Desert Messenger

September 15, 2010

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P��� 18 By Beth Praast Part 2 of a 2 Part Article In the last issue, we learned about feral cats. To recap a little bit, a feral cat is a domestic cat born in the wild. They have had no human contact, and like any “wild” animal will be leery of any human. For the most part, a feral cat will not approach you, if you have laid out any food for it, the fe- ral cat will not approach the food until you have walked away from the food you’ve put down. In this issue we will be talking about stray cats. A stray cat, in most likelihood will ap- proach you and/or any food you have put down for it. Stray cats tend to be more vocal than feral. The stray will look more dishev- eled, and will be seen all hours of the day. Whereas, a feral cat is mostly nocturnal. You don’t adopt a stray cat; rather a stray cat adopts you. Although this adage has a ���.D�����M��������.��� Is it a STRAY or FERAL CAT? bit of truth, being a responsible pet owner requires you to take care of a few things to ensure the health and well-being of your adopted cat. It’s hard to ignore stray cats, especially when they show up hungry on your front porch. If a stray is friendly, chances are it used to have a home, and is either lost or has been put out to fend for herself. Your choices range from ignoring her— usually she will leave once she realizes she won’t get fed - to taking her inside as a house cat. It is possible to responsibly care for stray cats without making them a house pet, though. Be aware that in most jurisdictions, if you provide food and care for an animal it is considered legally yours. And you can be held liable for anything it does. Do not just pick the stray cat up, it may have an injury, illness or disease that’ll need to be treated before becoming your new pet. Get a pet carrier. Place the carrier outside, where the stray cat can smell and explore the carrier. Second-hand smoke kills 53,000 people a year. It’s no longer a business issue; it’s a public emergency. LIVE SMOKE-FREE Report Smoke-Free Arizona violations anonymously at or call 928-669-5912. Establish trust with the cat by offering food and water. The best way to get a cat or any pet to not be afraid of a pet carrier is to of- fer food and water to the stray inside the carrier with the door unlatched. This lets the stray become familiar with the carrier and your scent. This may take several rep- etitions to establish trust. Enclose the stray cat inside the carrier. Now you can take the stray to the vet. Have a vet examine the cat. A vet can look over the animal and determine the cat’s state of health and administer any required shots. If a cat is very sick or hurt she will just lie low and there is nothing you can do. With some basic knowledge of vet care and a sympathetic veterinarian to sell you medication, basic care can be a do-it-your- self endeavor for simple things like bite wounds or bad flea infestations. Know that any outside cat should be/must be spayed or neutered to prevent more un- wanted litters. You can call the local shelter. If you decide the stray will be an outdoor cat, make sure they have water, especially during hot weather. Be aware that cats can tolerate fairly cold weather, but they get chilled very easily if wet. If this stray is going to be kept outside, please prepare a place out of the elements for the cat. If you decide to give a stray cat access to your house, they may be miserable (and noisy) if they cannot go back outside when they want to. Watch the temperament of the cat for the first 24 hours diligently. You want to see how it maneuvers around your apartment or house. Does it whine? Hiss S�������� 15, 2010 Animal proofing your house is going to be essential. Light fixtures, sockets, chemi- cals, wires are going to have to be secured and your home is going to have to be se- cured from accidents to the cat and your- self. Your new pet can be startling in the beginning. Be extra conscious of hot fluids and spills. often? Is it very relaxed? Too quiet? You are also going to have to start thinking of the cat as a small child that can get harmed from ordinary household items and prod- ucts. Introduce your cat to family and friends slowly. You are adopting an animal that you do not know. It is not a kitten that has grown up in your presence. You will then not be familiar with all of its needs and personality traits. Be cautious when people are around your pet. Any accidents, biting or danger to a guest is going to be at a med- ical cost to you also. Determine what rooms are going to be off limits to your cat and designate an area or areas for your cat until all of the above steps have been enacted. Now enjoy your new pet and remember to treat it like a member of the family, who will make mistakes and not make you hap- py all of the time, but deserves love and consideration. You may find a stray cat will make an even better pet; they have been abandoned, lost, misused, neglected, and possibly even abused in the past. They may cling to you more for insecure reasons, and be more loving to you…thankful you have rescued them from a life of misery. Re- member to be a responsible pet owner! Receive 10 Free Arizona Cypress Trees When You Join the Arbor Day Foundation in September Everyone from Arizona who joins J & S COVERS Custom Shade Screens for Your Deck, Windows, Patios, & RV Awnings FREE ESTIMATES! Reduce heat coming through the glass by 70-90%. Block out 90% of UV rays that fade and destroy your interior. Screens are mildew and fade resistent. Need only occasional cleaning. Long lasting vinyl coated polyester. Phifer Screen has 5-year warranty. 645 N. Central, Hwy. 95 Serving Quartzsite since 1990 928-927-4220 the Arbor Day Foundation in Sep- tember will receive 10 free Arizona cypress trees as part of the Founda- tion’s Trees for America campaign. Trees for America is a program of the Arbor Day Foundation that en- courages anyone to help the envi- ronment by planting trees. The Ar- bor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit organization in the United States dedicated to planting trees. “Arizona cypress trees add beauty to landscapes with their blue-green foliage, are drought-tolerant, and they can be used as an individual ornamental tree, as a windbreak or privacy screen or as a living Christ- mas tree,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Founda- tion. “They will also add to the proud heritage of Arizona’s 21 Tree City USA communities. For 34 years, Tree City USA has supported community forestry across Arizona, and planting these trees will enhance this tree-planting tradition.” The trees will be shipped postpaid between Oct. 15 and Dec. 10, at the right time for planting. The 6- to 12- inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Planting instructions are enclosed with each shipment of trees. New members of the Arbor Day Foundation will receive The Tree Book, which includes information about tree planting and care. To receive the free Arizona cypress trees, send a $10 membership con- tribution to Ten Arizona Cypresses, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410, by September 30, 2010, or join online at SAVE $ on Cooling Costs

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