Substrate and Bedding for Russian Tortoise

People who own pets like cats and dogs are not usually keen on their substrates and beddings. Simple substrates like magazines that cut the cost are usually easy to use on animals like puppies. However, there is a profound biological difference between tortoises and other pets like cats and dogs. There is much need for a substrate and bedding for Russian tortoise which makes its situation different from that of the common pets.

A few people have attempted to make use of rabbit pellets as a substitute for tortoise substrates. These pellets are associated with the growth of moulds and they can also cause dehydration to the tortoise. Newspapers are sometimes used as substrates but they are not the best. Alfalfa hay is also another form of the substrate that many people attempt to use. However, the tortoise always indulges in chewing such hay which brings about digestion complications or too many proteins in the system.

Bedding for Russian Tortoise outsite

The most ideal environment of a tortoise must have a substrate. With the use of their substrates, they indulge in the building of pellets that help in ensuring good health in diverse ways. They provide the tortoise with comfort especially during the night and also prevent the loss of fluids especially in the process of building the pellets. It has been discovered that Russian tortoise that is not provided with substrates eventually develop bladder calculi and kidney complications. Substrates ensure the wellbeing of your Russian tortoise hence they should always be provided in plenty. (more…)

Bedding for Your Hedgehog

The unique nature of hedgehogs makes them very attractive pets to keep. However, with their specific needs, you must always be willing to take care of them as much as you can in order to ensure that they always have a good health and that they remain comfortable as long as you have them in in your home. Their requirements are similar to those of a rat or even a guinea pig. In a hedgehog’s enclosure, you will always realize that you need a bedding for the animal.

Bedding for Your Hedgehog

There are various bedding options that you can always choose from. However, you should realize that there are those beddings that are more appropriate than the others. Therefore, you should evaluate all the beddings available in order to come up with the best result. In this article, we will cover all the possible options of beddings for the hedgehogs and what you need to know about these beddings.

Once in a while, you can choose the papers as a best bedding for hedgehogs. Some of these options involve the care fresh ultra by a healthy pet, the paper shaving animal shaving, clean and cosy Kaytee, cell-sorb plus by Estes’ and the fresh world bedding by Sunseed. The good thing with these beddings is the fact that they are made from recycled papers. This makes them effective and less costly compared with the other forms of beddings. Besides, these beddings are light and soft which makes it easy to spread them over the floor of the cage. However, these papers can easily stick on the hedgehog spikes especially when their spikes have had contact with water. They are good beddings but not the best to use. they are also very absorbent and can easily absorb waste materials like the urine. Some like fresh world beddings have chemicals like baking soda that helps to absorb waste materials and reduce the odour that may arise from these waste materials. (more…)

Pet Sitting Involves Heartbreak

One of the things that I deal with as a pet sitter is getting very close to the animals I care for. It’s not hard to do when you focus all of your time and energy on the pets in your care. In fact, it’s so easy to do that I feel as if I’ve formed a relationship with a pet whenever I have the pleasure of being introduced to one during a Meet & Greet. I also believe that the relationship deepens every time I visit with my new furry friend when his/her parents aren’t home.

We all know that our pets don’t live forever just as we don’t. I’ve lost pets in the past. It’s very difficult and the grief is real. As pet sitters, you might not think we grieve for the pets we’ve cared for when they leave this world, but you’d be wrong if that’s the case because, as I’ve explained, I get attached to all of the animals I see as does my husband, Larry. I get so attached sometimes that I cry sometimes just because I know it’s my last visit with a pet until the next time his/her owners travel. Although that might sound strange to some of you, if you know me well enough, you’d know that for me it’s not strange at all.

This past summer, one of the dogs I watched on a regular basis passed away. During one of my last visits with Teal, I noticed something out of character for her – she refused to play and just wanted to go back into the garage to rest. It was very unlike her and I communicated all of this information to her owner. Initially, all of us thought it was just an off day for Teal, but she acted the same way when I visited her again the next day. Once more, Teal wanted to stay in the garage. Her gait was off, she was shaky and just wanted to lay down. This was not like the Teal I’d come to love at all.

I took her inside the house and just sat with her. I looked into her eyes and I knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what exactly. I had many conversations about my observations with her owner who was as concerned as I was. Unfortunately, Teal passed away a few weeks later as the result of bone cancer. Her passing was extremely difficult on Teal’s parents…and it broke my heart also. It was a strange thing to go back to their home and not see Teal. Tears came to my eyes before I even made it to the door. I missed Teal and still do. I miss the joy she gave me during each visit. Teal was the boss. She was a sweet Golden Retriever who’d become my friend.

This past week, a similar situation occurred. Puk, a senior cat I did not know very well, but was familiar with, needed a ride to see his vet. I picked Puk up at his owner’s place of business and drove him in the car to the Mishicot Vet Clinic. I knew he was sick, but the ride to the vet was unlike anything I’d ever encountered.

Puk wanted a hand on him. He must have known his time was limited and wanted physical human contact. Puk not only sought the touch of my hand, he also placed his head on my arm and rarely moved it. Every so often, he raised his head to look at me and meow, though. I had Puk bundled up in a light throw on top of a down-filled blanket. I normally only transport animals in kennels, but in this instance something told me not to and I now know why. That trip was Puk’s last car ride and consisted of some of his last minutes on earth. Puk passed on about an hour after I dropped him off at Mishicot Vet.

This is probably the hardest part of what I do because I mourn these losses along with their owners.

I just wanted to write this because my heart has been troubled about these instances for some time…ever since the passing of Teal. So maybe this is a tribute post to all the pets we’ve known who have passed on, including Maple and Buddy. I won’t forget them, either.

We’re Pet Sitters and Much, Much More!

Something that you may not realize about Manitowoc Pet Sitters is that when you hire us, we not only treat your pets as our own, we also take care of your home.  Let’s face it – in Wisconsin, we live in the land of extremes.  Not only do we have some of the coldest winters in the United States, we also get some hot days, extreme down pours of rain, etc.

Actually, I think those of us in Manitowoc County had one of the worst winters in 2013 – 2014 that we’ve had in like forever!  As a result, we ran into more home issues this past winter than we had with animal health care, meaning the homes we visited were breaking down left and right while, thankfully, their furry inhabitants were happy and content.  For instance, we dealt with a furnace that broke down with animals in the house.  To make sure the pets inside remained happy and healthy despite the lack of heat in their home, we stayed with the cats until the furnace was fixed.  We wrapped them up in blankets and stayed with them while a contractor repaired the furnace.  We don’t charge our clients extra for this type of stuff because it is simply part of what we do.

When you hire us to watch your pets, we do much, much more than “just” ensure that they are fed and exercised.  We tend to not just your pets, we watch over and care for your home as well.

If I remember right, we had snow earlier than usual this past year.  Because inclement weather arrived before most of us were prepared for it, we had clients who did not anticipate having to arrange snow plow services during the times they were scheduled to be out of town, but that wasn’t an issue for us, them or their pets.  Why?  Well, we got someone to come over to shovel walkways and plow driveways to maintain our clients’ properties and guarantee that we’d be able to get their pets to the vet in the event that a medical emergency occurred.

In another instance, we had to deal with a leaking furnace.  We acted quickly and had the furnace repaired before an emergency situation developed, but things like this should make you think about who is caring for your home when you are away.  Even if you choose to board your pets at a kennel while you are traveling, things can still go awry at your residence and you need to make arrangements for someone to handle them during your absence.

Remember:  basements flood in the spring and summer in our state.  While we haven’t had to deal with this particular issue yet, we are prepared to handle situations as dire as flooding on behalf of our clients.  We have to be because we not only treat your pets as if they are our own while you are out of town, we take care of your home like we tend to your home as if it were our own, too.

What I’m trying to say is that when you hire Manitowoc Pet Sitters, you are hiring more than “just” a pet sitter.  When you hire us, you are hiring people who will provide attentive care for your pets AND your home.  We don’t charge additional fees when we have to make arrangements for something to be repaired at your home while you are away.  Instead, handling these sorts of issues are simply part of what we do as pet sitters.

As an animal lover, home owner and occasional traveler, I thought it was important for you to know about the services truly professional pet sitters provide and demonstrate that pet sitters do so much more than what our job titles imply.  At least, that’s the case with Manitowoc Pet Sitters!

A Practical Guide for Dogs That Are Fearful of Thunderstorms And Fireworks

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Unless you have or have had a pet who gets scared during a thunderstorm or when fireworks are going off, you might be unaware that some companion animals exhibit behaviors that unmistakably communicate their fear when these things occur.  Such behaviors include:

  • Shaking
  • Pacing
  • Whining
  • Drooling excessively
  • Digging on the carpet or furniture
  • Barking constantly

During periods of high stress, animals can hurt themselves or damage property due to their fear.  So, if your dog exhibits signs of being afraid during storms or when persistent loud noises such as fireworks engulf your home, consider trying some of the following calming techniques to keep your dog safe and the things in your home intact:

  1. Reassure your dog that everything is okay. If your dog is engaged in negative behavior driven by his fear such as digging at your living room carpet, command him to sit or lie down to get him to stop before you begin to offer reassurance.  Once he stops his inappropriate behavior, pet him calmly and tell him that everything is okay in a soothing voice at least until he settles down, if not for the duration of the storm or fireworks display.
  2. Focus your dog’s attention on something else. Try distracting your dog with something he can’t resist.  By refocusing his attention on something irresistible such as a long-lasting food treat such as a rawhide or a toy stuffed with his favorite snacks, he will be less likely to give the thunder or fireworks his full attention.  Be sure to make your dog sit or lie down before you give him his special treat so that he associates what you are giving him with good behavior rather than his fearful tendencies.
  3. Create a place for your dog to hide. Bring your dog inside your home and give him a place to go where he’ll feel safe (no dog should be left outside during severe weather).  If you crate your dog, make sure the door to his personal “getaway” is open so he can go into the space that he already considers to be his own.  If you don’t have a crate, consider opening your closet door so that your dog can go inside and lie down, but be sure that the door remains open while your pet is in your closet!  You don’t want your dog to develop a fear of your closet/small spaces or being locked away from his humans, after all!
  4. Turn up the volume! You can use the appliances that you have in your home to try to drown out the claps of thunder and fireworks that are stressing your dog out.  Turn the volume up on your television or radio!  Using a box fan (or two) is also a great way to drown out the worrisome noises.

Just as there are things you can do during a storm or fireworks display to calm your dog down, there are also some things you can try to prepare your dog for the next noisy day or night.  You can try to desensitize your dog to prolonged periods of loud, unexpected noises, for instance.  You can play videos of thunderstorms with the audio turned on and either ignore your dog so that he thinks the noises are nothing to worry about or give him a treat that he can positively associate with the sounds he hears.  To desensitize your dog, you will want to play these videos at increasingly louder volumes slowly over time.

Of course, you can also talk to your dog’s veterinarian about medicating your dog during thunderstorms or fireworks displays.  Alternatively, you can try some natural calming remedies that are readily available over the counter.  Exercising your dog every day, with a little extra activity on the days when storms or fireworks are likely, will help to decrease your dog’s overall anxiety and lessen the stress he experiences when things are especially noisy outside.

If none of these suggestions help relieve your dog’s fear, consider consulting a behaviorist or trainer.  Also, if you have to leave your pet home alone during a storm or fireworks display, considering hiring a pet sitter to stay with him at least through the duration of the event.

Remember – dogs who ordinarily show no predilection to run away from home may try to run away from the source of his fear, a.k.a. the storm or fireworks, without realizing the potentially deadly consequences of bolting out of their homes or yards.  So, always make sure your doors and fence gates are secure, particularly during periods when your pet is likely to be afraid of something.  Make sure your dog is microchipped and that your contact information is current, too.

Amazing Facts About the Amazing Cat

It’s undeniable that domestic cats are wildly popular around the world, including here in America.  Around 500-600 million cats are family pets and approximately 30 percent of the homes in the United States have at least one cat.  Given their popularity, it makes sense to learn about some of the lessor-known facts that make these animals so lovable and entertaining.

Just about all of us know that cats have very keen, inherent hunting abilities, but did you know that it’s these very skills that inspire your cat to be most active during the pre-dawn-and-dusk hours?  Hunting is also why your cat’s back paws step in almost the exact same spots as his front paws; this limits noise that would startle prey and reduces the number of traceable prints your natural born hunter leaves behind when he’s stalking prey.

While the Cat Fancier’s Association and the International Cat Association, the two largest cat registries in the world, recognize 35 and 28 breeds of cats respectively, cats are generally close to each other in terms of size, shape and disposition regardless of their breed because all domesticated cats descended from the Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis Silvestris Lybica.

Cats can make more than 100 vocal sounds, but save their meowing for their mothers.  When they are kittens, they will meow if they need help or are hungry.  Similarly, adult cats will meow only when they want their owner’s attention, food or are in danger.  While older, injured or sick cats will sometimes purr for different reasons, cats typically purr to express their contentment.

Cats have excellent hearing and sight.  In fact, cats can hear even better than dogs as they can hear high-pitched sounds up to 60 – 65 kHz.  Cats can see up to 120 feet in front of them, have better peripheral vision than humans and require only one-sixth of the light that people need to see in similar circumstances.

Cats are known for their athleticism and can run at a rate of up to thirty-one miles per hour!  Cats are typically adept jumpers and use more 500 muscles to make just one leap.  Their shared dexterity is what makes it so much fun for felines to play by chasing toys and pretend fighting.

An ordinary domestic cat sleeps approximately 13-14 hours per day and spends up to half of his waking hours to groom himself.  In general, cats rarely need to be bathed by humans because they groom themselves daily.

Most domestic cats weigh between 8lb, 13oz and 11lb, 0oz.  The heaviest domestic feline whose weight was documented weighed a whopping 46lb, 15.20z!

Well, that’s it for now!  I hope this post has helped cat lovers to love their feline family members even more!  I also hope it has caused people who claim not to be big fans of cats to appreciate them for the wondrous creatures they are.  Finally, I hope this post leads those out there who don’t currently have a pet to consider adopting a cat in need of a forever home so they can enjoy the company of a pet who will love them unconditionally.

Are You Interviewing Pet Sitters? If Not, You Should Start Now

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It’s that time of year again! Spring has officially sprung and many of us are thinking about our next vacation. If you have pets, however, planning your next family adventure involves more than picking a kid-friendly location and researching area attractions that everyone in your party will enjoy. It also involves making plans for your pets.

Depending on your individual situation, you might feel comfortable with your adult children or neighbors caring for your pets. Or, you might prefer to board your pets in a kennel you’ve recently vetted thoroughly. If you’re like most people though, you’ll only have peace of mind if you arrange to have a professional pet sitter tend to your pets. Using a pet sitter allows your pets to stay in their own environment while you’re away and it gives you someone to hold accountable for the care your pets receive during your absence without jeopardizing any of your personal relationships.

If you live in Manitowoc, WI, finding a pet sitter is simple – just call Manitowoc Pet Sitters! We are bonded, and insured and we provide proof of this, right on our website. We will care for your home and pets as if they were our own. We’ll provide updates after every one of our visits with your pets so you’ll know they’re having a great time even though you’re not home. If an emergency arises, we’ll contact you immediately and quickly take corrective action of your behalf. We’ll visit your pets as often as you want us to and we’re even prepared to spend the night with them if you’re worried they’ll be lonely. We love to snuggle as much as your pets do, after all!

No matter where you live, there are some important questions you should ask when you’re interviewing pet sitters. The first inquiry you should make involves the nature of a pet sitter’s work. If the person isn’t a full-time pet sitter or only provides pet sitting services as a side job, it’s generally advisable for you to look for another service. When it comes to hiring someone to care for what might be your biggest investment, your home, and your furry family members, you want to find someone who is 100 percent committed to rendering the level of service your property and pets deserve.

Naturally, you should also ask for a list of references you’re allowed to contact. Ideally, the list will include the contact information for people who’ve used that particular pet sitter repeatedly over a period of time. If a pet sitter is reluctant to provide references and suggests you check the testimonials on his or her website instead, consider interviewing another service.

You should ask for written proof that a pet sitter is bonded and insured as well. Review the paperwork you receive to make sure the person’s bond and insurance policy are current. If a pet sitter has a bond and insurance it does two things. First, it provides protection for your financial interests if an accident occurs that is the fault of the pet sitter. Second, it demonstrates that the person takes his or her profession seriously because the individual has made a literal monetary investment in his or her career.

Additional questions you should ask include the following:
• How long have you been a pet sitter?
• How long will each of your visits last?
• How many times will you visit my pets each day?
• If you’re unable to care for my pets, who will? Is that person bonded and insured? Does that individual have experience?
• How often will you send me updates about my pets and home?
• If I need to contact you, approximately how long will it take you to respond?
• What is you policy in the event I need to cancel my plans?
• Will you recite the routine you’ll follow every time you enter my home to care for my pets, please?
• What happens if my pet becomes sick or gets injured while I’m away from home?
• What will you do if something goes wrong with my home such as a window breaking or a water pipe leaking?

An experienced, trustworthy pet sitter should be able to answer each of the questions listed above and many more. As it is in many instances, the only dumb question you can come up with is the one that you never ask. With that in mind, ask prospective pet sitters about anything relevant to your home and pets and the care they’ll provide as you interview them. If you think of another question after your initial meet and greet with a pet sitter, simply contact the person and ask.

At Manitowoc Pet Sitters, we’re available to answer your questions and address your concerns whether or not we’re currently caring for your pets. We firmly believe that active communication and transparency are what separates professional pet sitters apart from those who don’t take pet sitting as seriously as we do.
If you’re going out of town for business or pleasure, contact Manitowoc Pet Sitters today!

Sherbert and Cauliflower at Lakeshore Humane Society

Today, I went to the Lakeshore Humane Society to sponsor a cat. It’s something we enjoy doing especially because we are in the animal business. The last cat we sponsored, Stubby, was adopted out earlier this month. YAY!

When I arrived, I spoke to Tina, a nice woman who was working at the front desk. After explaining why I was there, I asked Tina about the cats that needed to be sponsored. She thought for a moment and then said, “Sherbert.” I asked her why that particular cat came to mind and she said, “Well, he has cauliflower ear and always gets passed by because of the way his ears look. People think he’s mean and he’s not.” When she stopped speaking, I asked if I could meet Sherbert.
We then headed into one of the colony rooms and I met Sherbert. Although our introduction was brief, I noticed he was shy and pretty big! The shelter staff believes he is a Maine Coon mix. In addition to taking note of his size and timidity, I noticed his ears and agreed that they did make him look different compared to Sherbert’s brethren.

So, I thought maybe if I wrote a little bit about cauliflower ear and what it’s all about Sherbert’s chances of being adopted would be higher. Plus, his adoption fee is now only $47.50 since we sponsored him. Believe me, that’s a deal! To get cats up to speed on vaccinations and spayed or neutered you’ll pay over $300 in Manitowoc County.
So what is cauliflower ear and what causes it? Well, in humans, cauliflower ear is normally caused by head trauma which results in blood collecting between a person’s ear cartilage and skin. Over time, the cartilage begins to shrivel and fold over itself. The masses that then form take on the appearance of a head of cauliflower which is why this condition is referred to the way it is by many individuals outside of the medical profession.
Like us, animals can develop cauliflower ear. Ear mites are the common culprits behind the condition appearing in dogs and cats. Because ear mites cause an animal to scratch and/or bite their ears and shake their heads profusely, the animals can suffer head trauma that results in cauliflower ear.
While the development of cauliflower ear is usually permanently disfiguring, it does not affect an animal’s longevity or the quality of his/her life. Despite the look of his ears, Sherbert will still be a great pet for someone who’s willing to welcome him into his/her family.

I sincerely hope you will consider adopting Sherbert because he really is a great cat and would be a wonderful addition to any family. Please keep in mind that no person or animal is perfect. In the case of Sherbert, his “flaw” is simply more noticeable than most people’s or animals’ misgivings are. So please don’t judge him just because his ears look different than most cats’ ears do. Instead, I hope you fall in love with Sherbert because his appearance is unique and his personality is a match with yours.

What Will Happen to Your Pet Should You Pass Away? Are You Prepared?

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Have you ever thought about what would happen to your pets if you became disabled or, worse, passed away? What would happen to them if you don’t have a spouse to care for them or you simply don’t trust your kids to tend to them the way you’d like? Is having them go to a shelter or a rescue your only option?

The answer to that last question is a resounding, “No!” Believe it or not, there are legal tools at your disposal that you can use to make plans for your pets to be cared for if you’re no longer able to tend to them yourself either semi-permanently or permanently. The first is a pet protection agreement and the other is a pet trust.

Both tools provide instructions about how your pets should be cared for and by whom. The documents should include information that answers questions such as the following:
What food should your pet eat?
What veterinarian should treat your dog or cat?
What no-kill shelter or secondary care provider should your pet be taken to in the event the primary caregiver you chose cannot care for your pet?
Where should your pet go for grooming?

If your pet is young, a pet protection agreement or pet trust document should designate the age at which you want your dog or cat to be spayed or neutered. For more mature pets, you should make note of any allergies they’ve developed and how they should be treated. Your agreement or trust document should also mention the medicines that your pet needs, when they should be administered and what dosages your pet takes. Of course, you should also provide instructions about what should be done to help your dog or cat adjust to a new environment as well.

While a pet protection agreement and a pet trust document will include a lot of the same information, they differ in a significant way – a pet trust document creates a trust that will provide funds that a successive caregiver can use to pay for the things your pet needs whereas a pet protection agreement does not. States generally consider pets to be the property of their owners, making it virtually impossible for you to leave money directly to your dog or cat. A pet trust solves this problem because it’s basically an account that holds money intended to benefit your pet.

While a pet trust makes it possible for you to leave money to your pet indirectly, you cannot put excessive amounts of money in a pet trust, meaning you can’t use a pet trust to avoid or reduce estate taxes. What a court may find excessive depends on a number of factors, including the number of pets you have, the lifestyle your pets are accustomed to and how you intend for them to be cared for in the future.

In Wisconsin, the law regarding this point reads as follows:
“Property of a trust…may be applied only to its intended use, except to the extent the court determines that the value of the trust property exceeds the amount required for the intended use [pet care]. Property not required for the intended use must be distributed to the settlor [creator of the trust], if then living, otherwise to the settlor’s successors in interest.”

If you create a pet trust, you can fund it with money or valuable assets that you have on-hand. Alternatively, you can buy a life insurance policy that would pay proceeds into the trust at the time of your death. Regardless of how you fund your pet trust, your trust document should specifically list the things that the money in the trust can be used for to prevent your pet’s caregiver from using the funds for his or her personal use. In general, it’s wise to designate the name of an attorney who will examine the trust’s financial records annually in your trust document. A yearly audit will help prevent anyone from abusing the trust’s proceeds.

In case money remains in the trust after your pet passes away, your trust document should state what should be done with the remaining funds. One option is for the remaining money to be given to your pet’s guardian. Another option is for the funds to be donated to a charity.

Regardless of whether you have a pet protection agreement, a trust document or both, it’s imperative for you to keep the relevant paperwork in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box that your pet’s guardian can access easily. It’s equally important for you to leave copies of your pet’s vet records with your legal documents so your pet’s new caregiver will be instantly familiar with your pet’s medical history and able to make critical health decisions when necessary.

The Business of Boarding Animals in Your Home in the City of Manitowoc, Wisconsin

I hadn’t thought much about the business of boarding animals in residential homes, let alone my own. I always thought that I would just pet sit outside of my home, but then some things changed.

We hired Mason Marquardt to do private boarding of dogs in his country home located outside of Maribel, WI. I hired Mason because I believe that offering a place where only the dogs belonging to a single family will be kept at a time is a critical factor when it comes to people deciding where to board their dogs. It took me a long time to find someone who was right for the position I wanted to fill. I wanted someone who loved dogs and had a lot of experience with them, but who did not have any of his or her own pets. It was difficult to find the right person, but, thankfully, not impossible. I am so thankful for Mason and the services he is offering to my clients!

Even before we established a place where our clients could board their dogs in an exclusive setting, I started to think about all the people who call me and want a place to board their cats. For reasons that may be due to the current state of affairs in our society, some people just aren’t comfortable with a professional pet sitter entering their homes to tend to their pets, plants or anything else…and there isn’t anyone or anything that will convince them to do so.

Even though I thought about this for a long time, I didn’t have time to take action. The first year of any business is hectic after all and I’ve been busy meeting new clients and learning new things to improve the care I provide to animals whose owners are unable to tend to them themselves.

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Ollie and I. He’s one of the cats I currently pet sit for.

Still, I wanted to do something to create a safe place for my clients’ cats to stay. That’s when I asked myself, “Why can’t I help out by at least offering a different, more personal setting in which cats can be boarded?” Let’s face it. The boarding options in our community pretty much all involve our pets staying in cages. So, I thought, “What if I could offer something better for cats?”

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My own two cats, Hope and Amara

You see, my love for cats as grown deeply over the years, especially the past three. It started with a feral cat I named, Green Eyes, back in 2011. My affection for Green Eyes inspired me to start fostering cats for the Specialty Purebred Cat Rescue of Wisconsin. As a result of my experience with that non-profit, my knowledge base regarding cats grew at an exponential rate. I now have a deep love for these creatures that rivals my love of dogs.

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Yep I dream big! Yet another idea of what we want to do in the cat room : )

So, I’m now in the process of learning what it will take for me to be able to board cats in my own home. I took a trip down to Manitowoc City Hall recently and ended up speaking to the city building inspector. It turns out that any occupation based out of a given home needs to be approved by the building inspector.

I got the form I was told I needed to complete and started looking at the questions on it. There were two questions that the building inspector said might be an issue for me. The first involved space. A home occupation within the city of Manitowoc can only occupy up to 25% of the total floor space on the first floor of the home. Well, that isn’t a problem for me as I plan to renovate a 9 x 10 foot room in my house that represents considerably less than 25% of the total floor space of the first floor of our home.

If I were going to board dogs, this spatial constraint could have been an issue since they would be roaming throughout my house. Since my goal is to only board cats in a single room, my plan won’t be affected by the 25 percent rule.

The second question involved noise. This question is designed to prevent anyone from opening a home-based business that would deprive the residents around a given home of their right to peace and quiet in any way, shape or form. Once again, since I’m going to board cats and not dogs, my neighbors will not be disturbed by my boarding activities.

Today, I’m heading down to the building inspector’s office to turn in my application and see if I’m approved. I still have a long way to go, but I’ve got the ball rolling.

This is a project that will take time, thought and money to pull off, but I’m cautiously optimistic that I will be able to care for my clients’ cats in my own home in the future as I continue to grow my pet sitting business.
I’ll check back in with you soon to keep you updated about my progress. Wish me luck!