Monday , 19 February 2018

How much attention do cats really need?

When did we start believing and accepting that cats are able to stay home ALONE for days at a time? 3, 4 days even 5 days alone.
Fill 5 bowls of food, 5 bowls of water and 2 litter boxes out for them to fend for themselves on this great adventure!!!

Its true, cats are more independent than dogs. They use their own litter and some can eat according to what they need. cat lovers, cats need attention, lots of love, the furry, no more independentSome cats like their space and others make sure your space is theirs. Our first cat was Minny (yes, as in Minny Mouse). She was black and white, SHD. We really loved her, spoiled her. She would always sleep with us and accepted all the attention we gave her. Years later, a rescue found us and we named him Mickey. (Yes, as in Mickey Mouse – we were very original!) I can honestly say our pets have always been part of the family and followed us everywhere. Mickey would walk a block every morning with me heading to school, awaiting my return with his cute little nose on the window knowing it was about time I arrived home.

My mom worked in a travel agency and we got to travel around the world. To this day I thank her for giving me the opportunity to learn hands on, the culture and values of many nationalities. I was still young but I always cared for my pets with gentleness and always wanted their space as clean as I would have wanted it to be for myself.  I knew the quality of care truly needed for cats. We were lucky to have family around us that took care of Mickey when we were gone.  My nonna was the best, she always gave lots of love and attention, but the rest.. ehhh who can complain when you get a free service + it’s family. Basic needs were met:  Feeding, litter change when full, water changes when water was cloudy.  As an older child, I  rescued a lovebird (Pepito) and was interested in plants. And then there was one of my favourites – my cat named Cloudy. He was my boy. Named for the colour of clouds around his cute little body. I had him since he was a baby.

I would travel visiting my dad almost 3 times a year and Cloudy, Pepito and plants would all stay with nonna.

Some time later, after recognizing my increasing passion for animal welfare, I began to teach myself and really look into animal behaviour. More about how my furry,  feathery and scaly babies were being cared for.  Even if they had the attention they needed , there were certain things I wanted to maintain. Call me a perfectionist.

Nonna was traveling with us at one time, I left my bird to another caregiver (free) and they forgot to give him water.  I’ll spare you the tragic details. Plants were also forgot and most died.

After continuously being disappointed and scrabbling around trying to find help, living through these experiences (and more) I learned and forgave. This was the lightbulb moment when I knew that I would be the best advocate to care for animals. I am here to spread the knowledge of what I have been through. Helping you keep your pets safe, comfortable and loved.

Walking down the street one day, thinking about some of the requests I have received through the years.  I don’t judge, I am aware there is a lack of education. Some pet parents ask if I can go see their cats once a week! Some ask for every 4 days!  The first question I ask is why? Most say, “We’ve done it in the past and the cats were ok, not a big deal, but now the trip is longer so every 3-4 days is fine.” Our Angels (at Les Anges Gardiennes Pet Care) are trained to ask questions and educate. We also occasionally discover behavioural issues that follow.  Most of our pet parents understand and change their ways, adopting a new way of thinking. The ones who insist on keeping an “every 3 days” schedule are declined our services.

I founded Les Anges Gardiennes to ensure every pet’s welfare under our wings. To this day, we will not cut corners or accept contracts that are not part of our ethics or value beliefs. To each his own, but I believe we are living in a day where ”owning” a pet is a privilege. Its important to ensure the best quality of service. I myself was taught by my family to do things on your own. If you can do it, why pay someone else?  My views have completely changed, and now I ask for help and let the professionals do what they are specialized to do. Nowadays, cats are more social, they are part of the family and they need attention just as much as dogs – just ask my cats! When I work from home they are on me, they watch TV with me, they sleep with me. When I’m absent even a day – they start wondering why I’m not there (obvious meowing words). They need that human bond even if they live with other cats or pets.  Just look at all the YouTube videos!

The human bond; that connection can never be replaced.

Many cats are very shy during the consultation. Once parents leave for their trip  – it’s not long before the shyest cats begin their curious ways, coming out to see which Angel is here to love them. Even if it’s from afar, they know someone is there looking out for them. Our Angels love to read to them in a gentle tone. This helps with their comfort level and establishes confidence. There are many toys now that you can buy and alternate during the week. This keeps them mentally stimulated (careful with laser pointers as it can have adverse effects on your cats confidence level).

Most times we accept every other day contracts. This generally works with some cats. I accept them because if we do notice behavioural changes in the cats, we contact parents to find solutions.  Some changes we see are – they become clingy, they begin having accidents out of the litter box, they stop eating. Some signs are directly correlated to the lack of human attention, stimulation and home activities. Others from litter boxes being too full or needing a complete wash and change. Our Angels are specialized to assess their daily routine and we recommend different solutions to help. I speak about love and attention, I can’t forget about security. These are living beings and need to be looked after on a regular basis. We can never know what can happen from one day to the next.

When going on vacation, ask a reliable pet sitter to come daily. I recommend 2x a day. If your budget allows, add extra cuddles and some Pawjama Parties so your fur baby feels comfortable and loved even when you cant be there! There are options for cat hotels in a home environment too!

When you make the decision to be a responsible pet parent, these are some of the things you must think about before ever adopting an animal.  Why do you think adoption agencies ask 5 pages of questions before accepting you to adopt?  It’s a serious responsibility and nowadays most of us work and travel a lot.  Just make sure you have the right people on your team to help you.


About lesangesmtl

As a veterinary Technician and Owner of Les Anges Gardiennes Pet Care services , I live my life 1) establashing pet parents and pets a balanced relationship ultimately decreasing the numbers of abandoned animals. 2) Creating and maintaining a high standard quality pet care and customer service whin the animal world 2) helping with pet responsibilities to keep their pet safe, happy an loved 3)Offering passionate animal lovers an opportunity to work and follow a great company in a positive environment filled with wet nosed kisses

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  1. My cat stays upstairs and rarely comes down. Pretty much see her only a little bit during the night, especially when she wakes up. Guess she don’t need a lot of attention.

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