Collie Corner

Furniture for Your Cat and Dog-Lovers


If you are a typical dog lover, chances are you let your collie chill on the couch next to you (or maybe on you.)  There’s a reason our buddies are called human’s best friend:  they love to “help us out”, play active games with us, and being a part of the things we do at home.  Unless your dog companion has experienced a lot of stress, moving  or redesigning your interiors with is not much of a challenge.

But chances are, you are not just a dog lover; but like all kinds of four-legged friends.  For many cat guardians especially, choosing new furniture for human use can be an exhausting process as we carefully consider materials that are still of high quality, but at the same time, do not figuratively call to the cats to do feline things in its vicinity.  This means that wicker stools or other furnishings out of very natural, non-dyed, organic materials with a lot of height will probably be out of the question.

Other than that, the next step would be to make sure your cat feels secure with the amount of space is has to do cat playing, grooming, nail scratching on pads or cat trees, and other things.  This can be the case when you are considering a move as well.

A cheap compromise that keeps your kitties happy and off your things, is by using shipping or packaging materials.  We often use the boxes that come when we order natural dust-free litter or food online; once everything is unwrapped, you will have a cardboard box and (hopefully) a couple long pieces of regular brown packing paper.  All you have to do is un-crumple and re-crumple the paper a few times and place it over cat-friendly spaces.  Eventually, a friend of ours saved enough paper to cover half of the space in his/her place.  The cardboard boxes can be used to offer privacy over litter boxes, and encourage wild kitty tree marking habits.  Letting them get in touch with their instincts will make them feel secure and accepted as long as you’re their cat and dog lover.

Non-pet-friendly Plants


Go spider plants!

Do we really know what cats or dogs do when we leave the house?  There is a chance that your furry companions could be sticking their noses into dangerous things while you are away for business or errands.  One of the steps that we can take to ensure their safety in our homes as guardians, is to be extremely careful consumers when it comes to purchasing house plants, or even any plants outside the home (depending on how often your cat or dog goes outside.)

Especially during special occasions, you may feel inclined to buy or gift some lilies.  But even though they are beautiful and the perfect centerpiece for Nanna’s bouquet, I don’t think her cat Mr. Jingles would appreciate that.  True lilies like Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies have toxins that can cause severe liver failure in lighter dogs and all cats.  Just 2-3 leaves could spell death, which is why being informed is so important.

Other dangerous plants to steer away from include:

  • tulips and hyacinths
  • African violet
  • Lilies
  • Sago Palm
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Azalea
  • Daffodils
  • Kalanchoe
  • Cyclamen
  • Oleander
  • Lily of the Valley

We recommend just sticking with plants that are both easy to care for, and are definitely safe.  If you had to pick one, we hope you would choose the guaranteed safety of your animal companion over the vanity of your flora.

Spider plants are a great example.  Often, they are cheap to buy at the store and are low maintenance.  They also can be cloned easily, so you may only take one trip to your florist, but end up with several potted spider plants by the next year.  Cats and dogs love to stick their faces in the leaves and when they sprout shiny, new leaves it can give you a feeling of small victory.  You now know one more thing to help yourself be a great animal guardian.

Dog & Cat History


While our elders and Tom & Jerry tell us that cats and dogs are natural sworn enemies, luckily we have cute animal friends youtube videos to show them the truth.  Even though there are many differences between cats and dogs, this does not guarantee that both cannot be happy house mates.  Ideally, not every cat-dog relationship will be close friendship, but they should both be satisfied with sharing the same space– your home.

While both cats and dogs are domesticated from their wild ancestors, dogs had more active human interference in this process.  Dog breeds were bred from wild dogs and/or wolves for specific purposes such as hunting, security/protection, companionship, and even rescue missions.  In comparison, cats began as wild cats, and then people like farmers let them hunt the mice and vermin in the barns or other buildings.  Slowly over time, cats became domesticated naturally as they acclimated to eating some grain and living closer to humans.  In fact, if you were to take a look at a wild cat (now rare), you may be surprised to find that they are quite small in size.

Taking not only the history of all cats and dogs into account, but your individual cat and dog’s past is one of the most important factors in fostering a good relationship between the two.

Mealtimes with your Dog or Cat


Whenever we get hungry, we usually go to either our kitchen, the grocery store/market, or a restaurant to grab some grub.  Although we may love our cats and dogs just as if they were human members of the family, that does not mean that their dietary needs are human.  So, we do not recommend feeding your Collie and other furry friends from the dinner table.  To enjoy many healthy and happy years with them, there are some things to take into consideration when it comes to mealtimes:  food formulas, food portions, and feeding schedule.

There are many brands of dog and cat food available on the market.  Making your own natural dog or cat food is also possible; however, the details are best discussed with a veterinarian or specialist.  Whether you choose dry or wet food, there will be advantages and disadvantages to both and therefore having both will be more beneficial to your pet.   In addition, consider the life stage of your pet when choosing what kind of food you want to buy:  kittens and puppies require more nutrients while they are still growing, and mature or pregnant companions will also need a special diet.  But what is the best dog food?  We can’t say for sure, but s a consumer of pet food, make sure that you always check the ingredient label; and keep in mind that generally, you will get what you pay for.

If your Collie is around the middle in terms of weight, let’s just say around fifty pounds, then they are going to require less calories than you would think.  We humans may like to have three meals a day with snacks in-between, but a medium dog would need approximately 3.5-4 cups of food per day.  It may seem like a lot, but measuring out food accurately with utensils will actually make the amount of food appear smaller in many cases.

Keeping a set schedule for mealtimes is also helpful for the health of your cat or dog.  Having a routine will make them feel more trusting and secure, especially knowing that their food source will come consistently.  The addition of an exercise routine before eating will help foster a good relationship with your pet and make healthy habits a part of everyday life, and hopefully that will be a life of many great years spent with you.

Never Declaw a Cat!


Declawing will definitely cause more than just cat frowns.

As the domestic house cat is rising in popularity, and may soon replace dogs as the most common pet in America; we at Collie Corner want to take a firm stance against declawing.  Declawing surgery in and of itself is mutilation because it amputates your kitty’s first knuckle bones.  Could you imagine trying to live your everyday life with painfully deformed hands and arthritis just because your parents couldn’t bother taking the time to teach us house manners?  Luckily, many veterinarians in the United States are refusing to offer the surgery but many humans are still signing their cats up for this torturous procedure.

Many who claim to be animal lovers, think that it is impossible to train a cat.  But having extra scratching posts and encouraging them to use it will help.  For deterring animals away from the furniture, you can also put double-sided scotch tape on the corners.  Spraying water at cats is discouraged because it can foster hostility in your relationships.

If all seems to fail, there is even a humane option.  Acrylic nail caps are fairly cheap, and you or a vet can just pop them onto your cat’s claws.  So, don’t let your loved one down and do something that cannot be undone:  forego declawing for other safe and kinder alternatives like the ones mentioned here.

Let’s meet the Collie!


Ask an average American about Collies and they will probably tell you that they have heard of Border Collies or Shelties, but that is pretty much it.  The truth is, there are many different types and variations of Collie breeds, with the origin being located in Scotland and Northern England.  In fact, the term refers to a particular type of herding dog and many specific breeds do not even have the name “Collie” in them!  An example of this is the Shetland Sheepdog.

Collies are not small or large, but generally medium-sized dogs that range in weight from forty-eight to seventy pounds.  Tales come in all different sizes as well as fur types, although many breeds will have a distinctive white pattern over the shoulders.  The Australian Kelpie is an exception, but they are still beautiful nonetheless.

While Collie types were originally bred for herding purposes, today most Collies are not just working animals, but members of the family.  This easy transition from the pasture to the home is made possible by their ease of training, high intelligence, and gentleness.  They are usually not the type to be a guard dog; however, they have good watch dog habits.  If you are new to Collies or already have one in your life, we hope you enjoyed this article.