ULTI-CAT HOUSEHOLDS – THE PROS AND CONS I want to get a cat but someone told me I should get two together – is this true? Cats were once considered to be solitary creatures but, while there are some solitary aspects to their behavioural patterns, we now know that, although there may be individual differences, they are in fact social animals who benefit from interaction with their own and other species. As a result of this knowledge there has been a move to promote ownership of more than one cat, and in particular to encourage owners to take on two cats at the same time. This can be beneficial as the cats play together and provide each other with both physical and mental stimulation. If you are taking on more than one kitten it is certainly better to consider taking on two. You can raise young kittens from different litters, provided that you take them on at a very early age, preferably before they are seven weeks old. Adopting two slightly older kittens may work out, but the general rule is that the younger the kittens are when brought together, the more easily they will accept each other as part of their social group.
~~~If I already have a single cat, should I consider getting another cat to keep it company? If your cat is an adult and is established within your home as the only cat, then you should think carefully about introducing another feline. The majority of cats are hostile to other felines, if they are not related, and there is certainly no guarantee that your cat will thank you for its new playmate. However, some cats, if they have been sufficiently socialized to other cats or are particularly sociable (genetically) do benefit enormously from feline company. Therefore, the decision has to be made on a caseby- case basis. If your cat has been seen in the company of other cats without excessive fear or aggression, it may be possible to integrate a new cat into the household. (more…)
Back in August, Dogs Deserve Better rescued a senior dog, Mo, who had been living on a chain in isolation for nearly all of his ten years. This sweet dog had never been loved as part of a family, or given a proper diet or veterinary care. When our rescuers found him, Mo was covered in fleas and moaning in discomfort; he had become anemic and developed a severe allergic reaction to the flea bites, losing large chunks of his coat and a lot of weight too. He was barely hanging on, and living without shelter during the peak heat of summer.
One of our South Carolina volunteers, Alicia Schwartz, had been in contact with Mo’s family and took action. Their local DDB team had supported Mo’s family over the years, getting him neutered through a local spay and neuter clinic, and helping the family with food and shelter when times were tough. They even built a fence next to the home for Mo, in an effort to get him off the chain and have him more connected to the family. Several months later, they returned to find the fence removed and Mo in really bad shape, once again tethered to a tree. Thankfully, with some pleading, Mo’s owners finally agreed to surrender him to DDB, ending his life of suffering.
After few nights of critical care at the animal hospital, Mo went to his foster home. Dogs who have been chained and isolated most of their lives often need time to transition to home life. They haven’t had a normal bond or relationship with humans, or experienced being a member of a family, but we quickly discovered that even after the years of abandonment, Mo was still a sweet, lovable dog who adored people. (more…)
Chewy is a gorgeous young Shepherd-Husky mix, and a naturally social dog who is great with kids, other dogs, and cats too. At only eleven months old, he’s still filling out his 60 pound frame, but he is a handsome boy with striking bi-color eyes, a beautiful coat, and an athletic build. Chewy is a star at the local dog park, with his goofy, playful, puppy-like demeanor, and he loves to play fetch and run around with the other dogs. He’s also a big fan of soft, fluffy toys and loves to snuggle up with them when he’s sleeping. He needs an active home and plenty of exercise, but he can also just hang out on the couch with you when it’s time to relax.
Chewy was the casualty of an adoption that never should have taken place. He was originally adopted by a family who loved him, but weren’t prepared for the commitment of taking care of a large, active puppy who needs regular physical activity. They had toddlers in the home, worked long hours, and lived a sedentary lifestyle, and found themselves in over their heads. Thankfully, they wanted to do right by Chewy and called Dogs Deserve Better for help. We quickly understood that Chewy was a sweet, loving dog that was just not the right fit for this family, so we brought him into the rescue. (more…)