sailor, who can be easily lured by the siren's song of tuna treats. 

mermaid cat costume sailor cat costume

 


Cats That Are Absolutely Slaying Their Costumes This Halloween October 12 2018

These cats didn't come to play, they came to slay. These fierce kitties are proof that cats don't have to hate their Halloween costumes. In fact, they can totally and completely slay them ... and slay in them. Look out, mice. And in the end, your cats end up looking much cuter than you in your Halloween costume. But to be fair, is there anything we humans do that cats can't make ten times more adorable? So without further ado, here are some fierce kitties ready to slay this Halloween. 

Look at this Pirate Kitty strut his stuff down the gangplank. 

"...You'll float too." 

Via Willowthesquishycat, Instagram

This kitty is taking his role as NosferCATu very seriously.  


Via Monkandbean, Instagram 

 

You don't need tons of props to get the job done. Sometimes a pair of sunnies and the right cattitude is all it takes to slay the Halloween look. 

Via bilbo.ebob.cat, Instagram

Who knew some printer paper and a very patient cat could make the purrfect Halloween costume? Check out this Totoro costume! 

The Demogorgon has never looked so cute. Or so terrifying.

Via Cat-Cosplay, Instagram

Cats were often kept aboard ships to keep bad weather and ghosts away. So canonically these costumes make perfect sense. 

Via mochi.sumo, Instagram

All we need now is a dog dressed as Mr. Snuffleupagus! 

Proof that Porgs are indeed the cats of the Star Wars universe.


Via Willowthesquishycat, Instagram

"Was the opurration a success, Dr. Adorable?" "Don't patronize me, Nurse Karen."

Via Madfluffs, Instagram

This little Chiquita Kitten has gone full incatnito.

And we'll just paint a happy little kitty over here ... 


Via Cat-cosplay, Instagram 

 

Planning on dressing your cat up this Halloween? Check out our list of Halloween Costumes! And remember - order meow to receive in time for Halloween. 


11 Cats That Look Suspiciously Like Thanksgiving Turkeys October 04 2018

The turkeys aren't going to be the only thing dressed this Thanksgiving. Take these, uh, "turkeys'" word for it. 

 Check out these cats who are all dressed up and ready to go for the Thanksgiving feast.

1. This lurkin' turkey lurkey.    

 

2. Look at this perfectly round Butterball.

 

 3. This hungry cat, who isn't fooling anyone.

 

4. This Turkey Tom just lookin' for his Turkey Mom. 

Photo: Simplysphynx

 

 5. This subject of an unfortunate and ill-timed haircut. 

 

 

 6. This cat who might literally be a turkey. 

thanksgiving cat meme

 

 7.  This guy who's just lookin' for the gravy.

thanksgiving cat meme

 8. This cat who can't decide if he's a loaf or a butterball.

 

 9. THIS PERFECT DRUMSTICK.

thanksgiving cat meme

 

10. This poultry portrait. 

Photo: BeatriceTicketyboo

 11. This hefty butterball that might need a few more minutes to toast. 

thanksgiving cat meme brown thursday


How To Get Your Cat To Actually Like Halloween Costumes October 04 2018

It’s officially October! And with T-minus 30 days to plan costumes for the Big Day (Halloween), a lot of fall fans are already prepping – and not just for themselves! People are planning a Halloween look for their pets, too. About 31.3 million Americans are planning to dress up their pets in Halloween costumes this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF)

And while dressing your kitty up as a round li’l pumpkin or a sweet little bumblebee is admittedly adorable, it’s important to make sure that your cat isn’t stressed by the experience. After all, we want the howl-iday to be fun for everyone, pets included!

So if you’re going to dress your kitty up this Halloween, here are some tips to keep your kitty happy – even if they’re dressed up like a cowboy!

 

1. The Purrfect Fit

Make sure anything you put on your cat is properly sized to fit – this includes collars and harnesses, too, not just clothes or costumes! A safe rule of thumb is that you should be able to easily slide a finger under the collar or costume. This is to make sure the costumes aren't too tight and don't impede your cat’s ability to jump, move, and breathe.

 

2. Start Early

Be sure to introduce your cat to the costume in advance. Leave it out on the floor or near your cat’s favorite napping spot so they can get used to the sight and smell. Try sprinkling it with their favorite treats or some catnip/silver vine to get them interested. And if they lay on it, hey – that’s a bonus! They’ll get their scent on it and it won’t feel like a strange, foreign object to them.

 

3. Go Slow

After your cat’s used to the sight and smell of the costume, try laying it across your cat’s back for a few minutes to get them used to the feel of it. Don’t try to stick their paws through the armholes or cover their heads at first. And be sure to give your kitty plenty of treats, pets, or playtime in between so your cat associates the costume with a positive experience.

Once your cat is used to the feel of the costume on their back, it can help to slowly walk your cat through the steps of putting on the costume, all the while rewarding them with praise, treats, and breaks for playtime.



4. Observe Their Body Language

Pay close attention to your cat’s body language when dressing them in the costume to make sure they’re not stressed or frightened. While your little kitty pumpkin might look cute as can be, a lashing tail, lowered head and flattened ears can be a sign of distress; and the usual signs of hissing and swatting are all good indicators that your cat is just not feeling the costume. It’s important to understand your cat's needs and never push them to wear a costume if they are experiencing stress or discomfort.

5. Playtime!

When the costume is finally on, bring on the photos – and treats! If your cat seems to be unsure of what to do, try teasing them with a feather toy to lure your cat to stand up and follow. This will show your kitty that, no, they aren’t paralyzed by the cute bumblebee sweater and that yes, they can easily stand and walk around!

6. Photo Time!

Always keep an eye on your kitty when they’re dressed up in their Halloween best. And when it comes time to snap some photos to capture the sheer adorableness of your kitty in a costume, just keep in mind your cat's comfort and mood, again paying attention to their body language. 


Photo: @jomfootrakul, Instagram

With these tips in mind, we hope you and your kitty (whatever their costume may be) have a safe and Happy Halloween! 

Planning to dress your kitty up this Halloween? Check out our Halloween Costume Ideas for both you AND your cat! 



10 Reasons to Be Thankful for your Cat this Thanksgiving October 04 2018

'Tis the season for being thankful! And to all you cat people out there, what more is there to be thankful for than the fluff balls that are nearest and dearest to our hearts? Here are ten reasons you should give thanks to your cat for allowing you to be their servant - err, I mean, their human.

1. They tolerate our insistence on dressing them up like birds.

"Is there no end to this humiliation, hoomin? I better get some turkey after this!" 

 

2. They're stress relievers.

Studies have shown that not only do cat purrs heal, but the soothing, rhythmic action of petting a cat can actually trigger the release of endorphins in the human body.

 

3. They are great bakers!



 

 Really, I mean it! If you don't mind cat fur in your pie.

 

 

Seriously, they're great in the kitchen, very efficient. You'll hardly even notice they're there.

 

4. They're natural-born hunters and providers. 

Okay, so not everyone is so thankful for their cat's hunting abilities. No one wants to wake up to a dead lizard in their shoe. But in our cat's eyes, that dead lizard is a gift. It's a way to take care of the sad, sad human that can't hunt for their own food. And that's something to be thankful for. 

 

5. They're surprisingly good at sharing. 

In the words of the golden age of Internet memes, "I baked you a pie, but I eated it. And then threw it up so we could share." 

 

6. Cats are pretty arts 'n crafty, too.

Okay, so maybe cats are more "crafty" than "artsy," but they look really adorable as turkeys.

thanksgiving cat

7. Cats teach us to be thankful for the simple things in life. 

Appreciate the little things in life: like the cardboard box the really expensive cat present came in. 

 

8. They also teach us to do our best and just bee ourselves. 

bee cat costume meowingtons halloween cat

Even if being yourself is a little awkward. 

 

9. They make the best faces.

10. And last, but certainly not least, they provide you with unconditional love. 


Why Do Cats Bring Home Dead Animals As "Gifts"? October 04 2018

If you’re a cat owner, chances are you’ve woken up to some form of a dead critter on your doorstep – or at the foot of your bed … or in your shoe. My cat, Rascal, is guilty of all of the above, including one poor little lizard left on my pillow. Let’s just say he’s lived up to his name.

If your cat has ever left a dead mouse on the back porch, or even left their favorite stuffed mouse in your shoe, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Why does my cat do this? Are they leaving me a gift? Are they just bloodthirsty killers?” The long and short of it? It all comes down to instinct.

Though they were first domesticated nearly 10,000 years ago, housecats retain the keen hunting instincts of their wild ancestors. Almost every fluffy inch of your cat is designed to hunt and kill prey, from the tips of their cute noses to their adorable paws. Consider their incredibly sharp retractable claws, teeth meant for piercing flesh, cushioned paws designed for stealth, whiskers that detect movement and vibrations in the air, and sensitive ears that can detect tiny variances in sounds up to one-tenth of a tone apart.

Needless to say, it’s difficult for a cat to deny its nature, even if their food bowl is full.

So we know why cats are so awesome at annihilating small animals. Why do they insist on bringing them to you?

It's all about prey drive.

As explained above, cats were born to hunt. And when your cat finally lets out that natural, instinctive urge to hunt and brings it back to you, your cat is acting out its inherent “prey-retrieval” instinct, which essentially means bringing their kill back to a safe place to eat. Indoor kitties that have no live “prey” to hunt might substitute a favorite toy mouse or ball. This is because while cats are natural predators, they’re also small enough to be considered prey to larger predators. They’re just looking for a safe place to snack! 

Your cat thinks you’re a bad hunter.

Some behaviorists believe that cats see us humans as bumbling, inferior hunters who simply can’t provide for themselves. So the gory “gift” of a dead critter (or toy mouse, for indoor kitties) is a way for your cat to try and provide for the poor, dumb human who wouldn’t know what to do with a mouse if bit us on the butt. Which … well, they’re not exactly wrong!

Your cat is trying to teach you.

In the wild, momma cats teach their young how to hunt and eat their prey by bringing home dead or injured prey. Domestic cats may be doing the same! Spayed female cats are most likely to bring “gifts” to their owners. But unable to have kittens of their own to pass on their knowledge to, their humans are the next best thing. So when your cat brings you a dead mouse (or a half-dead mouse), she may be acting out her role as mom and teacher.

How to Redirect That Prey Drive

A cat’s natural desire to hunt cannot – and should not – be suppressed. Don’t punish your cat for doing what comes naturally to them! A great way to satisfy your cat’s natural instincts is to redirect that strong prey drive with toys. If your cat seems to enjoy stalking birds, wand and feather toys are a great solution. And if your cat likes more land-locked prey like mice or lizards that move and zip really fast, the remote control Mouse Hunt Toy is a great way to redirect that natural hunting behavior; with its realistic mouse appearance and speedy movements, it gives your cat the ideal hunt: stalk, chase, and catch. And it gets you involved and playing with your cat, too, which helps you bond with your kitty! 

A cat needs mental stimulation, especially if it is a cat that seems to have a strong prey drive. If it doesn’t have anything to hunt, chase, and catch, then it will find something to fulfill its prey drive … and then it’s lights out for Mickey Mouse. And you’re left with the task of rodent body removal. Yikes.

Engage your kitty in plenty of playtime every day to redirect their natural hunting behaviors. This not only reduces behavioral problems for cats that are prone to bringing mice or lizards to your door, but gives your cat plenty of exercise!

Does your cat bring you "gifts"? Let us know in the comments!

 



 


This 75-Year-Old Man Takes Catnaps With Kitties At His Local Shelter Every Day September 27 2018

It's said that not all heroes wear capes; but this hero comes with his own cat brush. Meet Terry Lauerman, cat cuddler extraordinaire, who has become something of an Internet sensation thanks to his favorite hobbies: cuddling cats and taking naps. 

Earlier this week, the Internet fell in love with this brush-wielding, cat-loving hero after the Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary in Green Bay, Wisconsin, shared photos of Terry napping with the shelter cats he comes and sees every single day. 

About six months ago, Terry, who is a retired Spanish teacher, showed up at The Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary with a simple request: He wanted to drop by and brush the shelter cats on a regular basis. It wasn't long before Terry was volunteering every day he could; now he's at the shelter every day, spending up to three hours at a time with the cats. 

Terry even brings his own brush to groom the cats. And it's just one more thing that makes them feel special.



"He says it's his magic brush," says Elizabeth Feldhausen, the founder and president of the shelter. "That's why the cats love him so much. He's not just a grandpa to the cats. He's the grandpa to everyone at Safe Haven."

He makes sure each and every cat in the shelter gets some much-needed TLC. He brushes and grooms each one and gives them plenty of cuddles. Of course, all that cat cuddling is pretty hard work. And with a purring cat on your lap, it's hard to fault Terry for falling asleep. We like to call it the "Catnap Trap." They're pretty hard to escape! (And honestly, who would want to?)

Terry is an exceptionally dedicated volunteer, and thanks to all the time he spends with these kitties, he can tell you the likes and dislikes of each and every cat at the shelter.  Safe Haven is a shelter that specializes in rescuing cats with disabilities and special needs, making the love and affection that Terry shows them that much more impactful. 

"We rescue cats with disabilities and special needs — anywhere from anxiety to paralysis to diabetes to thyroid problems," said Feldhausen. "Anything that could put them at risk at another shelter," she continued, as special needs cats are often at higher risk of euthanasia at shelters.

In an interview with Upworthy, Terry encouraged other cat lovers thinking about working with special needs cats. 

"It's well worth it, if you have the patience. It takes a very special type of person to work with a special needs cat," he said. Terry also introduced his favorite cat at Safe Haven, a tabby named Buckhorn, who recently lost his brother to an illness. 

"He was so scared," Terry said. "He hid behind a counter for weeks and I didn't know he existed. Now he's come out and he's become my special friend and that's going to stay with me forever."

When told of his newfound Internet fame, Terry said that he hoped all those people would donate to cats in need.

Thank you, Terry, and Safe Haven, for all you do. And thanks for reading! 

More Info: Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary | Facebook


12 Cat Face Swaps You Simply Can't Unsee September 26 2018

The first day of fall has already come and gone, so we figure it's about time to get into the Halloween Spirit. Whether that means dressing your cat up in a Halloween costume or hoarding Halloween candy ahead of time, Halloween is only, like, a month a way. Let's get spooky with it, y'all. So here you go, have some nightmare fuel, a la Snapchat's magical Face Swap feature. Featuring cats with human faces, and probably worse, human teeth. Good luck trying to sleep tonight. You're welcome. 

 

1. This is the stuff of nightmares. 

2. A nightmare you can't seem to wake up from. 

3. There's no escape. 

4. It is eternal. 

5. Just look at the perfect teeth. Ready to devour you. 



6. SURRENDER YOUR SOUL. 

7. You may as well give in. 

8. There's no unseeing this. 

9. RIP, sanity. 

10. Okay, okay. You made it through those monstrosities. 

11. We'll end on a cuter, less terrifying (yet still unsettling) note. 

12. Sweet dreams! 

 



Best (And Worst) Places For Your Cat’s Litter Box September 25 2018

When it comes to litter boxes, things might not be as black and white as they appear. If you notice your cat doesn’t especially like using the litter box or even outright avoids it, it could all come down to a single, seemingly unimportant detail: location. But like any realtor would say, it’s all about location, location, location. It applies to litter boxes, too.

Where you place a litter box in your home can drastically impact the relationship you have with your cat. It can get frustrating if your cat won’t use the litter box and eliminates around the house; and it’s not only stressful for you, but for your cat as well. 

So, where are the best and worst places to set up your cat’s litter box? We’ve compiled a list of advice from cat behaviorists to help you decide the purrfect place for your cat to do its bathroom business.

1. Privacy, Please?

While we humans prefer our privacy when we’re in the privy, cats have a different take. While to us humans, litter boxes tucked away in “private” areas of the house (like a cabinet or closet) seem ideal, for a cat it can have the opposite effect.



Even though cats have been domesticated, they still have natural wild instincts. When your cat uses the litter box, they know they are vulnerable to attack. Litter boxes placed around corners, in cabinets, behind couches, in closets, and small rooms are perfect setups for ambush. A cat can be easily trapped in this situation, or be pounced upon by another cat or animal in the home.

Make sure the box is in a location that offers a clear and easy escape route for your cat and, even better, make sure you have several boxes in different locations so your cat has options.

2. Too Hidden

The best places for litter boxes, according to cat behavior specialists Paula Garber and Blair de Jong, are usually in quiet, easy-to-reach corners in the home. 

Garber notes that as a rule, cat owners don’t want to see or smell litter boxes. So they may tuck them in places that are out of the way for the pet.

 “Check out where your cat spends the most time,” Blair de Jong adds. “If your cat never goes up to that weird attic room, don’t put the litter box up there.”

Instead, place the box someplace that the cat can easily get to, preferably a low-traffic area, Garber recommends. Cats usually like to hang out with their humans, so one of those favorite spots may be perfect for a litter box.

3. Keep It Away From Food And Water

Keep your cat’s litter box well away from its source of food and water. You wouldn’t want to eat your dinner right next to the toilet, would you? The same goes for your feline friends. Cats have a sensitive sense of smell and an instinct to keep their food and water separate from where they defecate and urinate. It is part of the reason that cats bury their feces in the first place, to keep a low profile and stay hidden from predators.

4. No Loud Machines

While the laundry room may seem like a convenient place for the litter box (out of the way, generally smells like fresh laundry) the noise from appliances like the washer and dryer may scare your cat away from using the box. And as it happens, heat radiating from a furnace or hot dryer can also amplify the smell coming from the litter box. And nobody wants that, you or the cat!

Consider Your Cat's Needs First

When it comes down to it, finding the perfect litter box location for your cat should be about the cat. It's all about finding the right balance between your cat's needs and your wants.

Cats prefer litter boxes that are placed in low-traffic, quiet areas that have expansive views. These areas should be easily accessible to the cat, placed away from their food and water, and offer a good view and an easy escape route.