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Safety Tips for Your Pets


Warm Weather:

  • Never leave your pet in a car if the outdoor temperature is more than 60 degrees.

  • If you absolutely have to take your pet in the car in temperatures that are higher than 60 degrees make sure you roll at least 2 windows halfway down (1 passenger and 1 driver’s side). 

  • Remember to park in the shade and have water readily available for your pet. 

  • The inside temperature of a car in the heat rises 1 degree per minute.

  • Always keep a leash, fresh water and food in your vehicle.

  • Make sure you have fresh water for your pet available at all times. Pet’s become dehydrated faster than humans. Longer hair animals become dehydrated faster than shorter hair animals. Animals with smashed faces have a harder time in the heat.

  • Signs of dehydration are panting and vomiting.

  • If your pet is left outdoors in the warm weather months always have fresh water and food available

  • for your pet. Always provide a shaded area for your pet to take shelter



Cold Weather:

  • Never leave your pet in your vehicle if the temperature is below 32 degrees.

  • If you absolutely have to take your pet in your vehicle when the temperature is below 32 degrees make sure you take at least one warm blanket. Your pet will instinctively make a nest to keep warm.

  • Always have food, fresh water, blanket and a leash in your car in case you have a break down or an accident.

  • If you must leave your pet outdoors in cold weather make sure you have a warm covered shelter for your pet. Hay is great for animals to use for warmth. As always leave plenty of food and fresh water for your pet.



Other Safety Information:

  • Always keep liquid potpourri and candles out of your pet’s reach. Liquid potpourri is toxic to your pet and can cause death.

  • The flame on a candle is like a magnet to kittens and cats. They tend to bat at them which can cause the candle to tip over causing possible fire or severe burns to your pet.

  • Strings on cat toys can easily become wrapped around your pet’s neck while they are playing. Allow your pet to only have access to these kinds of toys when you are home. Also be aware of the strings attached to your blinds.  Cats and kittens often like to play with these as well. This is a life threatening object to your pet.

  • Always use caution when your pet is around unfamiliar animals. Larger animals can quickly over power smaller animals. Try a slow introduction and do not leave them unattended.


Declaw Information:

Here are some eye-opening facts about declawing/amputation:

  • Cat owners who elect to have their cat's paws declawed generally do so with the belief that they will never have to deal with fabric damage due to destructive scratching problems. However, paw sensitivity resulting from the declaw operation may result in litterbox avoidance and urine-soaked furnishings or carpeting.

  • Without their number one defense system many declawed cats resort to nipping or biting with very little warning. They often use oral means to express their insecurity and this may also result in destructive chewing problems.

  • Declawing is actually multiple amputations comparable to the removal of human fingertips at the first knuckle. Sensory and motor nerves are cut, damaged and destroyed. Recovery from the surgery is a slow and painful process. This procedure can hamper the sensations and enjoyment involved in walking, running, springing, climbing and stretching.

  • Cats, like people, react differently to physical handicaps.  Some appear to be unaffected and others become nervous and defensive. 

  • When a dramatic temperament or behavior change occurs, the cat’s owner often decides to give their cat up or have him or her euthanized.

  • You have a choice but your cat must depend on you to do the right thing. Adult cats are not good candidates for declawing; in fact, they can die as Zoey did, and kittens are easily trained to use appropriate scratching targets. 


Resource Links

ZOEY: 2002 - 2007

This is the story of Zoey.  We write it both as a memorial to this beautiful cat and as information for anyone thinking of declawing their new pet, especially an adult cat.


Zoey was a beautiful calico cat. She came to Adopt-A-Pet rescued as a barn cat with her kittens. While the kittens were marvelous and had her wonderful wide-spread eyes, Zoey could be a bit over-zealous. When she got over-zealous, she nipped. People obviously didn’t like that.


As if that wasn’t bad enough, Zoey got ringworm. She was treated for it and recovered well but cats who’ve had ringworm can be carriers of the disease so she wasn’t returned to the Cat Room with the other cats. Instead, Zoey was caged.


For seven long months she was treated very well; she had fresh food and water daily and her litterbox was kept very clean. She had toys, a hammock and people talked to her and petted her leg as she reached through the bars of the cage begging for affection. She was occasionally taken from her cage and allowed to run free around the room and she loved it  – and usually a zealous Zoey nipped. In order to find the best fit for Zoey, the volunteers disclosed her nipping habit and sadly no one wanted her. 


And then one day she was! Some wonderful people saw her picture in the newspaper and heard her story. They had other cats but they wanted Zoey! 


For a week Zoey was so happy. She had a new home with no cage, people who loved her and cats that she was trying to like. She also liked a beautiful piece of antique wicker furniture... Because their other cats were declawed, Zoey’s guardians decided to take her to their long-time veterinarian and have her declawed as well.

Zoey was five years old and it didn’t go well.  She pulled her stitches out and lost a lot of blood; she was hard to medicate with pain pills and had to be in order to stay calm. Another cage for Zoey. She became very depressed. On a sunny Saturday morning in August, Zoey died. The vet wasn’t sure if it was due to blood loss or depression but she wasn’t rallying, she was in a lot of pain and so she was reluctantly but blessedly euthanized. She is buried in the backyard of her new guardians who cried when they told Adopt-A-Pet what had happened. She will have a memorial stone with her name on it. We will always remember Zoey with love and we hope you will think about her legacy when you consider declawing your cat.


Many people assume that having their cat declawed is a routine and necessary procedure. Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, it is against the law in many countries including England, Germany and Switzerland. Using patience, suitable scratching targets and behavior modification, it is easy to train a cat to use a good sturdy scratching post. Some cats also respond well to cardboard scratching boxes which can be replenished as they get used.

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