Nov 17 2017

The Importance of Play in Cats

Contrary to the adorable picture above, playtime is not just for kittens! Adult cats enjoy and benefit from playtime as well. Even senior cats like to get in on the fun! This blog post is meant to educate our readers on the importance of play in cats, and how it can answer many questions you may have about your cat’s behavior!

When kittens first start to play, they are very young, and they learn social skills, and mimic hunting behavior. The next time your cat is playing, pay attention. Does your cat wiggle its butt before pouncing on a toy? Cats do this to steady themselves before they pounce on their prey (or toy). Are your cat’s eyes dilated or constricted?  Before they pounce, their pupils might be dilated. This is to take in a larger surrounding area and it means they’re excited. Once they have caught their prey (toy), their pupils might be more constricted to focus on the one object. What do they do with the toy? Toss it in the air, carry it around, paw at it, scoot it across the floor to chase it around more, or hold and kick it. They might not want to share their prey/toy with others, including their human! Some toys are so valuable, and if you interrupt your cat, they might swat at you or growl.  Let them have their prize!

It’s all about the hunt. The best way to play with your cat is to mimic a cat’s hunting sequence. Following this sequence fulfills their need to hunt. Starting with a wand toy, move it around to entice them. Move it around the way bugs or birds flit around, or a snake slowly moves around objects. Lead your cat around furniture, through a tunnel, up and over the sofa, etc… Some cats prefer slow movements and others prefer fast movements. See what your cat prefers most! Mix it up a little even; allow your cat to catch the toy often, otherwise they might become frustrated and lose interest.

Some cats will play for a few minutes, others will continue to play for 20 minutes or more. Once you have an idea of how long your cat usually will play, slow the movements down during the last 5 minutes of the play session, and then completely stop all movement (in other words, the cat has killed its prey). Once it’s “dead”, cats often leave the toy alone. Give your cat a few treats, or feed your cat its meal immediately afterwards. This makes the cat feel fulfilled, in that they have hunted, caught, killed and is now eating their prey. Their natural instincts should take over, and after a good meal, they will likely groom themselves and then take a nice, long nap.

Cats tend to play more often in the early morning and early evening. That is because cats are crepuscular; meaning, they tend to be more alert and playful during twilight hours. Because cats are both a predator and a prey animal, this is the best time of day to hunt, but also to be on the move to avoid their own predators.  This is often the reason guardians are woken up by their cat running around around the house or asking to be fed at this time of day. Providing mental and physical enrichment can help to alleviate any stress a cat might be experiencing. A fulfilled and tired cat is a good cat! If you are experiencing behavioral issues with your cat, please consult with your veterinarian first.

Types of Play:

  • Individual play – leave cat toys lying around; rotate toys weekly or as needed so they don’t become bored; kongs with treats or some canned food inside; strategically place toys as if they are hiding (keeps cat busy when you are out)

  • Team Play (person & cat) – increases the bond between human and cat, as it is a positive experience; for cats that are very exhuberant and are high energy, it provides safe distance so the cat doesn’t grab or bite anything except the toy; wand toys should never be left out unsupervised since cats could ingest the wire, string or feathers; depending on cat’s energy level, play session should last 10-20 mins. per session; some cats need several pay sessions throughout the day.  Cats at Wayside Waifs highly recommend Da Bird, the Cat Dancer or the Cat Charmer wand toy.

  • Playing with another cat (or dog!) – some cats love to have a buddy of their own to play, chase, and wrestle with.

The following is a video where Mercury, a shy and fearful cat, is using play to reduce stress and build trust with people. Mercury came in two days ago, and was untouchable. Now look at Mercury! It truly shows how important play is in helping cats relax, and enjoy their time at the shelter, and more importantly, in their homes! Click on the link here to enjoy!

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So, don’t just leave toys out for your cat to play with, but take the time to play WITH your cat. They will love you for it!

Meet some of our fun feline friends, and canines, during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Edited by Teryn J. Written by guest Bonnie Still-Wayside Waifs’ Feline Care Manager, and certified Cat Behavioralist.


Nov 15 2017

Waif Wednesday

It’s time to meet our Waifs of the Week; Captain Jack, Thomas, and Misha!

**Captain Jack is currently staying in a foster home.  If you’d like to schedule a time to meet him, please contact Wayside Adoptions at (816)986-4426. Thanks!**

This is the lovely Captain Jack, a handsome three year old Terrier mix. He is cute and such a character!  His journey has been a challenging one, but he has made some real progress. He will still need help with that journey, but he is ready to find that perfect family! Wayside Waifs is unsure of his full past, but we can tell he has experienced some unfriendly situations, but he is building his trust! Jack is looking for a patient home with people who understand his needs. He was originally brought to Wayside Waifs because he was wandering the streets of Grandview, Missouri, and animal control picked him up. He was very scared and anxious when he first arrived. Based on his past, Jack decided he would love a nice family that understands his quirks and challenges, and will work through them with him. He has really hit the jackpot here as well, because he was put into foster care to get out of the daily stresses of shelter life. He is so lucky, that he had TWO foster homes! His  foster families love him so much, despite the fact that he can be ornery at times.  They stay calm and patient with him and they praise him when he is a good boy, so that he learns what is expected of him as he gains confidence at the same time. He is not fully housebroken yet, but he is making excellent strides in learning and keeping up with each family’s schedules. Jack can be a talented escape artist, but Foster mom has crated him along with another dog, and having company really made him feel better. He sleeps in the human’s bed or his own bed undisturbed, quiet as a mouse. He loves to ride in the car, and snuggle with you! He is also really good at entertaining himself with toys. He really enjoys being in the kitchen when Foster Mom is cooking, because she is fun to watch, and maybe he can get a snack! Once he warms up to someone, he becomes their best friend. He is an excellent walking companion, and will walk right by your side. He loves to greet the other dogs with a bark, or “Hello!” Because of his escape artist tendencies, he does need to be leashed at all times when he is outside. He is able to chew, dig, and wiggle out of almost anything, so he does like to keep you on your toes! Definitely keep an eye out for him when he is outside. He is still learning what a true home life is like, so he gets a little curious and sniffs his way into things he should not. However, once he bonds with you and your family, he will not want to escape as much. He just needs that initial time to learn that he can trust you! He is very nice to all the dogs he meets, and he has learned from them as well! He does so well with them, he would prefer a canine companion in his forever home. He even does well with cats! Because of his timidness, kids tend to intimidate him. He asks that he goes to a home without kids under the age of twelve. Captain Jack is truly sweet as can be, and he has learned a lot from both of his foster homes, and being at Wayside Waifs in general. He has blossomed into a loving dog, and we are so happy with his progress, and cannot wait to see him continue to grow. Call our Adoptions team and ask for Captain Jack, and you will never regret it!

You can learn more about Captain Jack here.

Please welcome Thomas, a handsome five year old Domestic Shorthair mix. He was originally surrendered to Wayside Waifs as his old owners had a change in lifestyle. That is okay though, because Thomas is ready to find his people-and that might just be you! Thomas has some striking features, such as the nice blue-grey coat and pink nose. He was a little timid when he first came to Wayside Waifs, but he has made some friends with the staff and volunteers, and quickly became a favorite. Thomas is all about being with you all the time, and he would make a great sidekick! He also loves to talk with people, so he would love to have a great listener in the family. Honestly, Thomas is fantastic, and is ready to settle into that forever family lifestyle, and he hopes it is with you! Come check him out!

Learn more about Thomas here. He also has a video, which you can watch here.

Meet Misha, a pretty eleven month old American Pit Bull Terrier mix. She was originally brought to Wayside Waifs after she was picked up as a stray, wandering the streets alone. That is just fine, because she is ready to find her people! She has some wonderful brown and white markings, and is a slim forty pounds. She knows several commands such as sit, down, come, shake and roll over. Roll over happens to be her favorite command….because that means she can get a belly rub out of it too! Belly rubs are the best!!! Misha is a leaner; meaning she loves to be against you and just sit next to you. She is a social butterfly and loves meeting new people. She would be a great addition to your family! She does ask that you bring in all your children and canine friends to meet her-to make sure you are the right fit! When visiting our adoptions campus, please ask for Misha!

You can learn more about Misha here.

You can meet all of our wonderful animals, including our Waifs of the Week, during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.


Nov 10 2017

Thanksgiving Treats and Tips

It’s that time of year when we travel to our family member’s house, and have what is the most exhausting and delicious feast of the year. Thanksgiving is coming up, and we here at Wayside thought it would be nice to send out a friendly reminder of what you can, and cannot feed your pets. We also thought we would include fun dog and cat friendly recipes that are fun to make, and they have fun eating them!

  1. Turkey-Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein to share with your pet. You will just want to be sure to remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones.
  2. Potatoes-Potatoes are a great, filling vegetable to share with your pet. However even though the potatoes themselves are not harmful to pets, be aware of additional ingredients used to make mashed potatoes. Cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravies are no-no’s in a pet’s diet.
  3. Cranberry Sauce-Cranberry sauce is just fine for pets but watch the amount of sugar in it, or have no sugar at all to be safe. It is probably best to only provide a small helping to your pet’s plate.
  4. Macaroni and Cheese-If you know your pet’s stomach handles dairy alright, macaroni and cheese is a safe leftover to share. If you are unsure though, it may be best to just give plain macaroni. Cats often develop lactose intolerance when they become adults.
  5. Green Beans-Plain green beans are a wonderful treat for pets. Fresh vegetables are a great addition to any diet. If the green beans are included in a green bean casserole though, be conscious of the other ingredients in it.
  6. Corn-Loose corn is fine, but avoid corn on the cob.
  7. Homemade Rolls-Rolls fall to the ground during the annual food fight and are nibbled up by your kitty? Never fear. As long as they don’t have a lot of butter on them, they are safe for your pets to enjoy. 

Sweet Potatoes-Sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables that provide plenty of nutritional benefits for our canine companions.

There are also some fun receipts you can try to make Thanksgiving a little more pet friendly, besides just human treats! PetPlan has several fun recipes that you can try, both for dogs and cats! Pumpkin smoothies, sweet potato cookies, sorbet, oh my! EntirelyPets also features fun, simple recipes such as Muttballs, Puppy Meatloaf, and Catnip Cookies!

Finally, just as a reminder, please always keep your pets’ tags and information updated, because more company means more doors opening and closing. If you are going out of town, and have to board your animal, make sure to book in advance, as holidays are times when facilities fill up quicker. Continue taking the dogs on walks if they have a heavier meal, and put in some extra playtime with those kitties to work off those extra calories! Try your best to ignore the stare they will give you from below the table-the above treats and recipes should help you out! Be wary of counter surfing, as the aroma may overwhelm your pet. Immediately throw out scraps and bones you will not use and keep it out of reach from pets. Sometimes they get a little curious, and go dumpster diving!

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoy your time with your family, pets included! Keep an eye out for Black Friday, as we might have a special going on. In the meantime, consider meeting some of our pets during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.


Nov 8 2017

Waif Wednesday

Please welcome our Waifs of the Week: Wanda, Myrtle, and Altair!

This is Wanda, a beautiful four year old Beagle mix. She was originally transferred to Wayside Waifs from her previous shelter after they ran out of space for her. Not to worry, because she is so looking forward to finding her forever home, and that home just might be yours! Wanda is a happy, energetic girl, so she will do best in a home that can play and go on regular walks and runs! She is quickly becoming a staff and volunteer favorite because of how expressive she is. She is also super friendly and affectionate, so you get the best of both worlds. She has not learned any basic obedience yet, but she is ready to! She is treat motivated, so present her with yummy treats and she will know basic commands in no time! She has met other dogs at Wayside, and she did okay. She can try and lead the playing and socializing, so she may need a dog that matches her play style. If you have any other dogs at home, it would be great if you could bring them along to meet her, to make sure they are a good pair!  In fact, bring the whole family so they can all get acquainted. She is ready to go home, and she hopes it is with you!

You can learn more about Wanda here.

Please welcome Myrtle, a gorgeous ten year old Domestic Shorthair mix. Myrtle is experienced in life, and is a sweet and cuddly cat. She was originally transferred to Wayside Waifs after her previous shelter ran out of space for her. That is just fine, because she is ready to find her forever home, and maybe that is with you! Her Felinality rating is Party Animal, in other words, she is the life of the party! She loves to be around people, and seeks out attention and love! She enjoys your company best, but she also loves to play with any cat toy. Honestly, it is the best of both worlds if she can play with you! When coming to Wayside to visit Myrtle, she is in Kitty City, with her friend Pringles! Front and center, you will not be able to miss her!

Learn more about Myrtle here.

Meet Altair, a handsome, seven year old Australian Shepherd mix looking for a place to call his own. He was originally transferred to Wayside Waifs after his previous shelter ran out of space for him. That is okay though, because he has quickly become a staff and volunteer favorite here, and is enjoying his time before he finds his forever home! He was quickly adopted out, but brought back because they did not have a safe yard for him to romp in. They did provide some wonderful information on Altair though! He is an easy-going and social guy. His favorite thing is to hang out with humans of any kind. He loves long walks, and is an excellent walker with his leash! He enjoys staying fit after all! He is also really smart, so he is ready to learn new things with you. He is treat motivated, so present him with yummy treats and he will be trained in no time. After a play session, he would love to cool down with snuggle time. Honestly, Altair is a lovable guy with a big heart. When you visit Wayside, ask for the sweet Altair, and you will not be disappointed!

Learn more about Altair here.

You can meet all of our adoptable pets, including our Waifs of the Week, during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.


Nov 1 2017

Waif Wednesday

It’s time to meet our Waifs of the Week: Perdita, Miss Hemingway, and Ginger!

Meet Perdita, a beautiful three year old Terrier mix. She is forty pounds of pure love! She is very excitable and friendly, but she may come on a little strong! She is just ready to meet all the people. We should also mention she has a very active tail-meaning she is excited and loves to show her enthusiasm. She originally came to Wayside as a stray, so she is eager to learn what it is like to be in a home. Perdita will do best in a home that has children over the age of five, and that has no other canine companions. She is ready to learn basic obedience with you, and is a smart girl! She can be a little anxious in new environments based on her past, so having a calm home at first will be a huge benefit. She loves to be a cuddle bug! She will even lean on you and sit by you, just to be close! If you think you would be a great match, please come see her today.

You can learn more about her here.

This is Miss Hemingway, a gorgeous orange tabby that is two years old. She was originally brought to Wayside as a stray, but she is more than okay with that because she is able to find her forever home here! She loves to be around people, and will reward you with head-butts. She is a purr machine, just because she wants you to know how happy she is. She is also very confident and loves to explore. Miss Hemingway has become a master of free-roaming in our sunroom. She loves to bird-watch, and is extremely playful. She enjoys wand toys and fake mice as well! One of her special quirks is that both of her front paws have and extra toe-meaning extra love to give! She is ready to find her family, and maybe that is with you!

You can learn more about her here.

Here is Ginger, a stunning Labrador Retriever mix and almost a year old. She is roughly 30 pounds full of energy and love. She already knows sit and come, but is ready to learn more from her new family! Because Ginger is pretty active, she asks that she goes to a home without children under the age of 5. She does not want to accidentally knock anyone down! She also would prefer a home without cats and other small animals. Ginger has met dogs before, but she asks that you bring in any and all dogs you have so she can see if they are a perfect fit! She is basically a star athlete, as she can jump a five foot fence. That being said, she will need supervision outside and will need physical and mental stimulation. She is not a huge fan of the crate, so she would prefer not to use one. She is super obsessed with squirrels, as she likes to watch them intently and stare at them when she spots one. It sure is fun to be outside! There is so much to see. Ginger is ready to meet you, are you ready to meet her?

You can learn more about her here.

You can visit all of our adoptable pets during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.

 


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