Pet Rules for the
Home ... plus Moving House and Bird flu precautions
Food, Drink and Neighbours
Whenever you go out ... even if you THINK
you are only going to be a few hours, always leave out food and plenty
You never know. You might be delayed due to an emergency. You may even
have an accident yourself while you're out and have to go to hospital.
As long as there is plenty of water and some food left out, then an
animal can survive fairly comfortably for around 24 hours.
And don't forget a litter tray!
Make sure you always leave a set of keys with a trustworthy neighbour
and carry their phone number with you at all times. So if for any reason
you can't get home, your neighbour can feed your animal(s).
Keep your animals
away from front gardens and roads
Many companion animal road deaths can
be avoided if owners follow these simple rules below.
Your pets will respond to which location you will most commonly interact
with them. So, to discourage your cat from hanging around in the front
of your house never let him or her out through the front
door. Train your cat to always use your rear door to get in and out
of the house. That way they tend to establish most of its common territory
at the rear of your house and away from the street. And when the cat
wants to come in he or she will know that the only likely way in is
through the back door.
Never leave your animals
out at night (especially cats)
THIS IS IMPORTANT - SO PLEASE TAKE NOTE!!!
Cats and garden wildlife do not mix.
With so many species of birds declining each year it is vital that you
take steps to control your cat's instinctive hunting activities. You
obviously feed them so they don't even need to eat the animals and birds
they catch. Cats just instinctively catch and kill other creatures,
which they then leave un-eaten or else bring indoors as "presents".
In fact, it is estimated that in the UK, 300 million wild birds and
mammals are killed by cats every year. Most of this carnage is caused
after dark and during the early hours of dawn. If you have to keep cats
as pets then take responsibility for their instinctive actions by keeping
them indoors at night. Even when you let them out in the morning - keep
an eye out as they are usually in the mood for hunting.
Regardless whether your cat is prone to catching birds or not, the bird
population of your garden will decline simply by the presence of cats.
Birds are forced to find other roosting and feeding spots and these
are disappearing all the time.
If you have to introduce a cat into your garden environment then
make sure you attach a loud bell to its (well elasticated) collar...
this can help warn birds of the cat's approach.
During bird nesting season - after a windy night and BEFORE you let
your cat out, walk around your garden in the morning to check for any
young birds that may have been blown from nests. If you do find one,
leave your cat in doors and in the meantime follow these steps:
Keep an eye on the young bird, but from a distance so that the parents
can find it and aren't afraid to approach it. As long as the parents
are aware, and are feeding the baby then that's a good sign. If the
baby bird is quite featherless then it's more likely to be unable to
cope in the long term. This may call for human intervention and the
first thing to do is call your national animal rescue organization for
advice (in the UK this is the RSPCA) However, if the young bird is a
dove, blackbird, thrush, collared dove or a pigeon etc. and appears
to have all its feathers but the parents are still nowhere to be seen
(after many hours), do the following: Get a wire-framed hanging basket
and line it with moss. hang the basket around 2.5 meters up in a tree,
just under the canopy area which is out of direct rain. Make sure your
"nest" can be seen, in case the parents have trouble finding
it. Wearing outdoor gloves, approach the young bird from behind gently
pick it up and place it in the home-made nest. Keep an eye on activity
for the rest of the day. This procedure often works with larger birds
and you'll find the young bird and its parents will happily adopt the
nest. If after six or seven hours no parents are still nowhere to be
seen, then take the bird to a bird rescue centre.
When you want to call in your animal (through your rear door) tap
a fork against a tin of food or shake a box of cat/ dog biscuits. Before
long they will begin to recognise the sound and come running each time!
As a reward give them a couple of biscuits when they come in.
Another reason for keeping cats indoors
at night is because more get run over by cars when it's dark than during
daylight. This is because they explore a lot further in darkness, when
they are hunting and investigating other territories (and subsequently
chasing or being chased by other cats.
Always make sure you cat has an ID tag on its elasticated collar
as well as an ID chip implant. The collar ID should show the
animal's name, your surname, and your telephone number. Please make
sure this is always up-to-date as many animals stray when they have
moved to new homes.
and Dog Theft.
An ever-growing reason for keeping your
companion animals away from public reach is cat and dog theft. Thousands
of pets go missing each year, literally snatched from their front gardens.
One of the growing trends in an animal theft is ransom demands where
thieves will ask for money in return for your animal.
Increased cat and dog theft is also suspected to be in direct connection
for the demand of cat and dog fur used more frequently than ever in
fashion. Although not legal in countries like the UK, there is a growing
black market for domestic dog and cat pelts sourced from the UK and
mainland Europe. However, the main source of cat and dog fur is from
the far-east. (more
on this here)
Cats and dogs can also be taken by fighting and coursing gangs who tend
to target a neighbourhood at a time (as do cat and dog fur traders).
They grab as many animals as they can and then move on to another area.
For example, cats are used to "train" fighting dogs whereby they are
bagged and hung up for the dogs to savage them to death. If your cat
goes missing ALWAYS report this to the police. If there are gangs operating
in your neighbourhood the police need to take note of your loss to see
if a pattern of thefts is emerging. If there is, then cat theft by gangs
either for fur or fighting bait may more likely to be the cause. If
the police appear to show a lack of interest in building up a "trend"
report of incidents take the matter further via the media and search
the internet for animal organisations who may be able to help. Alert
and keep tuned in with your Neighborhood Watch group if a pattern of
animal thefts is growing in your area.
If you are moving abroad make sure you
choose a reputable pet travel company to help you. If necessary, buy
a sturdy pet carrier. If you are moving locally, again make sure that
you transport your cat in a pet carrier. To help calm a cat in a car,
keep a thin dark sheet at hand to cover about 3/4 of the cage. Animals
will generally feel calmer in dark spaces. Talk to the cat ocassionally
and stay as near as you can to it ... it needs to hear the sound of
your voice and catch your scent to feel secure.
Once you have moved to your new home, DO NOT let your animal outside
for a few days. With cats, keep them in the house for at least 6 days
and let them use a litter tray. With dogs, keep them on a leash even
in the park etc., for the first few days, so they get used to their
new neighbourhood when taking them for a walk. It is not uncommon for
cats and dogs to attempt to find their way back to their old homes.
Most never find them and hence become lost strays - but occasionally
a few will succeed. (See VeggieGlobal's Amazing Tails) If you have only
moved a short distance and your animal has disappeared, check your old
neighbourhood and contact the new owners of your old home to ask them
to keep a check because the animal may have found its way back there.
Only when you feel your cat is relaxing more in your new home should
you allow it to venture outside - only in the back garden and preferably
with a carefully tied piece of string attached to its collar (which
must be elasticated). Slowly let the cat explore the garden with you,
a few more minutes each day, until it feels that it has established
As mentioned before, please make sure your animal's ID tag / collar
info is up-to-date as many animals stray when they have moved to new
For specific advice on choosing to adopt
an animal from a rescue organistion click
Bird Flu Precautions
For a complete article, including updates
relating to bird flu go to:
Viewpoint - Animal Diseases for Dummies
(opens seperate page)
to >>> A
Firework Code to help all Animals and Birds >>>
How To Share This
Planet With The Animals - Menu