Posts in Kijiji Pets

It’s Raining Feral Cats!

You may know Pharrell Williams. Probably Will Ferrell too. But have you heard the term “feral cats” before? If you aren’t quite sure what a feral cat is, don’t worry, you aren’t alone!

A “feral” cat is a cat who has reverted in some form or another to a wild state. Feral cats originate from former domestic cats who were lost or abandoned and then learned to live outdoors or in environments involving little human contact. In the Greater Toronto Area alone there are estimated to be over 100,000 feral cats roaming the streets. Now that’s a lot of cats!

Luckily, the Ontario SPCA has created three innovative programs to help the kind people that care for the feral cats of our communities rain or shine! The first is a Feral Cat Trap Depot Program where the Society loans out cat traps to feral cat caretakers at no charge. The hope is that these cats will undergo the TNR program (Trap, Neuter and Return) and will rejoin the stray cat population without the possibility of having more babies.

The second is a Free Feral Food Bank which provides a steady support of food to help out the feral cat caretakers. Without this program, the dedicated caretakers use their own money to personally care for these cats that have unfortunately been abandoned by our society.

And last but not least, the Ontario SPCA and their volunteers build feral cat shelters for feral cat caretakers so that they can provide a safe, warm place for feral cats during our cold, harsh winters. We know how cold it can be for us (who have warm houses to deal with the extreme temperatures), so you can understand why the need for these cats to have a warm place to call their own is so important. No one wants to be stuck out in a blizzard with no where to take shelter!

So why are the numbers of feral cats so high? We think it’s from a lack of spaying and neutering. To give you some perspective, in seven years, just one unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 80,000 kittens!

Shelters across the country are constantly taking in animals that are unfixed. According to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, 25,000 cats and over 8,500 dogs were spayed or neutered while at shelters in 2013 (please note: this does not include statistics from the Ontario SPCA).

It’s been proven over the years that spaying and neutering pets can really make a difference in the number of homeless pets on our streets. For example, since the Ontario SPCA Marion Vernon Memorial Animal Clinic opened in Barrie in 2009, the Ontario SPCA Barrie Branch has seen shelter cat intake reduce by 53%! In six years, that’s definitely a lot less homeless pets on the streets! Overall at Ontario SPCA Branches across the province, shelter intake has reduced by 27%.

Doing your part to help manage the current pet overpopulation crisis makes such a large impact that it can be seen in communities across Ontario. Imagine what we could accomplish if everyone spayed and neutered their pets?

Want to learn more about the importance of fixing your pet? Visit fixyourpet.ca – it’s the kindest thing you can do!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Aquariums, terrariums, and cages – which is right for your pet?

If you are thinking of adopting a small pet, such as a rodent, fish, reptile, or amphibian, caring for their habitat is an integral part of caring for the animal. It isn’t enough just to make sure they are fed and with access to fresh water – their cages have to be kept clean too.

An aquarium is pretty much the only option if you want to keep fish or another aquatic pet (barring a pond in your backyard). Aquariums can also be used to create a terrarium, either to house amphibians or reptiles, or just to grow plants. If you use an aquarium for a terrarium or to keep rodents, remember not to put it in direct sunlight, as the “greenhouse” effect will make it far too hot, and there is very little ventilation.

One advantage to keeping rodents in an aquarium is that the wood chips are contained, and won’t end up all over the floor. A special mesh or plastic top can be purchased especially for keeping rodents in an aquarium, that will allow ventilation and keep other household pets out of their enclosure. Don’t use a solid cover, as mammals require ventilation and may become sick if they don’t have access to fresh air.

There are a wide variety of different types of terrariums, and you should research which type is best for your reptilian or amphibious pet. Aquatic terrariums are much like aquariums, but require much less water and have different décor than an aquarium, generally including at least one area where the pet can climb onto a surface outside of the water to bask in warmth. Semi-aquatic terrariums have a combination of land and water, and often have a heat source over the land. A woodland terrarium is an ideal habitat for tree frogs and many other animals that live in a forest in the wild. These often feature full spectrum lighting and many types of plants. A desert terrarium imitates the desert climate, and often features plants such as cacti. Different reptiles and amphibians have wildly varying specific needs, so if you are interested in maintaining a terrarium as a pet habitat, be sure to extensively research the requirements of the animals you are interested in owning.

Wire cages are a popular choice for rodents, likely due to their low cost and the ease of cleaning them. They provide great ventilation, but if you have cats or any other predatory pets, these cages make it easy for them to get their noses or claws uncomfortably close to your smaller pet. Some designs of wire cages are much easier for a rodent to escape from, especially a hamster, rat, mouse, or gerbil. If you opt for a wire cage, ensure that the model you purchase is designed for the type of pet you have opted for. Wire cages are a fantastic option for larger rodents, such as rabbits or guinea pigs, as they are much lighter weight(and thus significantly easier to clean) when dealing with a large enclosure.

Categories:Kijiji Pets

‘Tis the Season to Keep Pets Safe! Remember Fido When Planning Your Holiday Celebrations

Can you believe the holidays are already upon us?! Time to start ticking names off that holiday shopping list and gathering all the yummy ingredients for your holiday meal. It’s an exciting time, but when it comes to our pets, let’s not forget the dangers that come along with all the festivities. So many new scents, visitors coming and going, treats, candy and so much more. Our furry friends become vulnerable to many new dangers at this time of year. It’s important to keep them safe because let’s face it – the holidays would be missing something special if our pets were injured or sick because they got into something they shouldn’t have!

Christmas Cat Says Stay Safe

What can you do to make sure Fido and Whiskers are safe this holiday season?

Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit more than getting out our favourite holiday decorations and putting them in the perfect spots throughout our home. Tinsel is one of those things that comes to mind when we think of holiday decorating. It is fun to play with and hang on the Christmas tree, but cats and dogs are attracted to tinsel and if swallowed, it could cause serious harm. If tinsel is a holiday staple in your apartment or house, make sure it’s out of pet’s reach.

Our furry friends are always quite curious, so putting up a decorated tree will definitely peak their curiosity! To prevent your tree from falling on your pet, we recommend securing it to the wall. You wouldn’t want it to fall over when your pup goes by to sniff your new masterpiece!

Beware of pets around open flames on candles as this may also peak their curiosity. If they get too close, they may knock them over and accidently injure themselves or start a fire.

We all know how much our pets love to chew. When they see wires, batteries, glass and plastic ornaments, they probably wouldn’t think twice about chowing down! The simple solution is to hang your ornaments higher up on the tree, and hide any kind of wires as much as possible.

Holiday plants and flowers add lots of atmosphere to any home. But did you know, Holly can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea? Mistletoe and poinsettia can also cause stomach upset. It’s best to choose some other festive item (like fake flowers and plants) when decorating your home to make sure it stays pet-friendly.

Do you include your pets in your holiday gift-giving? Do they have their own special stocking hanging next to mom and dad’s? If you’re giving gifts to your pets, choose gifts that are safe for them. Some pets like to eat the stuffing found in toys. If this sounds like your pet, it’s best to avoid these types of toys.

We bet your holiday meal smells delicious! Remember: it also smells delicious to your pets! They may be tempted to sneak a bite or two of their own so it might be a good idea to keep them in a separate and comfortable room while serving and eating your holiday meal. If you’re serving alcohol, like human food and chocolate, alcoholic beverages are not meant for pets.

Using these tips won’t take up too much of your time, but they’ll definitely help keep the feline and canine members of your family out of trouble! So when you’re drinking your eggnog, playing some festive holiday music and celebrating with your loved ones, you can rest assured that your pets’ safety has been taken care of. Wishing everyone and their pets a very happy-and safe-holiday!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Because there’s No Greater Gift than the Love of an Animal, iAdopt for the Holidays

Be a part of a Canadian program that drives pet adoption during the upcoming holiday season!  

The Ontario SPCA had such amazing success with their “iAdopt for the Holidays” adoption campaign last year that it’s back again this year across Canada! Over 50+ participating SPCA’s, Humane Societies and Animal Rescues are on board to get as many pets adopted into their new loving homes over the holidays as possible.  
OSPCA: adopt a cat this holiday season

What is iAdopt for the Holidays all about? iAdopt For the Holidays is a two-month adoption drive that aims to change the lives of orphaned pets. Since more families bring a new pet home during the holidays than any other time of the year, this campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption by sharing the positive real life pet adoption stories of others.  
OSPCA: adopt a dog this holiday season
How can you make this campaign an ever greater success this year? Drop in to one of many participating societies across Canada from November 1st to December 31st to meet your new furrrever friend! We also invite you to take part in the iAdopt Facebook contest. Submit your pet adoption story along with a photo of your pet and your reason for adopting, for a chance to win great prizes!   If you’re interested in learning more about iAdopt for the Holidays and finding your local participating society, check out www.iadopt.ca.

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Local Heroes Inside Story: Amanda & Jackson’s Story – Saving Each Other

Every so often, we find a truly incredible story about how Kijiji has played a role in turning someone’s life around. While all Local Heroes are special in their own right, stories like Amanda and Jackson’s – and their incredible bond –remind us of the power of community, and its ability to positively affect us.

Over the past five years, Amanda from Ontario has undergone a number of challenges in her life, leaving her feeling alone and sad. However, she found solace in her roommate’s dog. From this, Amanda decided she would adopt a pet through Kijiji to see if it could help brighten her spirits

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After searching high and low for a Bernese Mountain Dog – a favourite breed of hers; Amanda located a male puppy just over two hours away. As Amanda described her experience, it was love at first sight, but she was hesitant in case their first meeting didn’t go as well as she hoped. “I knew I had to meet him. I set up a time to meet [Jackson] pushing aside all of my hope because I had a feeling things may not go as planned. But when he came out of the back room I knew he was perfect.”

A little skittish at first, Jackson quickly bonded with Amanda; instantly cementing their relationship.

However, over the two years since they met, Amanda’s medical conditions worsened and became more complicated – to the point where she could not leave her own home. But thankfully, Jackson was there to pick up on Amanda’s feelings and help give her a new lease on life. “Jackson is the most emotionally intelligent dog I have ever encountered. He picks up on my feelings and responds very quickly. I feel less alone, more confident, and the happiest I’ve been in years.”

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So much so that a few months ago, Amanda began to train Jackson as her service canine, a role she credits as allowing her to finally get out of the house again and start living life to the fullest. While Jackson is still in training as of today, he has learned to pick up her emotional cues quickly, and is improving each and every day. So much so, that he looks forward to being “on duty.”

To Amanda, Jackson is her Local Hero. As she tells us, “Jackson means the world to me. To express it into words is extremely difficult. To me he represents independence, confidence, love and friendship; and has made me feel all of these things after years of feeling the opposite. I am so grateful to have him in my life, and couldn’t ask for a better dog – or best friend.”

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Amanda’s story has touched us in so many ways. The compassion we feel for animals, is easily returned by inviting them into our homes. We salute Jackson for the astounding Local Hero he is, but we also honour Amanda, for sharing such a deep story with all of us. On behalf of the thousands of pets and their owners who have met through Kijiji, we thank you!

Know a Local Hero in your community? Submit their Local Hero story today!