COURTESY HAWAIIAN HUMANE SOCIETY
Suzie and Gary Anderson entered this photo for last year's calendar of Cheech posing at his favorite snoozing spot near the window. Entries for 2007 are due by June 30.
Proper care for cats will make them purr
June is Love-a-Cat month, and all month long the Hawaiian Humane Society will be promoting the wonderful relationships between humans and felines. The Cat House is purring with cats and kittens in all colors, types and sizes.
Pet photo entries due
OK, you know your pet is cute, so share. The Hawaiian Humane Society's 2007 "Pets in Paradise" calendar will feature 14 full-page photos of Hawaii pets. Many others will gathered together in color collage pages.
To submit your pet's photo, send in a color print no bigger than 4 by 6 inches. No Polaroids, disks or e-mails will be accepted. Computer-generated photos must be printed on photo paper. The photo must contain only animals (no people).
There is a $15 entry fee per photo to benefit the society. Visit the Humane Society at 2700 Waialae Ave. for an entry form, or download it from www.hawaiianhumane.org ("calendar" link).
June 30 is the deadline, and calendars will be available in September. Photos will not be returned.
Adopt a feline from the society this month and receive free cat or kitten food from Nutro and a cat toy. For a $55 fee, your new feline companion will be ready to go home in a cat carrier, already spayed or neutered, equipped with a microchip ID, and current on vaccinations.
There's probably nothing more joyful than watching 20 or 30 kittens playing together in one room. The open-air rooms at the society's Cat House allow prospective adoptive families to play and interact with the cats so their unique personalities are revealed, because your lifetime relationship is too important to be based on looks alone.
The Hawaiian Humane Society is looking for the best "Cat Tales" this month. Submit your favorite cat story via the society and KITV Web sites. Winners will be announced on KITV Island Television morning and evening news broadcasts, promoted on the humane society and KITV Web sites, and in the Star-Bulletin.
Free microchip ID: Get a coupon for a free feline microchip ID if you buy an Adopt-a-Cat T-shirt from Crazy Shirts (Ala Moana Center or Pearlridge) in June, while coupons last. Crazy Shirts donates a portion of sales of these T-shirts to the society.
Top 10 list
If your feline friend could talk, here's what you might hear:
Direct from the home office at the Cat House on the grounds of the Hawaiian Humane Society, here are the Top 10 ways to earn a cat's love.
10. Spay or neuter your cat. Your cat's overall health will be improved if it has been sterilized. Veterinarians have discovered that the simple surgery saves cats from acquiring many diseases. And, of course, neutering eliminates the need to find homes for more unwanted kittens. Cats and kittens adopted from the humane society are already sterilized.
9. Groom that coat. With Hawaii's perpetually warm weather, it's a good idea to brush your cat regularly to avoid hairball problems. Ask your veterinarian how to trim your cat's claws.
8. Identification is key. Giving your cat a collar and tag is a sign of caring; it tells others your cat is not a stray. If the animal becomes lost, its tag could be its ticket home. A microchip ID is a permanent record of your cat's home. All cats or kittens adopted from the humane society already have a microchip ID.
7. Massage versus petting. Instead of running your hand across the top of a cat's fur, gently press your fingers down to massage the muscles underneath. Continue this as long as your cat will stay still. Often people find their cats stay longer for a "massage" than a mere petting.
6. Control those pests. Our weather allows fleas and ticks to thrive year-round. Many easy methods are now available to prevent infestation. Check with your veterinarian for the best solution for eliminating fleas and ticks.
5. Try new toys. Some cats enjoy catnip, while others are happy with the last bits of toilet paper on a tube to bat around. But all cats enjoy safe toys. Experiment to find your cat's favorite type of toy.
4. Maintain good nutrition. Treats are fine occasionally, but overdoing it could undermine your cat's nutritional health. Most veterinarians suggest avoiding milk as a treat.
3. Create sleep spaces. From elaborate cat condos to a simple towel placed in a sunny spot, your cats will appreciate having their own designated sleep spots. Your cats will likely choose their own favorite spots; then it's up to you to add comfy bedding items.
2. Visit the veterinarian. Along with regular vaccinations, annual check-ups can be a good way to catch potentially serious diseases. Don't forget that cats need dental care, too. "Cat years" click off faster than human years, some say seven times faster, so don't put off that trip to the clinic.
And the No. 1 way to earn your cat's love is ...
1. Keep your cat indoors. With plenty of toys, playtime and love, your cat won't miss being outside. Your cats won't have contact with strays bearing diseases. Indoor cats are also safe from such hazards as fast cars, predators and poisons. To learn about building a cattery or outdoor cat fencing, call the society at 356-2223.
It's easy to improve the quality of life for you and your cat in just 10 easy steps. Your cat hopes you've been listening.
"Pet Ohana" runs the first and third Fridays of the month. The Hawaiian Humane Society is a nonprofit agency dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals. It is at 2700 Waialae Ave. Call 946-2187.