Zoe’s Annual Compost Fundraiser!

It’s that time of year again!! (Though you wouldn’t know it to look outside…)


Preorders will be accepted until Friday, May 12 at 5 pm. There will be a limited amount of compost available for purchase on site.

Happy growing!

The blocked stops here!

Male cats are prone to being blocked which can be a life or death situation. A blocked cat could only take the matter of days before he passes away. So how do you prevent it from happening in the first place?
 
  • Grain free, no by product diet. Grains seems to be the worst offender of blocked cats as it takes away moisture. In fact if you can do a wet food only diet (that is grain free, no by products) that would be best or at least supplement it into your cats diet.
  • Like people if they don’t use the washroom enough it can cause UTI’s which can lead to further issues. Make sure that there are equal number of litter boxes to cats plus one extra around the house and that it is cleaned enough to their liking so they use it regularly.
  • Overweight cats can be prone to having these issues as well. So it is very important to make sure your cats are at a healthy weight. Some cats should not be free fed as they tend to not know when enough is enough and will eat way more then they should so regulated diets are a must for them.
  • Fresh water or water fountains are extremely important. Cats do not drink enough water mostly due to in the wild cats get their water from their prey so on a dry food diet only they don’t ever get enough water. By adding the water fountain it promotes cats to drink more, or by having fresh water a cat will be more inclined to drink. You could even put a little bit of water in the dry food to help give your cat more water intake.

What are the signs of a blocked cat?

  • Straining to urinate.
  • Peeing more frequently.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Peeing in places that is not the litter box.
  • Crying out in pain while peeing.

It is extremely important that if you see the signs to get your cat to a vet immediately. If money is tight contact various vets to see what their pricing is and if they are willing to do payment plans. But as always if you generally don’t have thousands of dollars to use for vetting, please get  pet insurance so you never have to deal with the huge amount of stress of not having the money to make your best friend feel better.

Brachycephalic Syndrome in Dogs

by Lauren Erhardt

Brachycephalic: short headed

You may wonder why some dogs such as Pekingese, English bulldogs, French bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers pant and snore a lot.  Additionally, if you’re thinking of adopting one of these kinds of dogs you may wish to be aware of genetic issues so you can give them the kind of care and attention they need.  These issues are caused by Brachycephalic Syndrome which causes obstructive breathing due to the shape of the head, muzzle or throat.  In short, these dogs have shortened skulls compared to other breeds.  When dogs are selectively bred to produce a flat “cute” face, genetic issues like these may result.  Dogs with longer muzzles will have  fewer issues because they can breathe easier.   

Problems suffered by Pugs due to Brachycephalic Syndrome:

  • Serious breathing difficulties
  • High blood pressure (info link)
  • Fainting or collapsing due to a lack of oxygen
  • Highly disrupted sleep
  • Excessive flatulence due to excessive gulping and swallowing of air to try to overcome their breathing difficulties

More information: https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/brachycephalic-syndrome                      

If you have a dog with this syndrome, you should always check with your vet, however, some steps you can take to help make him/her more comfortable include ensuring your dog is not overweight as this can exacerbate the symptoms,  and not over exercising your dog.

Three Simple Ways to Spread the Love to Rescue Animals

Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s not forget about our four-legged friends on this day of love! Here are three simple ways to spread the love to rescue animals that won’t cost you a dime.

ONE: Spread the love by sharing an adoptable animal’s profile. The more exposure the animal gets, the more likely they are to find their loving forever home. We truly appreciate every like, share, and comment. Once the animal is adopted, a spot is freed up in a foster home for another animal in need. You can find our adoptable animals’ profiles here.

TWO: Volunteer your time! Did you know that Zoe’s is 100% volunteer run? You do not have to commit a certain amount of hours per week or month to volunteer to make a positive impact. Instead, with Zoe’s, you can jump in when you are available. We are always looking for help with fundraising, event organizing, transporting animals and supplies, photography, blogging and of course… fostering! Learn more about volunteering here.

THREE: Share the message to spay and neuter! Zoe’s does everything in our power to help to end the cycle of homeless animals including ensuring that every single adopted animal is either spayed or neutered before the adoption is finalized. There are so many deserving animals in local rescues, and so many waiting to come into care. Help to reduce the population of stray and unwanted animals by reminding people to spay and neuter their pets. You can find a list of vets that we like to work with here. In addition, the Edmonton Humane Society offers a great program for those with pets that cannot afford to spay and neuter. Check out their PALS program here.

 

Foster of the Week: Reepacheep

Hiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!

I’m Reepacheep, but I prefer to be called Henry. Henry Rollengardner.

I’m a chinchilla! (I don’t know why I need to announce that. Maybe because chinchilla is fun to say? Chinchilla! Chinchilla! Chinchilla!)

I came to Zoe’s because my previous home was too, too busy and it stressed me out. I don’t mind a little hustle or small bits of bustle, but I do need my rest. Chinchillas are nocturnal, which can be a bit of a challenge for people. They are awake when I want to sleep and when they want to sleep, I want to play! The easiest way to handle this is to have my enclosure away from high-traffic areas in the home. That way I can be in the busy parts of the house when I want to play, but also have quiet when I want to sleep. Plus my nighttime antics won’t disturb you while you’re sleeping.

I’ve been a little skittish when it comes to human contact. Smaller animals tend to take longer to form a bond and trust their humans. My foster family has been patiently and slowly working to boost my confidence and help me become more comfortable with handling. I’m still unsure about being picked up, but I am starting to love pets and scratches. I have a sweet spot and if you find it, I will coo and smile in delight! I LOVE to be out of my enclosure to run and explore and chase my humans. Especially when they have treats. Be sure to keep a close eye on me when I am loose, though, I can be mischevious and chewy.

I may be partial, but chinchillas make great companion animals! We are generally quiet and low-maintenance, but also sweet and silly and fun. The most important part of being a chinchilla parent is providing an appropriate environment, like making sure there are places to tuck in and hide as well as chinchilla exercise equipment like a running wheel and climbing structures.

If your home sounds like a great home for me, and you’re looking to add some fun and silliness to your life, visit my bio and apply to adopt me!

Foster of the Week: Gilligan Katt

 

Hey there! I’m Gilligan!

Do you like to play? I do!! My favourite things to play with are string toys and wand toys. Anything I can chase, pounce, and bat!

I like people too. They’re wonderful! I can be a bit demanding when I want affection from my people. Ok, a lot demanding. But I love to cuddle! I love pets and scratches and belly rubs. I have this spot that I just LOVE to be scratched. When my people scratch that spot, I can’t help but flop over in absolute bliss.

I like other animals, too. Cats, dogs, kids…. I like them all! What’s that? Kids aren’t animals?? Uh….if you say so…. Whatever they are, I like them!

I’m an adventurer at heart. I love exploring and climbing. I especially like sneaking into the pantry and the cupboards. Peek-a-boo!! I like water, too. I’m always hanging out in the sink or the bathtub. My foster family says I am a curious cat who always makes them laugh. They’re so sweet.

I may not look it, but I am still a kitten. Full of energy and silliness. I am also a perfect gentleman. Quiet and affectionate.

You won’t find a cat much better than me! I am well-rounded, lovable, fun and dashingly handsome…. My ideal home would be full of things to love – adults, kids, cats and dogs, the more the merrier! My home should also have lots of places and spaces for me to explore, plus at least a few sinks and a spacious bathtub. Also well-stocked with soft and cozy blankets. After a day of playing and exploring, I love to curl up in a warm lap covered with a soft blanket.

My sisters have found their forever home, it’s my turn! If your home is lacking a purrrrfect gentleman, I am your cat! Visit my bio and apply to adopt me!

Foster of the Week: Morgan

Hi! Morgan here again!

How have you been since we last chatted? I’ve been great! I’ve been in this foster home for about four or five months and I love it! I have three foster siblings, that weirdo behind me is one of them. Mickey. He’s good stuff. I’m way in love with my foster sister, Minnie. We snuggle all the time, she lets me nibble her toes. She’s the sweetest girl I’ve ever met. And then there’s Habib. Silly Habib…..

I can’t imagine life without doggy siblings. Not only because I enjoy their company, but because I get very scared and nervous (and LOUD) when I am alone.

A few other things I don’t like:

Cats. I swear they taunt and tease me because they know I can’t see them. But I can smell them. And I can CHASE them!
Squirrels. They are conspiring with the cats, I know it.

You know, I think that’s it. I’m a very happy guy! Always smiling and enjoying life. I like people a lot. I like being around people, I like cuddling with people, I like the food people eat….. If you’re looking for a solid Netflix (and snack) and chill companion, I am your guy.

It’s impossible to have a bad day when I’m around. I have that sort of personality that turns the frowniest of frowns upside down. I excel at snuggling, too. Everyone knows the best remedy for grouchiness is a good dog, you won’t find a dog better than me!

Let’s meet in person. Visit my bio, send in an application and come on over!

A new adoption, what to expect in the first month.


Did you know that first month is the hardest for any newly adopted animal?

Some things you can possibly expect to deal with the first month:

  • Separation anxiety: It is very common especially more so with dogs/puppies but can happen in cats.
  • House training/litter box issues: Dogs/puppies have to relearn a new routine which can be different than what they are used to. It can also take awhile for the new owner to tell the telltale signs of them having to pee. For cats, some like certain litter or litter box styles, and placement is equally important. It is actually a good idea to see if you can take some used litter from the foster home to place into the new litter box. Cats are all about the smell so by placing the litter in the new litter box the cat will know that that is the place they should go in.
  • Aggression/fear of resident pets: Proper introductions is very important not just for dogs but for cats too. Just because your cat or dog had a previous friend it doesn’t mean this new pet will become their instant best friend. Like people, not everyone gets along or sometimes it takes quite awhile to adjust. This is why proper slow introductions are important for cats, it can take months for cats to become friends or at least put up with each other so expect to take at least a week possibly more for a cat/kitten to be in a sanctuary room.
  • Runners: The first week has the highest chance of pets escaping, dogs especially that is why some suggest not taking them for a walk until after the first week or have two leashes on the dog a harness and a leash just in case the dog slips one you will still have the second.
  • Shyness: Let’s face it, it’s scary to go to any new place but when you add in other pets, different people, and a busy household it can be very overwhelming. So expect at least two weeks to be best able to assess their personality.
  • Retraining: Even if a dog or cat is said to be perfect everyone’s idea of perfect can be different. Some people are ok with a dog on the couch while others not so much likewise with a cat on the table. So expect to have to train the new animal to have to learn the new house rules.
  • Unsure/scared/aggressive to the kids: Even if a foster home has kids, like resident pets, everyone is different. Some kids can be cat/dog savvy and know body language really well and know not to push an animal too far or be quieter in the home while others not so much. So especially for the first week, you want your kids to only be around the new pet under supervision as well make an effort to teach them how to be gentle and to understand warning cues. 

It’s also very important to set up your new puppy or kitten for success. So don’t let them get away with something you won’t find as cute when they are much older. Even kittens can be trained, some people thinks cats can’t be but they know that they can easily train us to please them, that’s how smart they are.

It will take at least a month for any new animal to settle into a household sometimes even more. Set them up for success by researching as much as possible beforehand in regards to training, and be honest with what exactly you are looking for, what you can handle medically/behaviorally, and if your resident pet(s) even want a new friend. Don’t get a pet just because it’s cute as it is a 10-20 year commitment that requires a lot of work and training to ensure they become a great part of the family. If you aren’t sure of any allergies in the family, bring the entire family to a friend’s or family members place to spend quite a bit of time with their dogs/cats to assess any allergies before adopting. Getting a new family member can be the best thing you ever do but it’s best to not have expectations that just aren’t fair for any new animal to live up to so quickly. 

Fosters of the Week: Blue & George

Hey, Blue! I think I see it!

See what?

Our forever home.

Really?

Yeah, I’m sure of it.

We’ve been adopted, George??

Not yet. They don’t know we are here.

If they don’t know we are here, how can it be our forever home?

It just is.

George, you’re crazy.

Maybe, but I’m still right. Our forever home is out there.

I dunno, George. We’ve been here a long time.

I know, but that doesn’t mean our people won’t find us. Look at Moose, it took his people over a year to find him!

That is true. His forever home is wonderful, he’s a very lucky guy!

That will be us, Blue. I know it, I feel it in my fur.

How will our forever people find us?

The universe will send them.

Oh, George. You really ARE crazy.

Crazy for cuddles!!

Good grief, George. You’re lucky I love you so much.

Our people will love us like you love me.

You are a hopeless optimist. I’m going to have a nap.

That sounds like a great plan, Blue. I’ll join you, we can dream about our people.

Yeah, maybe we can control the universe with our dreams and make our people find us today.

I feel like you’re being sarcastic, Blue.

That’s PREPOSTEROUS!

Is it, Blue? IS IT REALLY?

Oh, settle down, George. Let’s go find our foster mom and curl up with her.

Fine. But I am telling you, our people ARE out there.

I know they are, George.

You’re just saying that so I’ll stop talking.

Well, yes. I would like to have a nap. But I do believe you.

Really?

Yes, George.

I love you, Blue.

I love you, too George.

Home-made Environmental Enrichment for the Indoor Kitty

by Crisia Tabacaru

As a loving cat parent, no doubt you’re already providing food, water and a warm home for your feline friend, but, just like you need more than the necessities to keep you at your best, your kitties will be happier and healthier if you understand their instincts, behaviours, and what will make them feel safe and content.

Let’s look at it from a biological perspective: Cats come from wild species that are both predators and prey, and many of their instinctive behaviours stem from this history. For instance, you’ve likely noticed that your kitties like to be high up, which helps them to both observe and feel safe. Providing such spaces in your home means that you’ll have a happier, less aggressive kitty, with fewer behavioural issues in general. For multiple cat households, increased vertical space will also help with stress related to territorial issues.

Many cat parents meet these needs with store-bought cat trees, hammocks or cat walks. There is nothing wrong with purchasing a cat tree, but a home-made one can be a very fulfilling project for both you and your kitty, not to mention a money-saver. In fact, one of our Zoe’s adopters built one for their kitty Neelix (Zoe’s alum, formerly Tator) and he loves his new cat tree!

This is one of my favourites. The instructions are very clear and it won’t cramp your style either. Seriously, check out those gorgeous branches!

 

Image courtesy of By Brittany Goldwyn

 

You can also take the scratching post approach and provide a climbing workout like this easy-to-follow project. Another way to give your cat observation powers is to provide cat shelves like this crafty cat owner did. The only limit is your imagination! (And maybe your handiness with tools…)

The next need to consider is mental stimulation and engagement. Boredom from a lack of environmental enrichment is often accompanied by stress and “bad” behaviours like urine marking and aggression. Increasing complexity in their environment is a way to engage cats and provide much needed mental stimulation. One way to do this is to create physical structures with attached toys and other complexities for them to play with, sleep on, scratch, and explore. This one uses readily available Ikea furniture and is attractive to boot.

Image courtesy of By Brittany Goldwyn

Another way is to provide a challenge in the form of toy or treat puzzles like these. Heck, have fun with it and make them a climbing wall!

Get inspired by these DIYs and let your imagination run wild!

Bonus: Geeky DIY cat projects

These projects are just so deliciously geeky, that I couldn’t resist!