Contact Us


To Get Your Home Cat-Ready For Spring

By Sean-Patrick M. Hillman

Spring fever is almost upon us, and that means cats are longing for the return of their hunt and play instincts, as well as higher levels of energy being expended. When I was a little boy, I rescued my first pet from a cornfield in Upstate New York. We named him Clermont after the town we rescued him in. He spent all of his Summers upstate and Winters in Manhattan. As such, Clermont’s whiskers would begin to grow exponentially as Spring began to warm up the region. He knew it was almost that time of year for him to return to the country. And that meant Clermont was ready to hunt and play. So we always looked to the Spring Equinox as a great time of year to get things back in order for Clermont.

As we all get into traditions like Spring Cleaning, Spring is a great time of year to verify all of your cat’s needs are being addressed in the house; from dangers of cleaning chemicals to holes in screen windows. Spring can be one of the most beautiful times of year, but it can also be a stark reminder that we need to stay on top of ensuring our furrever ones are safe! And just like we did for Clermont, you need to do for your furrever one!

Kitten Season Is Upon Us
That pitter patter of little paws is coming. And while kitten season is cute and all, animal shelters and rescues across the country struggle to help these beautiful and sweet little furrever ones because their facilities are already at-capacity or overloaded. As Kitten Season is almost here, it’s the purrfect time for you to contact your local shelter or feline rescue and see what you can do to help them ease their population density. Whether it is adopting, fostering, or volunteering, all shelters and rescues look for increased help during Kitten Season because it is that big and it is that difficult for them to handle in terms of intake and trying to get these kittens into loving and responsible homes. Remember – Adopt, don’t shop!

Check, Verify and Replace Screen Windows
Does your cat like hanging out on the windowsill, watching the world pass by? You probably also leave that window open slightly to let in fresh air. Then again, it’s also probable that your cat is watching more than just the world going by…that cat is likely watching for birds, mice, and the like. So, before another season of bird watching begins, now is a good time to make sure your screens are safely secured and any holes that have formed can be either patched, or the screen replaced. Remember, cats do not fear obstructions. Often they will find a way through or around them to achieve their goal. In this case, if you have a loose screen, or one with holes in it, you will end up with a loose feline! I remember when I was a kid, my cat Clermont would spend his days romping around on my family’s property in upstate New York all summer. At night, he would come back very late and end up jumping through an open screen window to get back in the house. Eventually, we replaced all of the window screens with ones that were far more sturdy and better locked into the window frame.

Put Those Cleaning Products In A Safe Place
Is the grand tradition of Spring cleaning one that your family practices? If so, then you need to be aware of the toxicity that comes with some of these products. They can be very dangerous to feline and canine health. If you store your cleaning products under the kitchen sink, make sure that those doors to the underpart are secured properly and that your cat cannot open them. Cats are awfully curious, especially when they see their parents storing interesting looking things (like a feather duster or extra thin bottle of bleach) in hard to get to places. For them it is a challenge they want to overcome. For you, it needs to be about making sure those doors cannot be opened easily by a paw!

Refresh Their Environment
With Spring cleaning in mind, maybe it is also time to clean up that cat lounge area around the window and makeshift beds near sources of heat (baseboards, near a fireplace, etc.). And if you don’t have a “lounge” area for your feline, you might want to consider creating one! After you have inspected the windows and their screens, either place a cat bed or tree near those windows for your cat to enjoy that breath of fresh air. If you already have a cat lounge setup, then it is also time to give their bedding a wash in the laundry. You can also add a dusting of catnip (so long as you don’t have dogs in the house) to the lounge area to give your cat that extra chill feeling! A Siamese we adopted named Butter was a big proponent of heat. She loved to sleep right next to the radiator in my childhood apartment in New York. We would wash a little bed we put next to the radiator in my bedroom every week. And at least four times a year, I would replace that bed to ensure it was as clean and hygienic as possible. Remember, cats are incredibly finicky when it comes to cleanliness!

Be Cautious of Toxic Flowers
The old adage goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, that may be true, but it is also true that felines, just like dogs, can easily be harmed by certain flowers and plants. Check your home for any plants or items that could be harmful to your cat. As an example, there are commonly used florals such as lilies, baby’s breath, and carnations that are all poisonous to felines. Here’s a list of some cat-safe flowers for your home: Daisies, Orchids, Roses, Hyacinths, Snapdragons, Sunflowers and Marigolds. Clermont, since he was born in the wild, would always hunt for florals in our apartment in New York, and our country house. That often meant my father being very upset as Clermont would munch on those flowers, leaving a mess and stems everywhere. Be sure that when you have florals in your home, regardless of whether they are potentially poisonous or not to your cat, to at least try to keep them out of your cat’s reach.