Cats
  • Dogs and cats get cold in severe temperatures, just like humans do.  A good rule to follow is, if the temperature is 20 degrees or less, dogs should have limited time outside.  Cats should not even be outside at all when temperatures are that low.

    When temperatures are above 20 degrees, it is important for animals outside to have a shelter.  To receive a free dog house, or to donate a new or gently used dog house, call SCRAPS at (509) 477-2532.  Advice from Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services (SCRAPS).  

  • Pregnancy and kitty litter.  Infections and diseases can affect the whole body.  Pregnancy and kitty litter can cause an infection that can change the hard wiring of the brain .  A mouse with this infection can lose its fear of cats.  A mouse which has been cured of infection, is not afraid of a cat.  Human diseases change brain.  Toxoplasma parasite is the one pregnant women are warned not to touch kitty litter.  1/3 of people in the world are infected with it.  Personalities can change after infections.  Studies have linked toxoplasmosis to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, and suicide, as possible root causes.  Dr. David Agus, CBS News Contributor 

Statistics
  • SCRAPS provides animal control in the city of Spokane.  They handled close to 5,000 cats in 2007, and only 2 to 3% were claimed by their owners.  At SCRAPS, cats with a pet tag are only held for 5 days.
What You Can Do
  • License your pet - it’s the law.  Put an identification collar on your cat to serve as your pet’s phone call home. 
  • One out of 3 cats and dogs in our country are overweight.  Dr. Kirk Breuninger, the lead veterinary researcher behind a study by Banfield Pet Hospital, says that, "Right now, one out of three cats and dogs are overweight.” 

    He attributes this increase to a number of factors: lack of exercise, too much food, and a changing attitude towards our pets.  That's a problem, because – just as in humans – lugging around all that extra weight can be hazardous to your pet's health.

    "We are starting to consider pets more and more to be members of our family, and we like to communicate with them and show our affection to them by offering them treats.  It can be pretty easy for us to offer too many treats in a single day to our pets."  But if Fido is too fat, or Fluffy is, well, too fluffy, there is something you can do about it.

    Breuninger says you can use this as a general guide:  Looking at your pet from above, he says you should see a distinct tuck at your dog or cat's waist.  And from the side, you should be able to easily feel – but not see – its ribs.  Dr. Breuninger says that simple things like cutting back on treats and ensuring that your dog gets in a walk each day will go a long way. 

    It's important to remember that each breed of cat and dog is different, so you should always consult a vet before you change their routine or their diet. "You know even taking a walk you get a chance to bond with your pet. It's just something simple as giving them more of a healthy diet." (Source:  Research finds 1 in 3 American cats and dogs are too plump, CBS This Morning, June 28, 2017)

  • Find a new home for your cat.  Local city and county laws no longer allow selling or giving away cats and dogs on either public property or private areas open to the public, including the front of a store, or the back of a pickup in a vacant lot. 

    The fine within city limits is $267; within the county it is $74 for the first violation, and $114 for the second fine; and a third violation within 12 months becomes a misdemeanor and could carry a $1,000 fine and as much as 90 days in jail.  For those outside the City of Spokane, the law also applies to selling or giving away animals at garage and yard sales.  (This law may increase the homeless dog and cat population.) 
  • People who want to sell or give away their cat may advertise in the newspaper.

  • "In Las Cruces, New Mexico there is a library with no books, but a great story.  They have a library with nothing to read, but that you have to check out. This is a library for people who want to take just a few minutes to sit down and get lost in a good...kitten. There is a sign-in-and-out sheet and a kitten Librarian receptionist in a room at the Dona Ana County Office Building where county officials installed a small kitty condo in the lobby.  County employees come in and pull a kitten off the shelf.  The cats are from the local animal shelter, and they are available to any employee looking for a moment of purrrrrr bliss.   County workers can drop in and borrow a kitten for a few hours. They admit their productivity goes down during these brief sessions, but job satisfaction goes way up. It relieves stress having a fuzzy kitten in your office or on your lap, and makes a workday more fun. It shows that the county does care, not just for the welfare of its workers, but also for its homeless animals, as well. When the county set up the Kitten Library, it had a secret agenda. Officials knew that if people just took a few minutes to hold these animals, that a bond might  form; and in fact, to date, 100 kittens have been adopted from the library. It is that kind of outside-of-the-cage thinking that they would like to spread to other communities across the country. Imagine, a nation of libraries catering to those who just want to curl up with a good….person."   (CBS Evening News, Steve Hartman, On the Road, June 5, 2015)