Top 11 Beautiful Black Cat Breeds

FOR CAT PEOPLE | By Katie Nowak

Top 11 Beautiful Black Cat Breeds

There’s just something about a black cat. A little mystery, a little mystique, and a lot of adorable. It’s no wonder that black cats (of any kind) hold a special place in our hearts.

Here are 11 breeds that commonly come with black coats.


Popular Black Cat Breeds

1. Bombay

Bombay cat - 123RF


The Bombay is known for his sleek, black coat (that some say resembles patent leather). This designer breed was developed to retain the deep black color of the American shorthair and the sleek, muscular body of the Burmese. The resulting breed not only has these great looks but also has the easygoing personality of the American shorthair and the social nature of the Bombay.

Interesting fact: You can polish your Bombay with a chamois to obtain that sleek shine!

2. Chantilly-Tiffany

Chantilly-TIffany cat - 123RF


The Chantilly-Tiffany cat comes in many colors (chocolate, cinnamon, lilac), but often has a soft black coat with a characteristically silky feel. These cats are both affectionate and demanding, social and loyal—which are some fantastic lap-cat qualities.

Interesting fact: The Chantilly-Tiffany’s beautiful golden eye color intensifies as the cat gets older.

3. Persian

Black Persian kitten- 123RF


The Persian is everybody’s favorite flat-faced feline. Easily recognizable, this girl commonly sports a soft, glossy black coat. In fact, that coat is so high maintenance that many recommend Persians stay indoors so their coats can be kept in tip-top shape. (Not a bad idea, since all cats are safer inside anyway.)

Persians have soft, pleasant voices and are quite affectionate, if a little shy. They do best in calm environments, and when at home, can be quite playful, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association.

Interesting fact: Persians with black coats almost always have copper-colored eyes.

4. Maine Coon

Maine Coon Cat - Pixabay


The Maine Coon cat is the largest cat breed, boasting many Guinness Records for…pretty much everything that has to do with being a big, heavy, long cat. Despite their size, these guys are gentle and very loving. They’re known for being climbers, and, having owned two of them, I can vouch for this. Similarly, a jump from the floor to the top of the fridge is no challenge for these strong, muscular cats.

Their coats come in five solid colors and several tabby patterns. Of the solid coats, you can find black (of course), white, blue, red, or cream. The coats are long and silky but require less maintenance than some other long-haired breeds.

Interesting fact: The Maine Coon cat has large, tufted paws to help walk on snow.

The Rexes

So what is a rex?  Rexed cats have tufted hair, which means two things: super cute, and more than a few bad hair days. Though there are several types of rexed cats, they come in all different shapes and sizes, and—as you might have guessed—many of them have black coats.

5.  Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex - 123RF


The Cornish Rex is a very distinct-looking cat, with a curved body, large ears and short, curly hair that feel like lambs’ coats to the touch. Adding to their unique look, these guys have egg-shaped heads and large, high-set ears. As you might have guessed, these beauties can have dark coats that the Cat Fanciers’ Association describes as “coal black.”  Even the pads of their paws and their noses will be black. Besides black, these guys can also have white, cream, blue, red, chocolate or silver coats.

Interesting fact: Kallibunker, the kitten credited as the first Cornish Rex, was born in a litter of barn cats in Cornwall, England in 1953.

7. Selkirk Rex

Known for being easy-going and relaxed, the Selkirk Rex makes a great pet. A mix between the Persian, British shorthair, and Exotic shorthair, the Selkirk Rex inherited distinct personality traits from each: laid back, cuddly and playful, to name a few. The Selkirk Rex can have a long or short coat, which is dense and plush, with a telltale curl that makes them look a little like teddy bears. Given their breeding, these guys come in just about any color, black included.

Interesting Fact: The Selkirk Rex was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Newest Cat

8. Devon Rex

Devon-Rex breed black cat- 123RF


Known for being trouble-makers, the Devon Rex sports the same curly coat as his cousins. Devon Rexes are smaller cats, according to the International Cat Association (TICA), but are playful, powerful, and love to perch. They come in just about any color, black included.

Interesting fact: Devon Rexes are usually warm to the touch, even though they have the same body temperature as other cats, probably because their coat releases heat.

The Shorthairs

Shorthair cats are perennially popular pets commonly found with distinctive black coats.

9. American Shorthair

American Shorthair - Pixabay


These guys are so popular (and plentiful). They’re gentle, make ideal pets for households with kids, and usually live a long life, according to the Cat Fancier’s Association. As with many breeds, they come in a variety of colors, but might be most popular in black. Some kittens with black coats will have smoky colors on their belly and tail, but these should turn to black by adulthood.

Interesting fact: It’s possible that the ancestor to the modern-day American shorthair came to America on the Mayflower.

10. British Shorthair

British Shorthair - Pixabay


British shorthairs are known for being calm, easygoing, and not too talkative, according to the Cat Fancier’s Association. These guys grow to a medium-to-large size, and while they are most popular with a blue (deep gray) coat, they can black, too. Black-coated British shorthairs are jet black all around (including nose and paws) and will have gold eyes.

Interesting fact: British shorthairs are so amiable, owners keep them alongside a variety of other pets: dogs, rabbits, and even birds.

The Bobtails

Bobtails, as the name indicates, have naturally short, or “bobbed” tails, and come in a variety of coat colors, including black.

11. Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtails are known for being sociable, playful, and interactive. They also have excel at feline agility, according to the Cat Fancier’s Association. Like most cat breeds, they come in a wide variety of colors.  Black bobtails have dense, coal-black and sleek coats.

Interesting Fact: Each bobbed tail, like a fingerprint, is unique to each cat.

12. American Bobtail

American Bobtail - 123RF


American bobtails are large, athletic cats with above-average intelligence, according to TICA. These guys are great family pets because they can be social with just about anyone. Unlike more picky breeds, they won’t choose just one favorite family member.  Their coats come in a variety of colors and can be long or short. Black-coated bobtails have a dense, soft coat and can have black or brown pads on their paws.

Interesting fact: Short-Haired bobtails have a coat that feels like a rabbit pelt.

Turkey Bone Broth for Dogs Couldn’t Be Easier Thanks to the Instant Pot [Recipe]

Wondering what to do with your leftover turkey bones from your holiday dinner? Why not whip up a hearty bone broth for your dogs? Bone broth provides iron, protein, healthy fats, and minerals for pets. The gelatin from the connective tissue and cartilage are a great source of collagen and glucosamine for joint support, too. In this bone broth recipe, the long cooking time plus the acid in the vinegar helps release these elements. We used our Instant Pot, but it’s easy to modify for any slow cooker.

Turkey Bone Broth for Dogs


For our turkey bone broth recipe, we used the leftover carcass from our holiday dinner, plus some turkey necks from the butcher counter for more gelatin in our broth.

You could also use turkey or chicken feet if you can find them. We added carrots, celery, and parsley for flavor. Smells good? Yup, you can eat this too.

A word of caution: Most human bone broth recipes call for onions and garlic, which just aren’t good for dogs, so when buying commercial bone broths, read labels. And that’s why making your own is so great—you call the shots on every ingredient.turkey bone broth recipePRINT

Instant Pot Turkey Bone Broth for Dogs

  • Author: Kiki Kane
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 quarts 1x
  • Category: Meal mixers

SCALE 1x2x3x


  • OPTIONAL 3 Turkey Necks or 6 Feet
  • 1 Turkey Carcass
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 2 Carrots or 1 Cups Baby Carrots
  • 1 Cup Roughly Chopped Fresh Parsley or 1/4 Cup Dried
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Sage
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Water


If using the turkey necks or feet, you’ll need to roast them first.

Preheat oven to 400º

  • Grease a roasting pan with olive oil and add the necks and/or feet. Add the veggies too, if you like.
  • Bake for 40-60 minutes, until you get some nice color on the meat.
  • Place the meat and bones in the Instant Pot, layering the veggies and herbs on top.
  • Pour the vinegar over, then top up the bowl with water to the max fill line.
  • Set the Instant Pot for 4 hours (240 minutes).
  • After a natural release, remove solids from the broth with tongs.
  • Pour the broth through a mesh colander into a bowl.

Place broth in the fridge until the fat rises to the top and the broth thickens. Overnight works great. Lastly, scrape the fat off the top of the broth and discard.

Serve broth warmed or cold over your dog’s favorite meal, or just by itself. You can freeze it, too!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @roverdotcom on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithrover.

Tasting Notes: Dog-Friendly Bone Broth

Bea gives this wiggly and wonderful goodness four paws up. Check her out eating in super-slow motion.

How to Introduce a Cat to a Dog Household: A Step-by-Step Guide

To explain how to introduce a cat to a dog, let me tell you about Phoebe.

Phoebe was about one-and-a-half years old when I first learned about her. A friend of my friend found Phoebe in a garage covered in grease as a kitten but needed to rehome her because of some serious changes in his life. Although my San Francisco apartment was already filled with fluff, I’d been thinking about adding a cat to my two-dog family. Phoebe was in the right place at the right time.


A few days later, the blue-eyed beauty showed up wrapped in a fleece blanket in her dad’s arms. I’d locked away the dogs so she could enter the house safely but after the goodbyes, it was time to switch gears.

To introduce this sweet cat into a dog household, we’d have to start off on the right foot…er, paw.

How to Introduce a Cat to a Dog Household


1: Introduce the cat to the dog by sound and scent

(3-7 days)

  • Set up a “safe room” (a bathroom, bedroom, or office with a door) for the cat.
  • Exchange items like beds and toys used by the dogs with those used by the new cat so they can become familiar with one another’s scents.
  • Don’t allow them to see one another (yet).

The first night Phoebe arrived, she was terrified. Cats are creatures of habit. They don’t deal well with change and everything in this little girl’s life had just gone topsy-turvy.

To help her feel secure in this new situation, I set up a safe room with everything she would need to be comfortable, such as a cat tree, hiding places, soft bedding, toys, water, food, and a litter box.

For at least three days, if not a full week, I planned to keep the door closed to prevent any of the four-legged residents from getting a look at each other.

While they couldn’t see their new family member, the dogs knew she was there. They could smell her and hear her movements. One even posted up a foot from the door for nearly an hour, peering under the door crack hoping to get a glimpse.

To help the animals acclimate more quickly to one another’s scent, I exchanged blankets and beds twice a day, putting Phoebe’s in the living room and bedroom and vice versa. If one of the dogs became too pushy about seeing what was behind the closed door, I redirected them elsewhere with toys, affection, or training games.


2: Visual introductions

(3-7 days)

  • Allow the new kitty and dogs to see each other by placing a baby gate in the doorway of the safe room (instead of closing the door).
  • Begin bringing the new cat out of the safe room for short periods of time. During these exploration sessions, dogs should be on a leash, out of the house, or in a separate room.
  • Be a Pez dispenser with treats, rewarding the dog(s) and cat for calm behavior.

By the end of the week, Phoebe was feeling more settled. She no longer hid when I entered her room and seemed curious about the world beyond. Time to move on to phase two!

First, I set up a baby gate in the doorway of the safe room, so Phoebe had a window to the world that the dogs couldn’t breach. Phoebe was still anxious—a personality trait she keeps to this day—so I didn’t expect her to jump over the gate, but if you have a curious cat, you’ll want to only use the baby gate when you’re supervising.

Next, it was time to introduce Phoebe to the rest of the house in the least stressful way possible. On her first outing, I made sure that the dogs were completely out of the way and gave her a solid 30 minutes to explore.

After a few days, when she seemed more confident moving around outside the safe room, it was time to let her see her new sisters.

At this stage, I didn’t want the dogs to interact with Phoebe. Instead, the plan was to allow them to watch each other move around in a no-pressure, positive way. On our first attempt, I leashed both dogs at my side, armed myself with a bag full of treats, and turned on a movie.

My goal was to spend the entire movie rewarding my pups for remaining calm when Phoebe moved around. Each time they turned toward her, I told the dogs “Yes!” and gave them a treat.

If they were staring, I did this rapidly like a Pez dispenser: “Yes!” and reward, “Yes!” and reward, “Yes!” and reward until they turned away. When a dog stood or began to whine or bark, I resettled them with cues (“sit”, “down”, or “quiet”) or offered them a toy to focus their energy on.

On other trials, I flipped the script. Instead of putting the dogs on leash and letting Phoebe explore, I placed Phoebe in a mesh cat carrier at my side and let the dogs do their thing. When they were curious enough to come within five feet of Phoebe, I rewarded her with the “Yes!” followed by a treat.

When one got within a foot or two, I rewarded her rapidly for tolerating their presence.


3: Introducing a cat to a dog face-to-face

(1-4 weeks)

  • Begin facilitating quick, positive greetings to introduce your new cat and dog(s) on leash.

When Phoebe and the doggos seemed less interested in each other’s presence, I started removing barriers. In this phase, I kept the dogs on a leash at my side, but Phoebe was no longer behind a barrier.

Instead, as she sauntered around the living room, I rewarded the dogs for remaining calm, giving them a “Yes!” followed by a food reward when they turned her way.

Anytime the dogs got more aroused by her presence, I calmly asked them to return to me and played a brief game of tug or asked them to put their energy into a fun behavior like “spin” or “touch.”

In the beginning, when the dogs were still a little over-eager, we kept these sessions to a short 10-15 minutes, but once they got more used to Phoebe’s movements, we kept the interaction going for up to two hours.


4: Transition to no barriers

  • Allow all animals to have full access to the house when supervised.
  • Continue to use baby gates or closed doors to separate the animals when you can’t supervise them.
  • Make sure that the kitty has options to get up high, out of reach of the dogs when they feel anxious.

Introducing a cat to a dog household can take time. For us, after three weeks (!), I put the animals to the final test by letting them all share the same space with no leashes, baby gates, or cat carriers. I added some high shelves and a tall cat tree to my home to make sure that Phoebe could easily get to safety if things got too dicey.

Although I felt confident that all three could coexist without too much trouble, I gave the situation a couple more weeks to develop before leaving them alone in the same space when I was out of the house.

From Phoebe’s first day in my home to where I trusted the animals to share the same space without supervision took about four weeks. I was lucky that my dogs were fairly mellow with Phoebe but her anxiety prevented us from moving faster.

Depending on the age and energy level of your dogs and whether they’ve had any cat exposure before, this process could take longer. With a confident kitty and calm dogs, you may speed up the process to two weeks.

No matter what the personality and experience of your pets, be sure to introduce a cat to a dog at the speed that’s right for everyone—it’s worth it to ensure a long and happy future together.

Featured Image: Pixabay

Tricks and Toys to Keep Dogs Busy When They’re Alone

Our dogs can’t always come with us, sadly, and we’ve all gotta leave the house sometimes. So what does your dog get up to when you leave her home alone? Counter surfing? Couch surfing? Singing the blues? While some dogs may be content to snooze away the day, many dogs will need some extra stimulation to keep them happy during your absence. We’ve got some great suggestions for tactics and toys to keep dogs busy while you’re away.

Does your dog need company? Hint: it’s easy to find great pet care from doggy daycare to dog walking on Rover.


Table of Contents

Helping a Dog Feel Relaxed

Nicole Ellis, dog trainer and member of Rover’s Dog People Panel, recommends managing your dog’s space while they’re alone. That means reducing their potential for getting into trouble, as well as removing triggers. This can be as simple as blocking off a corner of your living room or keeping doors closed to no-go areas.

The key is to create a special dog zone for your pet with a few safe toys, treats, and comfort items. A baby gate can help section off a portion of the house if you don’t use a crate or can’t spare an entire room just for your dog.

Shut the blinds or curtains in order to reduce barking triggers.

Leaving on a fan or a white noise machine can also help cover up other noises, which can help reduce agitation.

Distractions for a Lonely Dog

Chews are a good bet.

Just be careful not to give your dog anything that will splinter. The classic Nylabone is a good option with plenty of dog-friendly flavors. We hear it promotes healthy teeth, too. 

Splurge on extra-cozy dog beds.

The more comfy, the more enticing it will be for daytime rest. You can also move or add beds for the novelty factor. Cave beds are great for diggers, while orthopedic options are ideal for senior pets.

Leave the radio or TV on when you go out.

Change up the station, too! This can help distract your dog from focusing on noises outside the house.

pet cam can be helpful and fun.

The PetCube is a fun splurge that provides a lot of entertainment mileage for both of you; be warned that it gets addictive! It lets you watch and communicate with your dog from afar with pet camera, laser pointer toy, and 2-way audio. Whaaaat.

Other popular wireless pet cams include the Nest and the treat-tossing Furbo.

You May Also Like: How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone?

The Best Toys to Keep Dogs Busy

Pro tip: rotate toys in and out to keep things fresh and interesting.

1. KONG toys are a classic choice.

You fill the hollow toy with peanut butter and dog treats, and for a challenge, put it in the freezer. It will take more time to remove the goodies that way, which is great if your dog needs stimulation for an extended period.

You can also purchase pre-made KONG stuffings in lots of flavors that spray in like cheese whiz—yum.

KONG video: an inside peek

We recently visited the KONG headquarters and got a rare, exclusive look inside their dog-friendly operation. Watch and you’ll see why KONG continues to be a bestseller.

If your dog finds the KONG too easy, read on.

2. An interactive toy like the shuffle bone dog puzzle is extra-credit.

This takes a little training for some pups, but it’s a lot of fun once they get it down. Hide dog food under the sliders for a quick game of “Where’s the Scooby snack?” For more toys like this, see the great Swedish puzzle toy line by Nina Ottosson.

3. IQ-testers like this colorful ball toy are very popular.

This treat-dispensing sphere will keep your dog entertained for longer than you’d think. The similar Bob-A-Lot gets a thumbs-up from our larger dogs.

4. DIY enthusiasts, you can build your own puzzle toy if you’re feeling handy.

Toys to keep dogs busy usually involve some kind of hide-and-seek factor. Think: empty milk jugs, a mat with lots of felt pieces, or a muffin tin filled with treats and covered in tennis balls to block easy access to the snacks.

A Tired Dog Is a Good Dog

Exercise your dog before you leave for the day with a vigorous walk or a game of fetch. This sets your dog up for a nice long snooze. Did we mention walks? They’re key! Get some help if your schedule makes it tough.

Mental exercise can wear your dog out, too. Frequent training sessions can help calm the canine mind—and strengthen your bond.

The 14 Cutest Cat Breeds You’ll Want to Snuggle ASAP

While all cats have a way of charming us with their cuteness, some breeds are a cut above the rest.

These cats have that something extra. Something that elicits a collective “awwww” and an unmatched desire to cuddle. We’re talking swoon-worthy coats. Expressive eyes. Delightfully rounded figures.


You get the picture.

It was no easy task trimming this list down to a reasonable 14. Every kitty deserves a spot on this countdown! Nevertheless, we managed to pick out the absolute cutest cat breeds for your viewing enjoyment. Prepare for a cuteness overload.

1. Ragdoll


Meltingly sweet, the Ragdoll earned his name for his relaxed floppiness while being cuddled. It’s a good thing they enjoy being held so much—their colorpoint, semi-long coat is irresistible. This breed’s bewitching blue eyes definitely have us under a spell.

2. Munchkin cat

With a name like “Munchkin,” how could these cats not be cute? These diminutive felines are energetic extroverts who enjoy playing with everyone, dogs and cats included. The Munchkin’s short stature and whimsical personality will have you wrapped around his tiny finger in no time.

3. Siberian


The Siberian sports a magnificent double-coat with a fluffy neck ruff that protected him against the harsh winters of his homeland, Russia. This spunky breed has an adventurous spirit that makes him all the cuter. His adorable tufted ears earn this breed the highest marks for cuteness.

4. Cymric

A cat without a tail? Strangely adorable. This long-haired version of the tailless Manx cat is gentle and affectionate. The Cymric’s spherical body is beyond adorable—they have round heads, round eyes, and even rounded rear ends. This skilled jumper comes in a variety of colors, and we love them all!

5. Birman


Once called “The Sacred Cat of Burma,” the dignified Birman exudes elegance. This cutie will win you over with his beguiling eyes and silky coat. Birmans are people-oriented cats who make friends easily. They enjoy spending time with their families, and they love it when you lavish them with attention. Not that they need to twist your arm to do so.

6. Ragamuffin

Cousin to the sweet Ragdoll, the Ragamuffin is a large, fluffy furball who’s inclined to follow his humans wherever they go. He’s calm, patient, and playful, making him the ideal cat for families with young children. Seriously, what’s not to love about this charming kitty? Even his name is cute!

7. Abyssinian


There’s something about the Abyssinian’s inquisitive eyes and exotic, wildcat appearance that has us hooked. Known for their mischievous antics, this “clown of the cat kingdom” is endlessly curious and loves to explore. The spirited Aby is a persistent attention-seeker. Not that his people mind.

8. Bengal


This isn’t a low-maintenance feline, but it sure is a cute one! The Bengal’s wild appearance was achieved by crossing Asian leopards with domestic cats. Always on the go, Bengals enjoy climbing, playing fetch, and going for walks on a leash. One feature that brings this breed’s cuteness up a notch: the iridescent sheen that makes his coat look like it’s been dusted with glitter.

9. Egyptian Mau


One of the few domestic cat breeds with naturally occurring spots on its coat, the Egyptian Mau has us dazzled with his striking good looks and sweetly shy demeanor. This breed is sensitive and reserved—but earn his trust, and he’ll be your friend for life.

10. American Bobtail


The American Bobtail ticks all the cute boxes. Abundantly fluffy coat? Check. Cherubic expression? Check. Gorgeous coloring and a precious little “bobbed” tail? Check and check! This dog-like cat is easygoing and interactive. An American Bobtail will bond closely with his human family.

11. Chartreux


Affectionately referred to as “the smiling blue cat of France,” the Chartreux is a beloved rarity in the United States. We’re smitten with this cat’s rotund body, bright eyes, and plush blue-gray fur. His personable and loving nature makes him the ultimate lap-cat. Get ready for all the cuddles!

12. LaPerm

This breed’s kinky curls are reminiscent of the popular 80’s hairstyle, the perm. And while this outdated hairstyle may have met its demise decades ago, we think he’s seriously rocking the look. LaPerms have a habit of getting into mischief. But they’re so cute, we can forgive a little playful misbehavior.

13. British Longhair


On the quieter side, the British Longhair is a calm and dignified cat. This breed has a stocky build and a luxurious coat. His rounded eyes and chubby cheeks make the British Longhair one of the cutest cat breeds out there.

14. Turkish Angora


With ballerina-esque grace and strength, the lovely Turkish Angora is considered a national treasure in his homeland, Turkey. We can’t get enough of his long, silky coat and fluffy tail. But don’t let his elegant look fool you. These disarming felines are not as prim and proper as they appear. Turkish Angoras are active, humorous, and clever kitties—three traits we think make them all the cuter.

So there you have it. The cutest of the cute. Which of these endearing cats gets your vote?

8 Steps to Take Before Flying With Your Dog

The friendly skies are not always so friendly. Between navigating crowded airports, squeezing into tiny seats, and shelling out big bucks for fares, flying can be a stressful experience for even the most seasoned travelers. So imagine how stressful it can be for your dog.

Flying with your dog is a possibility, but there’s a lot you should know before you book your furry friend a ticket. San Francisco trainer and owner of The Pooch Coach Beverly Ulbrich is outlining everything you need to know before putting your pet on a plane.


Research Your Options Before Flying with Your Dog

All airline pet policies are not created equal. While some airlines offer luxurious options like “Cuddle Class” in the first-class cabin, others may not allow your dog to fly at all. It’s not just a matter of space—some airlines refuse to fly dogs in the cargo hold for liability concerns.

Here are a few of the major airlines that will not fly dogs in cargo:

  • Southwest
  • Jet Blue
  • Frontier

Some airlines have restrictions on breeds, mainly those with shortened airways that might have trouble breathing aboard the plane in cargo, especially under stress.

The general rule of thumb to fly in the less-stressful cabin is the dog and crate combined can weigh no more than 20 poundsThis comprehensive site lists all the rule and regulations of flying with your pet, including fees and pet reservation lines.

Plan to Fly with Your Dog Weeks in Advance

Whether in the cabin or in cargo, dogs have to fit comfortably in their crates and be willing to stay there for hours.


Whether in the cabin or cargo, you’ll need to prepare your dog for flying. Follow these expert tips for a seamless trip:

  • Step 1: Crate Training—Your dog should already be crate trained well before the flight. Your dog needs to be able to stand up and turn around in their crate. “Make sure they’ve had plenty of time to adjust,” Ulbrich says. “They should be able to sleep in their kennel and be comfortable with it.”
  • Step 2: Conquer Separation Anxiety—Your dog must be able to lay down in his crate by himself, even in the cabin. “They have to stay in a kennel underneath the seat the entire flight, so you have to make sure they can be in the kennel alone,” Ulbrich explains.
  • Step 3: Desensitize Noise—Make sure your dog is desensitized to loud noises and crowds, which means he must be properly socialized. There are some exercises to help your dog be calm in the crowd. “Play some sounds of airplanes taking off in the house or loud noises over the speaker systems so the dog is desensitized to the noise and doesn’t think the sky is falling,” Ulbrich suggests.

Day of the Flight

Only guide and service dogs can travel unrestricted in the plane cabin.


There are a few important things to remember the day of your flight.

  • Monitor your dog’s food and water intake. This might seem like common sense, but frazzled pet parents might not consider how long their dog will be in their crate, unable to go potty. You need to balance this concern with keeping your dog hydrated during the flight. “You don’t want them to be dehydrated but you should restrict their water intake somewhat,” Ulbrich says. The kennel is required to have a water dish attached, but the water may splash in flight, or your dog may be too stressed to drink. Be conscious of leaving food in the crate as well. “Don’t leave anything they could eat and choke on since nobody is there to help them.”
  • Run, run, run! Make sure your dog gets plenty of taxing exercise to wipe his energy out. “Even if that means if you get up at 3 a.m., you have to walk your dog for the longest walk they’re used to to make sure they’re as tired as possible and empty their bladders,” Ulbrich explains.
  • One last potty break. You might be counting on that last pit stop to let your dog relieve himself. Make sure you do this either right before you check in (if you’re flying your dog in cargo) or right before you go through security (if your dog is flying in the cabin). Research your airport ahead of time to know where there might be a grassy area. “Some airports have dog-relief areas, but your last option might be a concrete sidewalk,” Ulbrich says. “Make sure your dog is used to going potty on the pavement, just in case.”
  • Make your dog comfortable. Flying is stressful enough for us humans but imagine how stressful it is for a dog who is separated from you and doesn’t understand what’s going on. A shirt that smells like you can be comforting, as well as a familiar blanket or toy. Keep the weather conditions in mind, though. “When I fly my dog in the winter, I have a jacket on them,” Ulbrich says. “It might be best to have a little jacket, even a ThunderShirt, which keeps them warm and calms them down. But if it’s going to be hot, make sure you don’t put too many blankets in there that could make them even warmer.”

Word of Warning

If you're wary about flying your dog in the cargo hold of a plane, you could pick an alternate means of travel—like a train!


Before you commit to flying your dog in cargo, understand the liability the airline will take if something goes wrong. Familiarize yourself with the airline’s handling procedures and realize to the airline, you are “shipping” your dog.

“The luggage will come off first, so don’t panic when you don’t see your dog right away,” Ulbrich explains. “Even though you pay extra to travel with your dog, they take the luggage off first and then they take the live animals off.”

If you’re not comfortable with the airline’s policies, you could always travel by car or train, sometimes even by boat—or find a loving dog sitter at home. The most important thing is keeping our furry friends comfortable and making sure they arrive safely.

Travel plans? Next time you leave town, find a dog sitter who’ll treat your dog like family. Rover’s got you covered with loving dog sitters across the U.S. including TampaPortlandSacramentoSalt Lake City, and beyond.

5 Tips to Get Your Cat to Like You

FOR CAT PEOPLE | By Whitney Coy

5 Tips to Get Your Cat to Like You

It’s a running accusation that cats are jerks—unloving and uncaring creatures that couldn’t care less if you’re around as long as their food bowl is full. Cat people, however, know this is far from the truth. If your cat likes you, you basically have a tiny, fur-covered BFF for life.

It’s the getting them to like you part that can be tricky.


Cats are very different than dogs. They’re not attracted to enthusiastic greetings or belly rubs—in fact, those actions will probably get you black-listed with your cat pretty quickly. Cats are different animals (literally) so it takes entirely different behavior to get them on your side. And it’s not going to happen overnight. Winning a cat over takes time and dedication.

Here’s what the experts say you should (and shouldn’t) do to get your cat to like you.

What not to do when interacting with a cat

We know you’re excited about your cat, and you want them to love you just as much as love them. But the first thing you need to do is dial all that enthusiasm back…a lot.

Cats like calm, quiet, and doing things on their own terms. Greeting your cat with an enthusiastic “Hi kitty!” and rushing towards him is a surefire way to send your cat into hiding—and to make him be on guard the next time you’re around.

The same goes for forcing affection. If your cat trusts you enough to be in the same room as you, forcing him to sit close or be held when he isn’t interested is only going to work against you in the long run. In fact, it might eat away at the trust you’ve built.

Even worse may be force-petting your cat, according to Dr. Marty Becker of Vet Street. “A recent study found that cats who reluctantly allow people to stroke them are more stressed than cats who simply avoid being petted.” she wrote on the site.

Instead, dig down deep and find your chill. Resist all urges to show your cat just how much you want to be friends and take it slow.

How to get your cat to like you

1. Give your cat some space

cat on a rug


When your cat comes into the room, your instincts may tell you to keep him there by any means necessary. But blocking his exit is the last thing you should do, according to what Jackson Galaxy, author of Total Cat Mojo and host of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell, told LifeHacker.

When your cat enters a new space, he’s judging the whole area and always monitoring the way out. Galaxy explains that by blocking the way out, you’re making yourself more of a foe than a friend.

2. Act like you don’t care

You know how your cat sometimes acts indifferent to you? It may be hard, but it’s time to mimic that behavior.

According to research explained by Mental Floss,  the best way to bring a cat to you is to act like you couldn’t care less. Read a book, watch TV, maybe even take a nap. If you’re not interested, the cat is more likely to approach.

When you take this tactic, your cat is in control. If it was his idea to approach you, you’re already on the right track. Once he comes over to visit, how you react matters more than you think.

3. Avoid eye contact

Now that you have your cat’s attention, it’s important not to spook or intimidate him. You may glance over to notice your cat’s proximity to you, but do not hold that gaze.

Once cat expert told Slate that in cat language, holding eye contact is basically like trying a start a fight—which is exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to do here. Instead, take a page out of the cat’s own book and practice the art of the slow blink. You’ve probably seen your cat do this a time or two, and now it’s time to try it yourself.

Turn your head back to face your cat and wait for him to look your way. Once he does, slowly close your eyes, scrunch your face, then slowly open your eyes again. Do this a few times and wait to see if your cat does it back.

He’ll probably only play this game of back and forth a time or two before he loses interest, but that’s OK. You’ve passed a major milestone by bonding with your cat in their very own language.

4. Offer a finger

sleepy cat


Once your cat is comfortable enough to stay within reach of you, your instinct may be to reach out and give him a pet. Don’t do that.

According to Mental Floss, cats greet nose to nose. It would be weird for you to try this move, even to your cat, so the next best thing is to offer a finger, which closely resembles the tip of a nose.

Nonchalantly stick out a finger or your whole hand—not directly at the cat, just in his general direction. Chances are, your cat will walk up and sniff your finger, and may even rub it against his face.

Take that as a win.

4. Pet your cat the right way

If the finger greeting went the right way and your cat is still hanging around, it may be time to try to pet him. But be careful, because the way you do it matters.

According to LifeHacker, it’s time again to discuss the difference between cats and dogs. With a dog, you’d reach out and pat his head or scratch his side, but those movements would be a lot less successful with a cat.

Instead, rub your cat on his cheeks, or behind his ear. These are the spots where the cat has glands and where they would be licked by their mothers. Becker says you may even have some luck stroking the cat along their spine.

Whatever you do, don’t try to rub your cat’s belly—and stay away from the tail.

“Many cats feel vulnerable when their tummy is at risk, even if you’re not a threat to them,” Becker explains. “And while they like to scent us with the glands on their head and face, they don’t love it so much when we pick up the odor from their tail glands.”

5. Groom your cat

Cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves and they also like to groom each other. If you want to be a member of your cat’s inner circle, you’re going to have to be down with that, too.

Use a brush approved for cats to groom your cat. Slowly brush him and talk to him in a gentle voice, stopping if he shows signs of being uncomfortable.

“Watch your cat’s body language to make sure he’s enjoying your attention,” warns Becker. “If his tail starts to twitch—or if he simply gets up and walks away—he’s had enough.”

6. Play with your cat

Cat watching


Of course, getting your cat to like you isn’t just about slow blinking and pretending they’re not in the room. Part of bonding with your cat is about showing them that you know how to have a good time.

Cat behaviorist Mieshelle Nagelschneider, author of The Cat Whisperer, recommended playtime to LifeHacker as a good way to get your cat to like you. Use a toy on a wand or a laser pointer to allow them to play near you, but still leave enough space that they’ll feel comfortable.

Galaxy, also speaking to LifeHacker, warns that this tactic may only work with a cat who has already built up trust, so it’s not something you want to try right out of the gate.

4. Bribe your cat

cat eating


If all else fails, encourage your cat to get used to being near you by bribing it with treats.

“Carry around some nice, soft, stinky cat treats wherever you go,” advises Becker. “Reward your cat whenever he approaches you for some loving or settles in next to you or on your lap.”

Tom McNamee, author of The Inner Life of Cats, told LifeHacker that it might be even easier than that. “Put the food down in their usual place and then sit next to it.”

5. Take it slow

Overall, the best advice you can get for getting your cat to like you is to take it slow, be patient, and let your cat run the show.

Follow your cat’s cues and back off if he hisses, swipes at you, or just seems unhappy. It may take a while, but if you follow these tips, it won’t be long until your cat is your feline bestie.

What to Do When Your Puppy Has a Runny Nose


What to Do When Your Puppy Has a Runny Nose

  •  Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

Does your puppy have ongoing sniffles or congestion? It’s hard to see our pets be uncomfortable, so you’re probably wondering how to help him as soon as possible.

Here are the most common reasons for your puppy’s runny nose and what you can do to help them feel better.



Just like humans, puppies can develop allergies to different things in their environment. Based on my own interactions with people and their dogs, these environmental sensitivities are becoming more and more prevalent.

Your puppy’s runny nose could a symptom of inhalant allergies, also known as contact allergies. Typical inhalant allergens are pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds. Molds, mildew, and house dust mites are also common ones.

Other symptoms

  • Itchy skin
  • Runny eyes
  • Sneezing

How to help

The most obvious solution—removing or avoiding the allergen—is the most difficult. You must know the exact cause of the reaction. That can be accomplished with the help of your veterinarian and an allergy blood test.

You can also consult with your veterinarian about medications to block allergic reactions. They might suggest anti-inflammatory drugs, like corticosteroids. Another option is antihistamines, like Benadryl.

Be sure to check with your veterinarian for the best option for your puppy and the correct dosage.


Dogs put their noses to use all day every day, sniffing here, there, and everywhere. If you notice a discharge from just one of your dog’s nostrils, there’s a possibility something is stuck. It could be anything from a leaf particle to grass to…well, use your imagination!

Other symptoms

  • Pawing their nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nose bleed

How to help

Try to look up your dog’s nose to see if there’s really something stuck. If you see the object causing your puppy’s discomfort, try removing it with your own fingers (if it’s within reach). More likely, you’ll need to use tweezers with gentle care.

Puppies are pretty wiggly, so enlist someone to help keep your pup’s head still.

If you can’t see anything, try the clever mirror test. Place a mirror underneath your dog’s nose. If it fogs up unevenly, you can confirm something is truly stuck and which nostril it’s in.

Contact your vet to have the object removed if you can’t do it easily.


Canine distemper virus is serious and difficult to diagnose. However, it is possible for puppies and young dogs to overcome.

I can personally attest to this. My spirit animal, Chance, had distemper when he was a young dog in foster care. The rescue organization wasn’t sure he’d pull through, but he did. He was a strong-willed Australian Kelpie mix who lived a long, adventure-filled life to the age of 13.

Other symptoms

People often mistake distemper for a cold because the symptoms are much like an upper respiratory infection and it can progress to pneumonia.

  • Fever
  • Discharge from the nose and eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea


There’s a series of vaccines and booster shots available to prevent the contagious distemper virus.


You should seek medical attention if you suspect your dog has distemper. It often requires inpatient supportive care.

Be prepared that it can take several weeks for puppies and young dogs to recover from canine distemper. Your veterinarian will most likely prescribe respiratory medications for your puppy.

For rockstar dogs who recover from distemper, it can lie dormant for many years and then resurface. That’s what happened with my Chance. Around age 11, he started experiencing strange neurological issues. With the help of acupuncture and holistic supplements, he lived a beautiful, quality life for two more years.

Dog flu

Canine influenza is a contagious virus that spreads quickly at dog parks, grooming facilities, daycare centers, kennels, and other social canine places. It can spread through direct contact or contaminated items like water bowls, blankets, mats, leashes, and so on.

Other symptoms

  • Fever
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite


If your puppy has a mild case, keeping a close eye and providing good, restful care may be enough. However, if the above symptoms emerge and a clear runny nose turns into colored discharge, contact your veterinarian.

Various treatments may be recommended, including antibiotics, intravenous or subcutaneous fluids, oxygen therapy, and fever-lowering nostril anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).


If mucus or pus are coming out of your puppy’s nose, he or she could have a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection.

Other symptoms

  • Bad odor
  • Nosebleed
  • Coughing, choking or a “reverse sneeze” due to postnasal drip


Your veterinarian will provide remedies based on the diagnosis.

  • Antibiotics for bacterial infections
  • Antifungal drugs for fungal infections
  • Surgery may be recommended for chronic infections

Kennel cough

This is the canine version of a cold. It’s also known as Bordetella. Just like humans, some colds will run their course. Other colds may require medical attention. Similar to canine flu, kennel cough is contagious. Keep any healthy pets away from infected puppies.

Other symptoms

  • Dry, hacking cough, which is frequently followed by a gagging sound


The Bordetella vaccine should be given to your puppy at 8 weeks and 12 weeks of age. After that, once a year. Most grooming and boarding facilities require it.


Usually, kennel cough goes away on its own. It may start clearing up in as little as 5 days, but can keep hanging on for up to 20 days.

Suggestion for care at home

  • Keep plenty of water available
  • Wipe off discharge to keep puppy comfortable
  • Allow plenty of rest
  • Alleviate congestion with warm, humid air—use a humidifier or let your puppy rest in the bathroom when you shower to take in the steam

Go to your vet immediately if your puppy shows any of these signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Stops eating or drinking
  • Becomes overly lethargic
  • Appears to be in pain

Nostril problems

Some dogs—especially flat-faced breeds, like pugs, French bulldogs, Boston terriers, and bulldogs—are prone to runny noses.

Other symptoms

  • Noisy breathing
  • Heavy snoring


If your puppy has small nostrils or cartilage issues, your veterinarian may recommend surgery after he or she becomes a fully grown adult.

Keep a Close Eye

Just like when humans have a runny nose, clear discharge is not usually something to worry about. However, puppies do need extra care. If the discharge turns thick and changes to yellow or yellow-green, it’s wise to reach out to your veterinarian.

Further reading

How to Figure Out the Best Place for a Litter Box

FOR CAT PEOPLE | By Zibby Wilder

How to Figure Out the Best Place for a Litter Box

Dealing with the litter box is probably the only part of having a cat that’s not awesome. Nevertheless, with an open mind, some creative thinking, and attention to your kitty’s needs and preferences, it need not be the worst.

We’ve rounded up some litter box tips that can help cat people–from newbies to been there, tried that’s–navigate around this messy topic.


How Many Litter Boxes Do I Need?

This is a good place to start because it’s pretty simple. Experts, including the Humane Society of the United States, recommend a minimum of one litter box per cat in your household–plus one.

So, if you have four cats, that means five litter boxes. Some cats are finicky, preferring to pee in one box and poo in another. In that case, you’ll need to double up for your discerning doo-er. They’ll definitely let you know.

Places Not to Put a Litter Box

“Felines prefer litter boxes that are placed in low-traffic, quiet areas that have expansive views,” certified cat behavior consultant and author Marilyn Krieger told Catster. Cats want to be able to a whole room because it helps them feel secure that they could escape a threat if necessary. That means as few closed doors as possible.

Here are a few big no-nos when it comes to kitty litter spots.

1. Dark Corners or Closets

Cats can see in the dark but really, who wants to go potty in the dark? Even with their superior eyesight, a well-lit space adds to a kitty’s comfort level during a time where they feel vulnerable.

2. High-traffic Areas

If your home is smaller, you may have few choices that provide Feng Shui feelings. Most important is not to place the litter box in a loud or high-traffic area, such as the foyer or kitchen (not to mention all that litter box dust and food—ick).

3. Near Appliances

You may have found an ideal spot for those litter boxes but if they are next to an appliance, such as a washer, dryer or wall heater, the noise of the units may turn kitty off from that spot.

4. Next to Each Other

Unless you’ve chosen enclosed litter boxes, putting two open boxes right next to one another is just like having one box. Kitty sees no difference. If you have more than one cat, there may be some issues over privacy, territory, and even bathroom bullying.

5. Far Away

If you live in a multi-level house, keep litter boxes on each level but mostly on the level where you spend the most time. Kitty is likely going to go where it’s most comfortable for him, not two floors down. In larger homes it may be tempting to put litter boxes in a basement or garage with a door cracked or kitty door installed. For some cats this may work, for other cats it may not. “The garage is probably dark and probably gets cold in the winter time,” points out PetMD. “It’s not convenient to the cat.”

6. Next to Food or Water

Do you like to eat where you potty? ‘Nuf said.

The Best Places to Put a Litter Box

Just like us, most kitties prefer “privacy, please” when going potty. It requires some concentration so therefore can leave cats feeling a bit vulnerable. A safe, quiet, easy-to-reach spot in your home is ideal–particularly one in which you are frequently present. Here are some places that are generally agreeable.

1. The Bathroom

Usually bright, quiet, and warm, these are places where we do our business, so it makes sense cats will too. To cut down on messiness, especially on floors that often get wet, invest in a litter mat and an enclosed, yet roomy, litter box.

2. The Living Room

Often one of the larger rooms in a home, living rooms can be great spots for litter boxes. A bonus here (and in other rooms as well) are the bevy of products out there that disguise litter boxes as furniture or decor, even plants!

3. The Laundry Room

Laundry rooms are great because they are easy to clean and usually not very high traffic. If yours has space and easily accessed by a cat, put a litter box here.

4. The Bedroom

Cats like comfortable spaces, so if you don’t object, a litter box in a bedroom can be useful.

Even better, turn a spare bedroom into a kitty room with multiple litter boxes, kitty trees, and cozy beds. Cats are a constant and guests only come to stay every once in a while–that’s what couches are for!

5. Get Creative

If you have a small space with few options, remember things like night lights can brighten dark spaces, making them more appealing for cats.

My Puppy Is Throwing Up: How to Help


My Puppy Is Throwing Up: How to Help

  •  This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
  •  Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

“Ulp. Ulp. Ulp.”

If you’re an experienced puppy parent, you know the sound. If you’re new to puppyhood, you’ll learn it fast.


It’s like a deep, elongated, reverse gulp from the gut that repeats until suddenly…a present. Once you know the sound, it gets you moving faster than you can say, “Barf!”

A single bout of vomiting may not be anything serious. However, it’s important to keep a close eye on your puppy. Puppies can become dehydrated quickly if they throw up multiple times in a day.

What causes puppies to vomit?

Just like humans, there are many reasons why puppies vomit. Sometimes it’s one and done. Other times it may require a trip to your veterinarian.

These are the most common reasons why your puppy throws up.

1. Gastrointestinal upset

Dogs in general are curious. That curiosity is amplified when they’re young pups.

Patrick Mahaney VMD, CVA, CVJ explains, “Puppies are less discriminate about what goes in their mouths and more prone to dietary indiscretion. As a result, gastrointestinal upset is the most common reason why puppies vomit.”

In other words, they smell everything and enjoy taste-testing it, too. Their life is a game of sniff and eat. Here are some common ingestibles that may cause your puppy to throw up.

Cause of stomach upset: Grass

Dogs are drawn to eating grass. Sometimes, it’s an indication that their stomach is already upset, and grass is known to aid dogs in vomiting. Other times, it’s just an act of boredom, according to WebMD.

Dr. Mahaney advises, “When puppies eat grass it can be a sign that something is wrong digestively and needs to be addressed.”

Nothing is wrong with puppies eating grass. However, Dr. Mahaney warns, “Don’t let puppies eat grass if there’s any chance that pesticides or other chemicals are on it. Also, don’t let your puppy eat long grasses that may contain foxtails. They can become embedded inside your puppy’s mouth or digestive tract and cause serious infection.”


Cause of stomach upset: Inedible objects

From shoes to toys, puppies love to chew, chew, chew! Sometimes all that mischief and gnawing leads to swallowing pieces of objects. My dog, Parker, once pooped a candlestick.

Not all objects make it all the way through a dog’s system. Sometimes items obstruct the GI tract, which can trigger vomiting.

Cause of stomach upset: Human foods that are rich or spoiled

Human foods that contain oils and fats are not good for your dog’s digestion. Giving your dog table scraps is ill-advised. Pun intended!

Another culprit of stomach upset in dogs is food gone bad. Puppies quickly learn where the trash can is and don’t hesitate to investigate. Dr. Mahaney points out that puppies are quick to vacuum rotten food off the ground with their mouth while on a walk or at the park.

Cause of stomach upset: Eating too much, too fast

Some puppies practically inhale their food. If this is the case with your puppy, you may want to consider getting a slow feeding dog bowl, which forces them to eat more slowly. Eating too fast can cause bloating, indigestion, and—you guessed it—throwing up.

2. Intestinal parasites

“Intestinal parasites can also be a cause of vomiting,” says Dr. Mahaney. These parasites live in a puppy’s gastrointestinal tract and include:

  • Giardia
  • Coccidia
  • Roundworms
  • Whipworms
  • Tapeworms

Your puppy may be experiencing additional symptoms if the cause of vomiting is intestinal parasites, including:

  • Scooting
  • Diarrhea
  • A distended abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Occasionally coughing

3. Other vomiting triggers

As mentioned above, there are many reasons why your puppy might throw up. Here are a handful of not-as-common possibilities:

  • Car sickness
  • Ingesting toxins
  • Distemper virus
  • Parvovirus
  • Bloat

How to help your puppy

After witnessing your puppy throw up (or discovering it later), you most likely feel worried and helpless. You wonder, “What could it be?” and “How do I make you feel better?”

Dr. Mahaney offers steps to follow to help calm your puppy’s insides.

  1. Don’t give anything by mouth for two to four hours after vomiting.
  2. After two to four hours:
    • Offer room temperature water or ice cubes to lick. Don’t let your puppy crunch and munch the ice cubes. They should only lick them to get hydrated.
    • Offer a small, bland meal. It should include ⅓ protein (boiled boneless and skinless chicken breast or cottage cheese) plus ⅔ carbohydrates (white rice).
  3. Wait two to four hours. If that stays down, give the same same, bland meal to your puppy.
  4. Wait two to four hours, again. If the meal stays down, repeat.

If no other incidents of vomiting occur, it was most likely a one-time instance. You can slowly transition your puppy back to his or her regular diet.

When to call vet

If vomiting continues, contact your veterinarian within 12 to 24 hours. Your vet will most likely want to run diagnostic tests like x-rays or ultrasounds. They may also do blood, fecal, and urinary testing.

Your puppy can stay comfortable and hydrated with fluids as your veterinarian determines the cause and offers next steps.

Further reading