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Thinking about Adopting?

Pet Adoption: A Lifetime Commitment

How much will owning a pet cost? How much time do I really need to devote to a pet? These are questions potential pet owners should ask prior to adopting. However, not everyone takes the time to assess the responsibilities and requirements associated with pet ownership, increasing the likelihood a pet will be surrendered to an animal welfare organization. Sometimes a pet is given up for hardship reasons such as displacement after a natural disaster or home foreclosure. But one of the biggest and more controllable factors affecting pet relinquishment is a lack of knowledge on the owner's part.

Adopting Your First Cat

Is a cat the right pet for you? What should you know about cats before making the decision to adopt a feline family member?

What You Need To Know Before Adopting a Cat

Caring for a companion animal goes far beyond providing food, water and shelter. It takes research and careful planning to bring the right pet into your home, and to make sure your lifestyle is the right one for your pet. Read on for tips to prepare yourself, as well as your home, for a new furry friend.

Advantages to Adopting an Older Cat

With so many cats in shelters, how do you know which one is right for you? Jackson Galaxy has several reasons why adopting an older cat might be the best choice for your family or home, and some of the reasons might surprise you! Expand your circle of compassion in this week's Cat Mojo!

Adopting an Elderly Cat

Cats are living much longer now than was the case 20 years ago, thanks to better nutrition, veterinary and home care. In recent years, feline ages and life-stages have been redefined, cats are considered to be elderly once they reach 11 years old. When caring for older cats it sometimes helps to appreciate their age in human terms.

Tortoiseshell Cats

Tortoiseshell cats are named for their distinctive coloring. They also have a reputation for unique personalities, sometimes referred to as "tortitude." Check out this link for details on torties and their "tude"...

Are Cats Social?

There is a misconception that cats are curmudgeons who do not make friends with other cats. So, do cats get lonely and do cats need other cats for company? It comes down to a few different factors, like personality and age. Find out about social needs in kittens, introducing cats and adopting a second cat or a companion for a grieving cat.

Seeing Double? If Adopting a Kitten, Consider Adopting Two!

If you are thinking about bringing a kitten into your life, there are many reasons why you should actually consider doubling that and bringing home a pair. Yes, think two instead of one. Starting off with two may actually be much easier and more beneficial for the kittens and for you.

Should I Buy Pet Insurance?

Your car and home are covered—but what about your pet? Here are the pros and cons of getting pet insurance, and whether or not it's really worth it.

Article by Amber Butch about her experience with and without pet insurance.

Allergic to Cats but Still Want to Adopt One?

Want to adopt a cat, but suffer from allergies? Maybe you have tried coping by taking antihistamines, and have a HEPA air filter in your home. You may have even heard the term "hypoallergenic pet" but not know it applies to cats. Read on.

There are no truly hypoallergenic cat breeds. That being said, some cat breeds may be better for pet lovers with allergies than others, and the 10 that follow are said to be among the most "hypoallergenic" of all cat breeds.

Getting To Know Your Cat

Getting a Cat to Like You

In this youtube video from Jaw-Dropping Facts, 10 proven ways to get a cat to like you are discussed.

A Cat's Strange Behavior

In this youtube video from Jaw-Dropping Facts, learn the meaning behind 14 strange cat behaviors.

Your Cat's Age in Human Years

According to popular legend, one human year is the equivalent of seven 'cat years', but in reality, a one-year-old cat is much more mature than a seven-year-old child.

Bringing Kitty Home

Introducing Cats to Their New Home | Pets Bring Joy

It is very stressful for a cat to move from one environment to another. First, they are placed in a cat carrier (scary!), then driven in a car (scary!) into an unfamiliar place (new smells, new sounds, new sights – SCARY!!!). Even the friendliest and most outgoing cat will need time to settle in, feel safe, and learn to trust new human family members, as well as any other pets currently living in the home. By following PBJ's two simple steps you can help your new feline companions ease into their new home.

Preparing Your Home for Your Kitty's Safety

Whether it is tightly sealing your garbage cans or paying attention to dangerous decorations during the holidays, you will need to make your home safe before adopting.

Kittens are curious little tykes and love to explore nooks and crannies. Here are tips for making sure they do not find 'toys' that can harm them.

Introducing Your Kitty to the Family

Although sometimes cats will get along swimmingly in just a couple of hours, you should not be surprised to have a battle on your hands if you try to introduce your new cat too quickly.

Congratulations! A new baby is an adjustment for all family members, including pets. Cats love routine and consistency and we should never assume they will automatically adapt when an infant makes the scene. Assuming you will have to rehome your cat is a big mistake. Kitty is still an important part of the family and careful planning will help her adjust to the new living conditions.

A great video by Legends Dog Training on how to get an excitable dog to be calm around a new cat.

Jackson Galaxy tackles the age old question: can cats & dogs really get along? As a proud bi-petual living with 7 cats and 3 dogs, he shares certain practices one should follow to set you & your animals up for success.

Whether you already have a dog and are considering getting a cat, or vice versa, it is very important to think about their first introduction.

Today, shelters are still visited by tearful mothers-to-be with cats in tow, having made their appointments after well-meaning relatives or old-school obstetricians have convinced them that keeping a cat risks the health and well-being of their unborn child. Do not succumb to these old wives' tales. Knowing the facts will help provide ways to safeguard both fetus and feline.

How Do I Help My Fearful Cat Feel Secure?

If your cat is very timid and shy it can take some time for them to be able to trust you. However, if you take your time and you do not rush them, you can establish a strong bond with these cats.

Cat Safety

Poisonous Plants for Cats

Cats will chew on plants. And, because they love to climb and explore, it is difficult to keep plants out of their reach. Therefore, if you are going to have plants in your house, or if you let your cat out in your yard, you need to be able to accurately identify the plants to which your cat will be exposed.

Which Plants are Lilies?

There are plants that go by the common name “lily” that can cause cardiotoxicity or irritation to the mouth. Read which plants can harm your cat.

Indoor Cats

It is cold outside. Help your kitty discover the Great Indoors

Here is an article from American Humane on the dangers faced by outdoor cats. It also offers some suggestions on how to keep an indoor cat happy. PBJ advocates for all cats to stay indoors.

Lost Pet Tips

If you have lost a cat or dog outdoors, here are a few tips on how to begin your search.

Tips for Finding Lost and Missing Pets

Eating Patterns in Cats

What to Feed Your Cat

Cats are solitary hunters and eaters. They are strict carnivores and must have animal source protein in their diet.

What To Know About Feeding Your Cat

Whether your cat is a picky eater or a little on the pudgy side, they probably let you know how they feel about what you put in their bowl.

Wet or Dry Food?

Cats are true carnivores, requiring a meat-based diet for optimal health.


There are many articles dealing with medical issues. It is always best to consult your pet's veterinarian first.

Yearly Cat Exams

The Importance of Annual Vet Visits

A wellness examination is a routine medical examination of a cat who appears healthy, as opposed to an examination of a cat who who is ill. A wellness examination may also be called a 'check-up' or a 'physical examination'. The focus of a wellness examination is the maintenance of optimal health.

An annual physical exam is a vital part of maintaining a healthy, happy, and long life for your cat. Since cats age faster than people and cannot communicate when they are not feeling well, your veterinarian will gain valuable insights into the health of your cat during this routine procedure.

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Behavioral Challenges


Urine-marking can be a troubling behavior for cat owners and may indicate some hard-to-handle stresses in the cat's life. It is probably the most common form of inappropriate elimination.

Litter Box Problems

Stress is a leading cause of litter box problems. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to ease your cat's worried mind.

How Do I ...

Scoop Wood Pellet Litter

Scooping the wood pellet litter seems puzzling at first, but luckily, it is actually pretty easy. The technique for scooping this kind of litter is a little different from what you are probably used to, but the video provided by Eco Cat Litter and the step-by-step guide shows exactly how to do it.

Bathe a Cat?

Youtube video by PurebredCatRescue on best way to bathe a cat.

Pet My Cat Without the Drama

Ever had your cat snap at you or bite while you were only petting her? It is not that she is not friendly or does not love you, it is because cats have a certain way they enjoy being petted and it is not the same way a dog enjoys being petted! Learn a few helpful tips and tricks from Jackson Galaxy and your cat will be on your lap in no time asking for more.

Stop My Cat from Attacking My Feet?

If you play with your cat using your hands and feet, you are teaching your feline friend to see them as prey. E'Lise Christensen, veterinary behaviorist, has some tips on toys and other items to turn your feline's attention away from your digits. Watch her youtube video.

Stop My Cat From Biting Me?

Why is my kitty biting me so much? Learn a few helpful tips to stop the biting by watching this youtube video by @relaxmycat.

Medical Issues in and with Cats

Cat Allergies in Humans

Contrary to popular belief, cat hair itself is not allergenic. The cause of allergy to cats is a protein called Fel d 1 emanating from sebum found in the sebaceous glands of cats. The protein attaches itself to dried skin, called dander, that flakes off and floats through the air when cats wash themselves. Although you may never be able to eliminate all your allergy symptoms, following these suggestions can help make living with your cat a more enjoyable experience.

Does interacting with your feline companion bring tears of agony instead of tears of joy? In addition to itchy, watery eyes, do you exhibit other symptoms such as runny nose, rash, hives, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, asthma or other breathing problems?

Cat Allergy and Treatment

Nearly a third of Americans with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. And twice as many people have cat allergies than dog allergies. Pinpointing the cause of your allergies can be difficult when an animal lives in your home.

Allergies In Cats

A lot of cats love fish, but it is really not a good idea to feed it to your cat! Why not? Because it is simply no longer safe to feed fish to cats and humans should be very careful about eating it themselves, as well as feeding it to their children!

Why do we feed our cats fish?

WebMD discusses the facts about cats and dairy, and why substituting a saucer of milk for water may not be best for your kitten.

Declawing Cats

People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cats is a harmless "quick fix" for unwanted scratching. They do not realize that declawing can make a cat less likely to use the litter box or more likely to bite. Declawing also can cause lasting physical problems for your cat.

A kitten's paws are like the hands of babies. As they grow, they will become more and more important tools for life, and claws are an essential part of cats' paws.

Many a cat-lover has thrown their hands up in despair, crying "My cat just will not use a scratching post!" In reality, cats will not use the WRONG scratching post. This is a link to a wonderful veterinarian-designed scratching post that Pets Bring Joy recommends.

What top-rated veterinary schools recommend

Feline Health Topics from the University of California, Davis campus

Cat Health Topics from Cornell Feline Health center. We know that finding reliable information on the web can be difficult at times. The Cornell Feline Health center offers a variety of articles, brochures, and videos online for cat owners and enthusiasts alike.

Diabetes in Cats

We help diabetic cats and their people. We support diabetic cats in their original, adoptive, shelter, and rescue homes; help to rehome unwanted diabetic cats; and help to educate caregivers on the appropriate treatment of diabetic cats.

Take a deep breath and relax. We are here to help you. Cat diabetes is a treatable, manageable condition. You can maintain your sanity and your cat's health, all on a reasonable budget. Medical doctors and veterinarians and many diabetic cat caretakers contribute to this site with knowledge you can trust.

FIV - Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

There are many myths surrounding the FIV virus. Find out the Facts, not the Fiction. Jacquie recommends this article to anyone who is unfamiliar with this virus.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) are feline-only retroviruses that cannot be transmitted to humans or other animals. Not all cats who test positive for FIV or FeLV will develop infections or symptoms that are fatal or that otherwise seriously impact their quality of life. Though they have weaker immune systems, cats who test positive for FIV or FeLV can live fulfilling and happy lives like any other cats—and can live for many years.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a "new" cat disease. It was first discovered in domestic cats around 1975.

It is estimated that about 3% of seemingly healthy cats are actually positive for FIV. Most cats are not tested before they are adopted and most owners have no reason to suspect their cat has this virus. Many, many healthy cats have happy, full lives without anyone knowing they have the virus.

Questions regarding vaccinating an FIV positive cat and the other cats of the household.

Feline Leukemia (FeLV)

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is second only to trauma as the leading cause of death in cats, killing 85% of persistently infected felines within three years of diagnosis.

Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)

Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is a term describing conditions that can affect the urinary bladder and/or urethra (the lower urinary tract) of cats. Although many different diseases can affect the lower urinary tract, frustratingly, a number of cats develop a disease without any obvious underlying cause - so called 'feline idiopathic cystitis' or FIC.

Toxoplasmosis in Cats

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) parasite. It is one of the most common parasitic diseases and is known to affect nearly all warm-blooded animals and humans, but cats are the primary living host.

Ringworm In Cats

Ringworm or dermatophytosis is an infection caused by a particular type of fungus that has the ability to grow on the skin and use the superficial layers of the skin, hair or nails as a source of nutrition. Collectively the fungi able to do this are termed 'dermatophytes'.

Feline Herpes Symptoms and Treatment

In the kitty world, herpes is a contagious upper respiratory virus (not an STD). It can cause cat flu and other respiratory infections in both wild and domestic cats.

Feline Conjunctivitis

Many cats have chronic problems with conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye membranes). Often, the problem comes and goes. The eyes may be red, swollen, watery, crusty, or goopy.

Low Cost Care

VIP Petcare

VIP Petcare provides affordable, convenient, preventive veterinary care and wellness services to ensure your pet is healthy year-round.

Animal Welfare League of Arlington

We provide a variety of services and resources to keep your pets healthy, happy, and home.

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

To inspire compassion for all living things, to provide shelter to animals in need, and to promote adoptions, animal welfare and responsible pet ownership in our community.

Dominion Animal Hospital

Since 1967, Dominion Animal Hospital has provided comprehensive veterinary care to pets in the Herndon community and beyond.

Friends of Animals Spay or Neuter Certificate

Spay/neuter is the best way to combat the largest killer of cats and dogs — euthanasia of unwanted, homeless animals. Get your certificate.

Prevent a Litter Veterinary Hospital

Prevent A Litter is the first low-cost spay/neuter hospital in Virginia. Since opening in April 1999, PAL has performed in excess of 100,000 surgeries, preventing millions of births of unwanted animals that might otherwise be euthanized.

Spay USA

North Shore Animal League America’s SpayUSA® is a nationwide referral network for affordable spay and neuter services.

SPCA Spay Inc. Program

Spay Inc. is a program of the SPCA of Northern Virginia that provides discounted spay and neuter referrals for dogs and cats in Northern Virginia.

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