Written by Karma Cat + Zen Dog Foster, Socializer, and Blog Writer, Jacqueline R. and Executive Director, Krystal H.

This month we asked staff reporter Kitty to answer some of the more frequently asked questions from our community of cat lovers.

Dear Kitty;

Our family is planning a vacation this summer, and we’d like to take our sweet cat Murray with us. What do you think is the best cat carrier for us to use?

-Travelling Furr Family

Dear Furr Family;

It’s wonderful that you want your family to stay together on vacation, but there’s some things you should consider before you go carrier shopping. Some of us cats can be very scared when we are taken out of our territory, and we often feel the most comfortable in our own home. Before Murray joins the clowder on the trip, take a moment to find out what he wants. If he doesn’t like to travel and it’s an option, it might be a better idea to find a human to temporarily serve and pamper Murray while you’re gone. Spending vacation really scared away from home isn’t any fun.  I recently heard from a friend of mine who went on vacation with her family for the first time, some big slobbery doggo spooked her unexpectedly and she ran out of their cabin and was lost in the woods for a few hours! No one wants to see that happen meow.

If Murray is the curious, traveling type, then this sounds really exciting for him! Some of us really love to see new places and meet new people! To address your question, I recommend that you stick with a hard plastic carrier, rather than one of those “fashionable” soft sided ones. They look purritty, that’s for sure, but they offer practically nothing in the way of safety. A hard sided carrier can protect us from being tossed around in a car accident, or from being crushed by a falling suitcase.

Also, I’m not supposed to tell you humans this, but many of us know how to get out of those soft sided ones – if you just stick your nose in the corner, you can push that zipper right open!  Of course, one of those feral types might go the brutish route and just use claw n’ tooth to get out.  Not possible with a sturdy and properly secured hard sided carrier!  Anymeow, I’m sure you’ll find the best one to keep Murray safe.  Happy Travels!


Dear Kitty;

We just adopted a sweet senior cat. She eats really well and seems to like being with our family. She loves sitting on a warm lap and being pet. She has the loudest purr we’ve ever heard. We just love her. Is it ok to give her treats in between meals? And if so, what kind and how many? Thanks Kitty!

-In Love with the Purr

Dear Purr Lover;

First, I applaud you for giving a senior a home! All of us dream of retirement watching birds, enjoying the sun, and being with our loving family. I think humans might like the same things. Anymeow, clearly this has been a match made in heaven because it sounds like everyone is so happy!  Hip hip Meow! I recommend that you consult with your veterinarian with any food or health related issues, but generally speaking, for a healthy cat in a healthy weight range, an occasional treat is a good way to bond and help her feel special. Listen mew, we all like the junk food sometimes, I see my human with that crinkly bag of salty crunchies now and then too. It’s important to treat yourself, but it’s all a matter of balance.

Something I really like is making treats a part of my playtime.

You can hide a tasty morsel or two and make a hunting game out of it – you know how much we love to use our natural instincts to find that prey! Plus, getting that sweet sweet reward is deserved after chasing rogue balls, catching the feathery rascals caught on your stick, or hunting down that darned red dot that always gets away. As that cat daddy Jackson Galaxy fellow says, “hunt, catch, kill, eat, groom, sleep.”

It’s not something I would consider, but I’ve heard a few of my best furriends over at the adoption center have even given in to the human desire to “high paw” or sit patiently for a tasty snack or two.  Not all of us will do this doggo stuff for treats though – sometimes a good reward is a nice petting or playtime! But the point is that interaction with you makes life more interesting, even if we don’t want to admit it, and all these things can really deepen our relationship with you.

As to what kind of treats? Furrst, I don’t recommend human food. It can be addictive and your furry friend is just going to end up seeking out more when you don’t want to share. Some of it can also make us very sick. As far as the good stuff though, like humans, we all like different things. There’s all kinds of feline appropriate treats to try, so get a variety and see what your cat likes; crunchy, soft, chicken, rabbit, dehydrated, etc., there’s no end to the options!  Have fun with it and remember – balance!


Dear Kitty;

Angel has been part of our family for the past 5 years. He’s about 7 years old and a very sweet boy. He’s always hanging out on his cat tree, sunning in the window, or sleeping next to us on the couch. There are so many ways we know he loves us – he always wants to be with us, he purrs non-stop, and is always rubbing up against our legs. He loves to headbutt (bunting) everyone – even strangers! How can we tell him how much we love him back?

-Helpless in Affection

Dear Helpless;

Wow! It sounds like you have a very sweet, loving cat who is really showing you how much he loves you! There are a few things you can do to show Angel how much you love him back:

  • You can slow blink at him, which is a signal in our language for “we’re cool” or “I love you.” Look in his direction, but don’t make direct eye contact (that’s rude and aggressive!), then slowly blink your eyes a few times. Angel will appreciate this and start slow blinking right back at you. You’ll find yourself doing it over and over – just don’t get caught up in all the love and be late for work!
  • Use interactive toys to play with him. We love playtime, boxes, and also catnip.  Definitely catnip.  All the catnip. Catnip. …

Ahem. Sorry got distracted there. Back to the list!


  • Give Angel lots of soft beds, towers to climb, and safe places to nap. Some of us are “tree” cats and some are “bush” cats – meaning some of us like to climb high and survey the territory, while others feel safer being lower to the ground. Offering both cat trees and caves gives us choices, and help us feel happy and secure.
  • Grooming time is something that some of us really love to do with our humans. You have those soft brushie things that help get some of our excess coat out without the nasty furball after effect. Spending some loving time with us and a brush we like can be a magical time for both of us.
  • Also, did I mention catnip?

There are so many things you can do to help Angel be happy and feel loved – it’s impossible to list them all.  I’ll throw one more tidbit here for you human, that sometimes we like some “me” time.  Like many humans, social interaction can be exhausting, and we really need a nice quiet place to call our own where we can hang out and recharge our batteries. So respect Angel’s needs for interaction and privacy, and let him have some time off. All of these things, and more, will keep Angel feeling special, loved, and very happy!


That’s it for meow, everyone, but keep on loving your furry friends and sending in those letters. I, Kitty, will do my best to get to them…maybe after my nap.

Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society is a registered 501(c)(3 )non-profit; donations may be tax-deductible in accordance with your local tax law. The mission of the Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society is to provide a safe and peaceful haven for homeless, abandoned or abused animals. We will help decrease the number of cats and dogs being destroyed in kill shelters through the work of our adoption, trap-neuter-return, and education programs.

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