Ancient Egyptians: the First Cat Lovers

One does not own a cat; one simply inhabits the same space as a cat. Even the most cuddly of cats will take any opportunity to exhibit their independence and will. Cats have a long and varied history commingling with humans before obtaining their “domesticated” distinction. But even now, some argue that can’t still aren’t domesticated animals. The Smithsonian states that cats are really only domesticated when they want to be.

 

There is little that differentiates domesticated cats from their wild counterparts. It’s this close proximity that makes scientists like Wes Warren, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Genetics at The Genome Institute at Washington University in St. Louis. estimate that house cats are only “semi-domesticated.” So why is it that cats are only partially domesticated after all this time and how did these felines earn a place of honor at our sides and in our homes? Well; it all started over 8,000 years ago.

 

The History of Cats in Egypt

The cats within the feline family can trace their genealogy all the way back to ancient Cyprus and Egypt. A common consensus is that the popularity of cats came along with the cultivation of crops. Once civilization reached a point where humans evolved enough to plant and store our own food, the challenge of keeping vermin away from stored grain became one of the early human’s chief concerns. It wasn’t long before it was noticed the cats naturally hunted the rats and mice that were trying to steal grain.

 

Farmers originally tempted cats to stay around by leaving offers of milk-soaked bread, fish-heads, and other scraps of food behind. Cats were really the first freelance workers. They didn’t belong to anyone per say, but they were paid for their services nonetheless. And they excelled at those services.

 

Cats became so highly valued that laws were enacted to protect them. The punishment for harming a cat was often harsh, sometimes even as extreme as death. But in a world without silos or warehouses, protecting the life-giving resource that was grain was a necessity for society’s continued survival.

 

Once cats became protected by law, religious orders soon followed. The goddess Bastet rose in popularity during the second dynasty between c. 2890 – c. 2670 BCE. Bastet is closely linked with Mafdet who was the goddess of justice and the first feline deity in Egyptian history, but some who argue that Bastet remained the more popular of the two gods. Bastet is typically depicted as either a cat or a woman with a cat’s head. Bastet was actually originally depicted with lioness features, but she took on a more housecat-like appearance with age.  

 

With cat’s performing such an important task and the goddess Bastet playing such a large role in Egyptian culture, cats were quickly escalated to revered status. Remember how we said that there were laws to protect cats? During the reign of the Pharaohs, these laws became much more real. Seeing as how Bastet appears in the Pyramid Texts (c. 2400-2300 BCE) as the king of Egypt’s nursemaid in his youth and protector as he grew, to harm a cat was a capital offense while the great Pharaohs of old walked the earth. It was a capital crime to kill or injure a cat, even if the cat died through an unfortunate accident. For example, if your house caught fire, it was expected that cats would get out first, and then the humans. If a cat died, an entire household would go into elaborate mourning. After its death, the cat’s body would be delivered to priests so that they could determine if it had died of natural causes.

 

While you probably know that Pharaohs were embalmed and entombed, did you know that cats shared the same fate after death? Once dead, a cat’s body would be embalmed, mummified, decorated, and either buried in special cemeteries or entombed in temples. To this day, thousands of cats lay preserved in the temples of Bubastis and beyond. Additionally, worshipers would mummify mice so that the cats would have sufficient food in the afterlife. It’s estimated that cat mummies outnumber human mummies by a staggering factor. In the 1800s, a Beni-Hassan was excavated, and over 300,000 cat mummies were found.

What Happened to the Cats?

Back in ancient Egypt, it was illegal to export cats. But if you’ve ever tried to keep a cat out of a certain area you know how impossible that task is. Suffice to say that cats eventually made their way onto ships and sailed to countries bordering the Mediterranean like Greece and Italy. Thanks to caravans, cats found themselves in destinations like India, China, and Japan where they lost most of their godly status, but were still respected as highly prized pets and pest control experts.

10 Ways to Spoil Your Cat

From their birthday to days when you just want to show them a little love, spoiling your cat is a time-honored tradition among cat fanatics. From kittens to senior cats, every cat deserves to be pampered now and again. Below, we’ve listed out some of our favorite fancy feline worthy items that are perfect for spoiling your cat.

DIY Cat Castle

There are cat castles, and then there are cat castles. The greatest aspect of DIY projects is your ability to make the end result as grand or as simple as you want. Buying a cat fort or tree from a pet supply store can be really expensive, but by using supplies you probably already have around the house, or by taking a trip to your local craft store, you can make your very own cat fort for a fraction of the cost. In this DIY, they used cardboard boxes, duct tape, non-toxic paint, and other common craft supplies to make a two-story castle complete with water feature, hanging hammock, and courtyard.

Window Perch

Our kitties love to lounge in the sun, but finding that perfect spot can be hard; until now. If your cat spends hours gazing out the window and sunning itself on the back of your couch, why not combine the two activities? With a suction cup window perch, your cat can either watch the outside world or catch up on some sleep in its very own sunny perch. Check out this Sunny Seat Window Mounted Cat Bed from Oster.

A Kitty Massager

Getting pets from humans gets boring, why not give your kitty the opportunity to get pets and strokes from its very own massager? The Catit Senses 2.0 Wellness Center Cat Toy will help your cat relax and will allow them to groom themselves even better than normal! This mat-like toy has a variety of brushes, textures, and massage ridges that make this toy a favorite among felines.

A Blanket That Fights Back

If your cat likes to pounce on your hands or legs under your blankets, then you’ve got to try this fun product. The Ripple Rug is a durable, bendable, and stimulating play mat that will keep any cat entertained for hours. The bottom of the Ripple Rug is made of a non-slip material so that it will stay in place as your kitten pounces and plays. With small velcro touchpoints, you can reposition your Ripple Rug to make new shapes and play structures at whim. This toy is a must for any blanket or fort-loving cats.

A Magic Laser Pointer

If you love playing chase with your cat with a laser pointer but want to take your games to the next level, then you need to check out this crazy kitty gift. The PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy is a laser toy unlike any other. This toy works by randomly pointing a laser around in 360º patterns to entertain your cat. With an automatic shut off after 15 minutes, your cat will find fun without becoming overstimulated or bored.

A Toy that Just Keeps on Going

There’s nothing better than playing with your cat, but sometimes you need them to entertain themselves for awhile while you get some work done or complete some chores. Enter the HEXBUG nano Robotic Cat Toy. This motorized toy has an uncanny sense of balance and uses that skill to navigate around objects, find its way out of corners, and flip over from its back to its feet in an attempt to escape its captor! With an attached feather lure, this toy will keep your cat’s attention for hours.

A New Kind of Cat Fountain

We’ve all seen the classic blue water bowl fountain that’s popular in most cat households, but have you ever seen a lilypad cat fountain? The Catit Fountain is a cute and quirky take on the classic cat fountain design. This design produces three different flow settings so that you can please your picky drinkers. Add a little fun to your house with this original fountain.

A Trove of Cat Toys

Why bring home only one new cat toy when you could bring home 20? Your cat deserves the best, so show them your love with a new trove of cat toys from Fashion’s Talk. Whether you want to give these toys to your kitty all at once or slowly over the year is up to you, but this is a great and well-rounded set of toys that will please even the pickiest of cats.

A Decoy Laptop

Everyone knows that a cat’s favorite place to be is on your keyboard while you’re trying to use it. Now you can beat them at their own game with this Laptop Cat-Scratching Pad. Set this faux computer up on your desk next to your workstation so that your kitty can stay close while keeping off your important documents or your keyboard.

Kitty TV

It may not be actual TV, but this Wind and Weather One Way Mirrored Bird Feeder will be as close to TV as your cat ever gets. By hiding your cat behind a one-way mirror, this bird feeder entices birds to come and eat right in front of your furry feline. The easy to use suction cup application of this feeder makes it ideal for everyone from renters to homeowners.

Give Your Cat The Very Best with PetPlace

There’s no such thing as “spoiled” when it comes to our cats. Any occasion is a good occasion to give your cat a new toy or accessory. Your kitty is sure to love any of the items listed on this list, but if you really want to show your cat some love, consider checking out some of our cat pet insurance plans. Because what’s a better gift than that of a happy, healthy cat?

Why Do Cats Land on Their Feet?

There’s lots of myths and legends about cats that have been repeated through time. Cats have 9 lives, cats are good luck, cats are unlucky, a cat’s behavior can predict the weather, the list goes on and on. Another one of the more repeated bits about cats is that they always land on their feet. Is that true?

To an extent. Our feline friends are incredibly agile creatures and usually land on their feet when falling from a higher point. But there is a limit to that. This post will break down how cats pull off such acrobatic feats.

The Science of Cats

Cats and humans have been living together for about 10,000 years. Their unique mysterious nature and their athletic prowess has long fascinated humans. In Ancient Egypt, there were several cat-like gods and goddesses. Cats were so beloved by Ancient Egyptians, that after they died some were mummified so that they could spend eternity with their owners.

Scientists have also long shown a curiosity in studying cats. In the late 19th century, a French scientist and filmmaker named Etienne Jules Marey set out to discover how it was that cats seemed to always land on their feet. To do so, he used his chronophotographic camera which could capture 60 frames a second, which was quite the feat in those days. The frames would allow Marey to study the specific movements cats made as they adjusted to land on their feed.

What did he learn?

That the ability was a process, not a singular action. It all starts in the cat’s ear as the vestibular apparatus within the ear serves as the balance and orientation compass for a cat. It alerts the rest of the cats body of which direction is up and down. When a cat is falling, it signals quickly to that they’re not facing the right way, triggering the process. First, the cat will twist its head to find a safe place to land.

Next, the cat’s spine takes its turn. Cats have a unique skeletal structure consisting of no collarbone and an unusually flexible spine with 30 vertebrae. For context, humans have 24 and dogs have 36. Cats have a low body-weight ratio, so they’re able to slow the velocity in which they’re are falling. The flexibility of the cat’s spine allows for the cat to quickly correct its position during freefall. When the spine is twisting, the cat’s back arches, and their front paws move jump below their face to protect their head from impact. During the final landing, the cat’s back leg joints absorb the landing.

How High Can Cats Fall?

A cat’s ability to right itself midair and safely land on its feet is certainly impressive, but certain heights can be dangerous, even fatal, for a cat. Typically, felines that fall from greater heights, such as more than five floors, tend to suffer less severe injuries than those falling from just a couple stories. The longer freefall gives cats more time to right themselves and position their bodies correctly.

There have been some remarkable examples of cats landing from tremendous heights. In Boston, a kitty defied the odds and landed safely from a frightening 19-story fall.

Keep Your Kitty Safe

While it can be fascinating to see our cats leap of high book shelves or staircases and stick a perfect landing, cat owners should be mindful of their cats health and try to avoid giving them the temptation to make mighty leaps. One place to keep an eye out is windows.

As all cat owners can testify, kitties love to perch up on window seals and gaze out at the great outdoors. Birds, bugs, squirrels, rabbits, and pedestrians are fun for cats to look at. However, if the window is open or the screen is not secure, sometimes cats can be tempted to go from observer to participant. If that window is in the top floor of your home, or if you live in an apartment window, the distance your cat will free fall towards the ground could present a problem for them. Make sure to keep your windows closed, or, if they’re open to let in a breeze, make sure that your window screens are secure enough that your kitty won’t be able to leap out.

Learn more about your cat’s safety at PetPlace!

Spaying Your Cat: A Post-Operation Guide

If you’re planning on bringing home a new kitten, one of the first tasks you’ll be faced with is either getting your kitten spayed or neutered and then caring for your kitten post-operation. Having your cat spayed or neutered can have many health, financial, and behavioral benefits. Caring for your kitten post-op is easy, follow our tips below to keep your new furry family member healthy and happy following their spaying or neutering procedure.

 

What is Spaying or Neutering?

First, the spaying procedure is done on female kittens and the neutering procedure on males. The spaying procedure, medically known as an ovariohysterectomy, is the surgical procedure in which both ovaries and most of the uterus is removed from your kitten’s body.

Neutering, on the other hand, is medically called an orchiectomy or castration, and entails the removal of the testicles of a male kitten. The two procedures may be different in their execution, but their end goal is the same. Once a kitten has been spayed or neutered they are no longer able to produce offspring. But that’s not where the benefits end.

 

The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Kitten

The benefits of spaying or neutering your kitten go far beyond simply eliminating their ability to have young. From behavioral improvements to far-reaching positive health implications, spaying or neutering your new kitten can have an impactful positive effect on your kitten for the rest of its life.

The Benefits of Spaying:

  • It prevents your cat from going into heat.
  • It prevents your cat from getting pregnant.
  • It may make your cat more gentle and affectionate.
  • It may help prevent your cat from getting breast cancer later in life.
  • It prevents your cat from getting an infection in the uterus later in life.
  • It prevents cancer of the uterus or ovaries.
  • The cost of spaying is far less expensive than the cost of raising a litter of kittens.

The Benefits of Neutering:

  • It prevents your kitten from getting a female kitten pregnant.
  • It may make your kitten more gentle and affectionate.
  • It may keep your kitten from roaming and getting into fights with other animals.
  • It prevents your kitten from getting cancer of the testicles or prostate gland later in life.
  • It helps prevent your cat from spraying urine in the house.
  • The cost of neutering is far less expensive than the cost of raising a litter of kittens.

 

The Day of Your Kitten’s Operation

When the day comes for your kitten to be spayed or neutered, there are a few steps your vet will ask you to take to ensure your kitten has a successful operation. But take note; all instructions are subject to your vet’s recommendations. Your vet will give you detailed instructions to follow the morning of your kitten’s surgery; make sure that you follow those instructions exactly.

First, you’ll need to take up your cat’s food and water at night so that they can’t eat through the night or eat in the morning. Next, you’ll need to load your kitten into his or her carrier and take them to the vet. Your vet will most likely ask you to drop off your kitten early in the morning so that they have ample time to perform the surgery and monitor your kitten as he or she wakes up post-op. Give your kitty lots of love when you drop him or her off before saying goodbye.

The actual surgery will only take about 30 minutes, but your vet will keep your kitty around until they have woken up from their anesthesia. When you pick your kitten up from the vet, they’ll provide you with detailed post-op instructions. Those instructions will most likely include:

  • Keep your kitten in its e-collar at all times until your vet gives you the clearance to remove it. This will most likely be around 10 days post-op. You’ll need to leave it on when your cat is eating, sleeping, and up and about. No exceptions.
  • Keep an eye on your kitten’s stitches to monitor its recovery. If the area becomes inflamed or discolored, talk to your vet.
  • Keep your cat calm in the two weeks after its surgery. Some vets may recommend secluding your kitten in a smaller room when you leave to limit their mobility.
  • If there are other cats in your house, you’ll need to keep your cats separated post-op. Your kitten’s e-collar will keep it from licking its stitches, but there will be nothing to stop your other cat from licking your kitten’s stitches while you’re at work if you leave them together. When you’re home, make sure that you’re keeping your older cat from aggravating your kitten’s surgical wounds.
  • You may need to get creative with your feeding routine. With the e-collar on, some kittens won’t be able to eat out of their food dish. Most have found success by elevating their kitten’s dish so that the e-collar doesn’t hit the floor while they’re eating.
  • You’ll need to keep up with your cat’s pain management routine carefully post-op. Attach a magnetic whiteboard to your fridge so that you can write down when you last gave your kitten its meds and when it will need them again.

 

Keeping Your Kitten Happy Post-Op

If you follow all of our tips above, you’ll find that keeping your kitten happy and healthy post-op can be easy. Make sure to keep a watchful eye on your kitten and watch for any adverse reactions to the procedure. If you have any questions or become concerned about your kitten’s health, call your vet immediately.

Does a Kitten Make a Good Gift?

You’ve probably heard the sad stats about pets who are adopted at Christmas in a bid to surprise loved ones only to be abandoned in the weeks that follow by couples who were not prepared to provide for their new family member. Because that’s what pets are; family members. Living things are not gifts; they deserve a home and a family who are prepared for their arrival and who are able to provide them with the love and care they need. A live animal should not be purchased on a whim. The choice to adopt a new kitten, puppy, hamster, or anything else needs to be discussed between two informed adults.

 

The winter holidays are over, but there’s still one holiday left that many use as an opportunity to bring home a new pet; Valentine’s Day. Don’t get us wrong; bringing home a new pet can be an exciting time, and a pet can be a great addition to a home. But for all of the reasons listed above, we want to provide you with an accurate depiction of what your new kitten will need from you prior to and after you bring it home. Additionally, we will provide some tips on how you can still achieve the “surprise” factor you’re looking for this Valentine’s Day while still being considerate of your new furry family member.

Factors to Think About Before Bringing Home a New Kitten

As mentioned above, bringing home a new kitten can’t be a spur of the moment decision. Bringing home a new kitten needs to be discussed thoroughly between you and your partner prior to your kitten’s arrival. Here are some key points you’ll need to cover during that discussion.

 

  • Are we willing to devote the time needed to litter box train our kitten?
  • Are we financially able to afford all of the supplies needed to raise a kitten?
  • Are we financially able to afford the cost of our kitten’s vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and continued vet care?
  • Are we willing to commit to this kitten for the 12-15 years of our lives?
  • Will we be able to make arrangements for someone to care for our cat while we are away?
  • Do we have any pets or family members that will not tolerate the addition of a new pet due to physiological or medical reasons?
  • Are we willing to kitten-proof our house for our kitten?
  • Should we get our kitten from a breeder or a shelter?
  • Does our current place of residence allow pets?

Supplies Your Kitten Will Need

While the kitten will definitely be the most notable new addition to your home, you’ll need to add quite a few additional kitten supplies to keep him or her happy and healthy. Here’s a beginner’s list to help you get started.

  • Collar
  • ID Tag
    • Engraved with your name and number in case your kitten gets out
  • Food and water dishes
  • Scratching post
  • Brush
  • Nail trimmer
  • Cat Bed
  • Food
    • You’ll need to continue feeding your kitten whatever they were eating at their last home, be that a breeder or a shelter, before slowly transitioning over to your new food of choice. Your vet will be able to give you some great recommendation for cat food to best complement your kitten
  • Toys
  • Litter
  • Litter boxes
    • It’s recommended to have one more litter box than kittens in your household. For example, if you have one kitten, we suggest getting two litter boxes; two kittens need three litter boxes, and so on, and so forth.
  • A cat carrier
    • For trips to the vet and for the car ride home
  • Disinfectant spray
    • For when your kitty is first learning how to use their litter box
  • A pooper scooper

How to Prep Your Home for Your New Kitten

If you’ve made it this far, then you’re seriously considering bringing home a new kitten for Valentine’s Day. Here’s the next step in your process: kitten-proofing. While most know that they need to puppy-proof, for some reason, people fall short when it comes to kitten-proofing. Here’s a quick guide to get your home kitten ready.

  • Put away any loose cords, or minimize cords where possible with zip ties or velcro strips.  
  • Move valuable and breakable items away from the edges of furniture
  • Vacuum to remove any dangerous small objects from your flooring
  • Seal any kitten-accessible crevices such as open ductwork or vents
  • Take stock of your houseplants and remove any that pose a risk to your kitten

How to Responsibly Surprise Your Loved one with a Kitten on Valentine’s Day

It’s easy to surprise your loved one with a kitten responsibly. Here’s how we recommend you accomplish this feat. When Valentine’s Day comes, you have a few options:

  • Surprise your loved one with a beautifully wrapped kitten collar and the news that you’re going to pick out a kitten together as soon as you’re both ready.
  • Create a “Free Kitten” coupon and gift it to your loved one in their Valentine’s Day card. Then you can both go and choose your kitten together when you’re both ready.
  • While your loved one is out, set up all of your new kitten supplies throughout your home. When your loved one comes home and sees the new additions, surprise them with the news that you’re getting a kitten for Valentines Day. Later, you can both go and choose a kitten together when you’re ready.

 

Wagging In The Workplace Infographic: The Benefits of Pets At Work

You’ve probably read articles about the benefits of eating lunch at work somewhere else than your desk. You may have noticed information about the value of getting up and moving during the work day. But what about the value of having a pet at work? How much do you know about that?

Turns out, more and more of us have pets—about two-thirds of all U.S. households in fact—which means many of us don’t want to leave those furry friends all day long. But still, bringing a pet to work isn’t exactly accepted practice in most workplaces. But it might be, if companies began to consider the host of benefits.

Can Pets at Work Improve Employee Retention?

For example, pets at work are a great way to lessen stress and improve employee retention—and those are just two plusses. But how do you institute a pet-friendly workplace policy, and why should you consider it? This graphic explains it.

Wagging in the workplace: Benefits of pets at workWagging in the workplace: Benefits of pets at workInfographic by Quill

 

Catnip: What It Is and How It Affects Your Cat

When you’re strolling through the cat-designated aisles of your local pet shop, you’ll no doubt see catnip offered in a variety of forms. You’ll see it packaged in flake form, sprinkled on toys, compressed, in a spray form, oil form, and even in bubble form. But what is catnip? While most cat owners know that catnip is used to have a calming effect on your kitty, we often are asked what catnip is and how it works. We figured we’d create this post to provide a guide on catnip for curious cat owners.

What is Catnip?

Catnip is the commonly-used name for the plant Nepeta Cataria, which in Latin translates to cat mint. Nepeta Cataria is native is to Europe and Asia, but is now grown all over the world. Growing between two and three feet in height, catnip plants bloom from late spring until fall. The plant is a part of the mint family and is cousins with basil and oregano.

 

The history of catnip is a bit spotty, but it is believed that the Ancient Egyptians, who were major cat enthusiasts, were the first to discover how fond cats are of catnip plants. The love of catnip is not exclusive to domesticated house cats, as larger felines such as cougars, lions, and jaguars have been found to enjoy catnip as well.

 

In addition to being used to keep cats happy, catnip was used in Europe and Asia as an ingredient for herbal medicines and for decorative and fragrance purposes. Once the Europeans brought the plant to North America, Native Americans soon began to use the plant for medicinal purposes as well.

Why Do Cats Love Catnip?

Without hitting you with too much science, cats dig catnip because it contains the organic compound nepetalactone, which is a cat attractant. What a cat likes and doesn’t like comes down to how it smells to them. Even their taste in food is based mostly on how it hits their noses. Not all cats love catnip, however.  The appeal of catnip for cats is hereditary, and about 33% of cats are unaffected by catnip. You’ll know right away whether your cat does or doesn’t enjoy catnip, as the effect is almost immediate. If your cat has the catnip-loving gene, one quick sniff of catnip and your kitty will be chewing and licking the catnip in glee.

Effects of Catnip on Cats

Smelling the scent of catnip releases pheromones in cats that trigger positive behavioral reactions. Cats react to catnip by licking it, chewing it, pawing at it, and smelling it. Soon after interacting with catnip, cats that are affected by the plant display behaviors such as drooling, drowsiness, playful energy, and purring.

Things to Know About Catnip

The degree to which a cat is affected by catnip can vary based upon the form of the catnip, the cat’s temperament, and amount of catnip your cat is exposed to. The following are a few things cat owners should know about catnip.

Catnip with Multiple Cats

While most reactions to catnip are positive, some cats may react to catnip with excessive energy or aggression. If you have multiple cats, it’s best to introduce catnip to them individually and in small doses to observe their reaction.

Growing Your Own Catnip

Catnip can be easily grown by pet owners if you would like to supply your cat with a homegrown brand of catnip. To do so, just buy some catnip seeds and get them planted after the last freeze of the season. The plants need plenty of room to grow and do better in porous soil and full sunlight. When full grown, the cuttings should be hung upside down in a dark, dry, airy space to dry. The dried leaves can then be stored in airtight containers in the fridge and served to your kitty.

Catnip Tea

Both you and your kitty can enjoy catnip! Prepared as a tea or infusion, the nepetalactone ingredient in catnip acts as a mild sedative, which can be helpful in relieving nausea, headaches, and even toothaches. Enjoy a warm cup of catnip tea at night and it might even help with insomnia. Or, fix up a lunch of tuna sandwiches and catnip tea, two things that can be enjoyed both by cat owners and their cats.

Pet Insurance for Your Kitten

If your cat has the gene that makes them drawn to catnip, there’s plenty of applications for catnip that your cat will enjoy. You can sprinkle it on their favorite toys, rub it along their cat tree or bed, spray it near their common hang out spots, or put a few flakes on their food.

Best Christmas Themed Cat Names

Christmas is a time for coming together with good friends and family. And for most, that includes furry family members as well. Around the holidays, breeders and shelters alike see an increase in adoptions. Whether you’re bringing home your first kitten or your third, it can be tempting to get swept up in the holiday cheer and bring home a new friend. But we would say a word of caution. The holidays can be an excellent time to bring home a new kitten for those who are planning to stay around the house and relax, but it may not be the best time to adopt if you’re planning on going on vacation for either Christmas or New Years. While cats are a little more hands off than other pets, like a dog, for example, they’ll still need love and attention to help them become accustomed to their new home.

And don’t forget about kitty proofing. The holidays can be a dangerous time for pets, including young, curious kittens. Even older cats can become enamored with dangerous holiday staples like Christmas lights or tinsel on the tree. You’ll need to make sure that your home is kitten-proofed before bringing home a new furry friend, and doing so during the holidays can be tricky.

We aren’t trying to counsel you away from bringing home a new kitten or adult cat this holiday season; we just want to make sure that you’re prepared for the reality of bringing home a living being. If you’ve prepared, and have planned ahead, then bringing home a new kitty for Christmas can be a wonderful and rewarding experience.

One of the most exciting aspects of bringing home a new pet is deciding on a name! And what a better way to utilize the holiday season than by giving your Christmas kitty and holiday-themed name? From Angle to Zuzu, we’ve compiled some of our favorite Christmas-themed cat names to help you find the right name for your new furry family member this holiday season. Enjoy!

Traditional Christmas Figures

These traditional Christmas figures have helped to shape Christmas with their love and cheer. What better way to celebrate the holiday than by giving your new kitty a traditional Christmas name?

  • Angel
  • Balthasar (one of the wise men)
  • Bethlehem
  • Caspar (one of the wise men)
  • Claus
  • Emmanuel
  • Frank (incense) – Gift from the wiseman
  • Gabriel (Christmas Angel)
  • Gloria
  • Glory
  • Joseph
  • Joy
  • Magi
  • Malachi (God’s messenger)
  • Melchior (wiseman)
  • Myrrh
  • Naz
  • Nazareth
  • Noel
  • Shepherd
  • Spirit
  • Star
  • Starlight

Pop Culture Christmas Figures

From famous literary characters to flying reindeer, this list has it all! Read on to find the purrfect pop culture Christmas name for your cat!

  • Bert (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • Blitzen
  • Clarence (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • Comet
  • Cratchit
  • Cupid
  • Donner
  • Ebenezer
  • Ernie (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • George (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • Harry (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • Jack (for Mr.Frost)
  • Jack Frost
  • Kris
  • Mary (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • Raron (for the Little Drummer Boy)
  • Rudolf
  • Rudy
  • Scrooge
  • Susan (from Miracle of 34th)
  • Tiny Tim
  • Zuzu (from It’s a Wonderful Life)

Christmas-Inspired Names

From decorations to classic holiday figures, the names on this list can be both on the nose, or a bit more vague. Find a name that can evoke the Christmas spirit all year long with this list.

  • Bell
  • Bella
  • Beth
  • Blessing
  • C.D. (Christmas Dog)
  • Candle
  • Candy
  • Carol
  • Christian
  • Christmas Cookie
  • Coal (for bad cats only)
  • Crystal
  • Douglas Fir
  • Elden (meaning Elf)
  • Elf
  • Fir
  • Forest
  • Frosty
  • Fraser Fir
  • Fudge
  • Garland
  • Gift
  • Holly
  • Ice
  • Isabella
  • Ivy
  • Merry
  • Midnight (it came upon a midnight clear)
  • Mistletoe
  • Nicholas
  • Nick
  • North
  • Peace
  • Pecan
  • Poinsettia
  • Pumpkin
  • Sleigh
  • Snow
  • Snowball
  • Tinsel
  • Twinkle

Home for the Holidays With PetPlace

The holidays are fast approaching! If you’re planning on bringing home a new feline family member we hope that this list has helped you to narrow down your name choices. Of course, you’ll probably want to meet your new cat first. But now you have a list ready for when the day arrives! Do you want to know what the most common cat names mean? We have an entire blog dedicated to the “meaning” behind common male and female cat names. Happy holidays!

Choosing a Russian Blue

The Russian Blue, also known as the Archangel Cat, is a gentle, courteous cat that wears a perpetual Mona Lisa smile. This breed is a growing favorite with feline fanciers. Although currently still rare, an increasing number of cat lovers are discovering the joys of singing rhapsodies in blue. With his vivid green eyes, silver-blue coat and pleasing body style, the Russian Blue is a strikingly beautiful breed. And his pleasing personality and playful temperament make him a delightful companion.

History and Origin of Russian Blue Cats

The Russian Blue has been around long enough for its ancestry to be shrouded in legend and conjecture. According to accounts, the Russian Blue has existed for centuries in the White Sea port town of Archangel in northern Russia, about 150 miles from the Arctic Circle. No direct evidence exists to prove this, but the breed’s thick coat gives credence to the theory that they developed in a cold climate, and, according to reports, Blue shorthairs still exist in Russia today.

It’s thought that British sailors transported Russian Blue cats to Great Britain in the 1860s. At the first modern-day cat show held at London’s Crystal Palace in 1871, a Russian Blue was shown under the name “Archangel Cat.” Early photos show the cat as a solid blue feline of foreign type with a short, dense, glossy coat. Besides Archangel Cat, in the past, the breed was also known as the Spanish Blue, Foreign Blue and Maltese Blue. Over the years, the term “Maltese” came to mean any solid blue cat.

In 1912, the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) acknowledged that the Russian Blue was distinctly different from the British Blues with which it had been competing and granted the breed a class of its own. The breed made good progress until World War II when it almost ceased to exist. While people were struggling to stay alive, maintaining their cats’ bloodlines wasn’t their main priority.

During the 1940s and 1950s, two breeder groups, one in Britain and one in Scandinavia, worked to save the breed from extinction by crossbreeding the few hardy survivors with other breeds like the Blue Point Siamese and the British Blue. In 1965, a group of British breeders began efforts to restore the Russian Blue to its original appearance by breeding together the lines developed in Scandinavia and Britain.

The Russian Blue arrived in America in the early 1900s, but it was not until the 1960s that serious attempts at promoting and developing the breed began. Imports from Britain helped improve the U.S. stock, and today America’s Russian Blue is considered so highly that examples of the breed have been sent to Europe to improve their bloodlines. While still uncommon, the Russian Blue has gained an enthusiastic following both in North America and in nearly every other continent of the world.

Appearance of a Russian Blue

The Russian Blue’s body style is “foreign,” which means long, lithe and slender. While appearing slim, the Russian Blue is actually quite muscular and strong and can leap to the top of the tallest bookcase with ease. Its head is wedge-shaped, but the face appears broader than it actually is because of the wide set of the eyes and the thick facial fur. The large ears are also set far apart and are wide at the base. The slight upturn to the corners of the mouth makes Russian Blues appear to be forever smiling at some secret joke. The eyes are always vivid green.

This breed’s most distinctive feature – its beautiful coat – is silky, plush and so dense it stands out from the body. The thick undercoat gives the coat its density, and no doubt helped protect the cat from the harsh winters in its native land.

The Russian Blue, as one might expect, comes in only one color and pattern – solid blue. The color that cat fanciers call blue is actually gray to the rest of us. The coat’s outer hairs are decorated with silver tipping that reflects light, giving the coat a silvery sheen. Although blue is the only color accepted by the North American registries, other colors are accepted in other countries. The Australian Cat Federation (ACF), for example, accepts the Russian in blue, black, and white.

Russian Blue Cat’s Personality

Russian Blues are gentle, reserved cats that usually can be found under the bed when strangers come to call. Russian Blues like their usual routine and dislike environmental changes more than the average cat. With their own chosen humans, however, they are playful and affectionate and develop close bonds of loyalty and love. Active but not annoyingly so, Russian Blues like nothing better than retrieving a tossed cat toy or chasing sunbeams for your amusement. Agile and light-footed, Blues pussyfoot about the house with the grace of small, furry dancers.

How To Find a Cat Sitter

Are you thinking of going on vacation for the winter holidays? If you’re a cat owner, one of your top concerns for the holiday season is probably finding a cat sitter. While it may be tempting to bribe your neighbor’s ten-year-old to come and check on your cat every few days while you’re away, that really isn’t the safest or most secure way of having your cat looked after while you’re enjoying the holidays. Not only will having a dedicated cat sitter give you peace of mind while you’re traveling, but the companionship will make your cat feel much better as well.

 

Finding a cat sitter that you like and trust may take some time, so we recommend that you begin looking well in advance of the holiday season. Just like regular boarding facilities, pet sitters can quickly become booked by fellow pet lovers over the holidays. This just means that it’s even more important that you interview and suss out candidates before the holidays roll around. You’ll want to find a cat sitter that you find trustworthy, and with whom you are comfortable. If your cat has special needs, such as insulin injections, find a sitter who can give shots or attend to your cat’s unique requirements.

 

When it comes to finding a cat sitter, there are a multitude of avenues available to you. You can try asking your vet for recommendations, asking friends, or using online services such as Care.com, Rover.com, or Petsit.com.

Questions to Ask Your Potential Pet Sitter

Here are some questions that we recommend you prepare ahead of time before interviewing your potential cat sitter.

  • Ask the cat sitter if she is bonded and carries liability insurance.
  • Ask how long she has been in business and what experience with animals she has beyond pet sitting. (qualifications)
  • Get a written list of references.
  • Ask what the pet sitter likes about being a pet sitter.
  • What services are provided with your pet sitters rates and what services would be extra or not provided?
  • Will they be the one handling your pet while you’re on vacation? This question should be asked if you’re interviewing a service provider as opposed to an individual care provider.
  • What will their procedure be in the case of an emergency, such as your cat becoming ill.
  • What form of communication will the cat sitter be using to reach you
  • How frequently cat you expect updates on your cat?
  • What form will the updates be coming in? Emailed report cards, daily pictures, daily videos?

But wait, this conversation should be twofold. Here are some questions that a good cat sitter will ask you during your interview.

  • Your potential cat sitter should ask you about your cat’s diet.
  • Feeding schedule.
  • Clean up process.
  • Disposing of waste procedure.
  • Games your cat likes to play.
  • Usual habits your cat has.
  • Your cat’s sleeping habits.
  • Where you keep the cat food.
  • Where the litter box and supplies are.

Responsibilities You Can Expect Your Cat Sitter to Perform

The responsibilities of being a cat sitter are many. A sitter should clean the litter box daily, but don’t expect her to clean a week’s worth of waste that you neglected to clean prior to your trip. You’ll need to let your sitter know where you store all of your cat-related supplies, including any medications for any of your cat’s illnesses or dietary concerns. You’ll also need to share some of your cat’s individual characteristics with your sitter, such as does your cat hide from strangers? Where are your cat’s favorite spots?

We recommend that you introduce your cat to your sitter before you leave for vacation. If you’re comfortable with it, you could have your first interview with your potential cat sitter at your house to see how your cat reacts. During the time when your cat sitter is watching your cat while you’re on vacation, we recommend that they visit once a day. This way, your cat sitter will be aware quickly if something is wrong with either your cat or your house. Having a cat sitter visit every couple of days may seem attractive due to the money you could save, but we think that having peace of mind is worth the extra money when financially possible.

The last two steps when it comes to securing a cat sitter are finalizing a contract and handing over important items and documents. Some cat sitters might ask you to sign a contract that itemizes dates of coverage, the cost of your services, and liabilities. You’ll want to discuss the terms of payment and whether payment is required upfront with your sitter before signing. Next, you’ll need to give the sitter a key to your home for the duration of your vacation. Exchange contact information that includes your name, phone number, emergency number, your vet’s number, and the number of the hotel you’ll be staying at or the landline of the house you’ll be staying with. Your cat sitter should provide you with all of her contact information in the contract, or on a business card. You may also want to give your veterinarian a letter to keep on file that says that while you are away, the sitter will have the authority to seek treatment for your cat if necessary, and you will be responsible for any fees.

Find a Cat Sitter for Your Cat This Holiday Season

Whether you’re going across the country or across the state, finding a cat sitter can make your holiday vacation plans go so much smoother. With the proper vetting and research, you can leave your fur baby at home knowing that they’re in safe hands. Happy holidays!