Friday, October 12, 2012

Our Week in Review!

Happy Friday, everyone!  If you missed any of this week's postings, you can catch up by reading our weekly recap (below) plus some additional exciting information we think you'll enjoy.  

Let's kick off the review with Monday's blog posting.  On Monday, we introduced you to Neffie's new friends named Mr. Kibo and Shira.  They traveled over 1,000 miles just so they could call In-Sync Exotics "home"!  To learn more about our new (brother-sister) servals, please click HERE!

On Tuesday, we provided news you can use this winter in helping out the feral and stray cats in your neighborhood.  Click HERE to learn how YOU can save the life of an outdoor kitty.

On Wednesday, we shook things up with a special "October Surprise!"  To see your cheetah habitat donations at work, click HERE to see our cheetahs in their new home!

Ah, what a dilemma--to wear a costume or go au natural?  This question was answered in yesterday's blog posting, so click HERE for our answer to this most unusual dilemma!

We are sad to report that our Fall Big Cat Photo Shoot was cancelled as we did not have enough participants.  We plan to reschedule this event in the Spring, so be sure to look for this very special event next year!

Now that the weather is beginning to change, leaves are falling off the trees, we must have... an exciting FALL FESTIVAL!

Our Fall Festival will be held on October 28th from 11:00am - 4:00pm at In-Sync Exotics. This is another  fabulous In-Sync Exotics special event as our cats just LOVE to play with their pumpkins; your kids (the human kind) will enjoy great games & prizes, get lost in a maze; have your face painted; bounce around in the bounce house; participate in our raffle; and much, much more!

This is one event you will want to bring your friends, family, and camera!  For more details or to print a copy of our flier, please click HERE!

We hope you enjoyed our blog postings for the week and will join us again next week for another possible "October Surprise--The Sequel!"  In the meantime, you are invited to come out, observe your donations at work by touring our facility (click HERE for tour information).  

Please keep in mind, we are still fundraising for our big cats' dental work. If you can spare $10 or more towards this most worthy cause, we (and our cats) will be most grateful--thank you!  To make a donation towards our big cats' dental surgeries, please click HERE!

Have a tiger-ific weekend everyone!  


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wear a Costume or Go Au Natural?

Halloween cat and dog costumes–we can hear our wild cats snickering (or screaming in horror) at the thought!  Do your pets enjoy “dressing up?” With Halloween just around the corner, thoughts of goblins, ghosts and get-ups begin to tease at the back of pet lover’s minds.  Should my pet wear a costume this year? 

With Halloween just 20 days away, pet parents should take some common sense precautions on this spookiest day of the year so that you both you and your pet will be safe and “ghoul” free! 

1.  Sorry Fido, no treats—not even for tricks!  That candy bowl filled to the brim with chocolates and other sugary snacks can be very dangerous to cats and dogs.  Dark and baking chocolates are very dangerous because they contain a component our animals' systems cannot tolerate and it could be deadly.  If other types of candies are made with artificial sweetener xylitol, your pet may become very, very ill.  Dogs may also ingest food wrappers, causing a risk of choking, upset stomach or gastrointestinal blockage. Ouch!  If you believe your dog or cat dived into the candy bowl (or ingested salty snacks or alcoholic beverages)  while your back was turned, you may want to contact your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for assistance--they are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

2.  Never allow your pet to eat your decorative Jack-o-Lantern or fall table display!   While pumpkins and the colorful decorative corns are pretty much non-toxic, they can produce some stomach discomfort for those the naughty nibblers.  When it comes to Jack-o-Lantern on display, be careful putting a lit candle inside your Jack because a curious pup or kit may accidentally knock over your Halloween display, setting your pumpkin on fire.  You may also want to make sure they don’t get to close to the display just in case they  singe their fur or whiskers.  When decorating for Halloween, just remember to “pet proof” your decorations—have fun—just think about your pets first! 

3.  So you decided your cat is going to dress up as a ghost this year?  You can’t but help check out all the cute pet costumes on display in your local stores.  Yes, they are adorable, but are they really a good idea for your pet?  Please don’t force your cat or dog into a costume they don’t like.  Some pets prefer to dress “as is” as  opposed to wearing a costume with lots of tentacles and other external extremities that flap around when the pet tries to move.  If the costume scares your pet—it’s time to return the item to the store. 

4.  If your pet likes to wear his or her costume, be sure it’s not annoying to you or your guests (lots of bells and other annoying sounds) or unsafe (pet trips over his own four feet due to strange footwear).  If you animal has trouble breathing, hearing, seeing, walking, barking (meowing if a cat), then you need to return the costume.  If your pet seems unduly distressed wearing the outfit, then perhaps it’s best he or she goes au natural!  You can always put a colorful bandana or bow on your critter.

5.  Costumes should fit well—not hang off the body.  A poorly fitted costume could cause your dog or cat to get twisted up in its costume, or worse, twisted on furniture or displays, thus leading to injury.  Because of these potential dangers, never leave your pet unattended in the costume! 

6. Ding Dong – Trick or Treat!  If your dog or cat is afraid of strangers, you may want to move your animal out of the room closest to the front door.  Too many strangers yelling "Trick or Treat" may scare your precious pet.  For your overly social dogs, you may want to make sure your animal does not try to either dart out the door or run-jump onto a young trick-or-treater.  Nothing scares kids more than a fast moving costumed furry creature jumping on them when they scream “Trick or Treat” at the door. 

Picture from
7.  Finally, in the event your costumed pet feels the need to show off in the neighborhood (without your expressed permission), always make sure your animal wears proper ID.  If for any reason your pet becomes separated from you, a collar with tags and/or a microchip tag can be a life saver for your animal, increasing the odds that your beloved pet will be returned to you!  Sadly, this is the time of year when some people may be cruel to animals, especially cats, so you may want to keep your animal(s) indoors if possible. 

Does your pet dress up for the howl-idays? (Get it—howl-idays!)  Do you do full costumes, fancy bows and collars, or does your cat or dog say GET THE !@#$%^! AWAY FROM ME WITH THAT CRAZY THING! 

Hmmm…. Do tell!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our October Surprise!

On Friday, September 9, 2011, we shared with you a very exciting announcement--the arrival of two cheetahs named Sam and Kodi.  As you may recall, Sam and Kodi were re-homed from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and were placed in a temporary enclosure while we fund raised enough money to start building the cheetahs' new habitat! 

Thanks to Chase Community Giving Program and our wonderful supporters who graciously donated towards our Razoo "Cheetah Home Improvement Project", we were able to raise enough funds by December 2011. 

Once the weather improved and the final schematics drafted, we were able to order the supplies needed to build the cheetah enclosure!

In January 2012, the cheetahs' "Fast Track Habitat" was just a dream...



But today, the new cheetah habitat is a reality!

We want to thank all the hard working volunteers who came out and helped build the cats their new home.  Our volunteers put in long hours, working during the worst part of our hot summer months, with one goal in mind--build the cats a fabulous habitat!

This weekend, the cheetahs' new home was finally completed.  Everyone oohed and aahhed the empty habitat.  It just seemed too empty.

So, on the spur of the moment, Vicky thought, "Hey, let's see how easy it will be to move the cats."  So yesterday afternoon she placed a cheetah-sized transporter flush against  their door, just to see if Sam or Kodi would enter it.  If a cat entered, then the big cheetah move was "on".  If either cat refused to enter the transporter, then the move would be put off for another day.

As luck would have it, Sam walked right into the transporter! 

"Holy cow, get another cage" yelled Vicky.  Like his brother, after some coaching for about 10 minutes or so, Kodi finally entered the second cage and was slowly transported to his new home. 

Now the big moment was time for the cats to see and smell their brand new home!

Each time the gate opened, to admit Kodi first, then Sam, we held our breaths to see what would happen next. 

You may have noticed a little "drool action" going on with Sam.  Well, Sam was getting antsy waiting for his brother to hurry up and enter his transporter so they could both be moved to their new habitat.  We fed Sam treats while he waited, but that just made his drooling worse.  He just wanted out of the transporter!  Poor boy had to wait just a wee bit longer as we released  Kodi first since he was not happy about the big move.  Needless to say, once that gate opened up, Sam was thrilled to join his brother in their brand new home!

It wasn't long before we felt comfortable enough to allow the cats out of their quarters and on to their new playground! 

Please excuse our shaky videos as this was such a "spur of the moment" move and we were so excited to see the empty habitat now a home for two handsome cheetahs, that we could barely contain our excitement!

The entire cheetah habitat is about 14,500 square feet and it wasn't long before Sam and Kodi explored the outer perimeter of their new home.  What caught us off guard (no video -- sorry!) was Kodi running across the playground, jumping over a fallen tree, just so he could get a close look at a horse running across the field!  Running!!  Jumping!! Success!!

Vicky reported that the cats were still exploring their home at 1am in the morning.  We don't know if they went into their climate controlled house which has heat for the winter and air conditioning for the hot summer months.  We imagine at some point soon, when the weather gets cooler, the cats will spend more time in their house, out of sight of their adoring public.

If you want to see the cheetahs in their new habitat this weekend (or another upcoming weekend), you are more then welcome to say "hello" to the boys.  Just be sure to ask our friendly volunteers for assistance in finding their new home on our property!

This project would not have been possible without our wonderful donors who helped us make the cheetahs' dream home a reality.  The "Fast Track Habitat" dedication plaque, with the names of the donors who contributed $1,000 or more, will be put up next week.  Hopefully, in about two weeks, Fossil Rim representatives will be able to come out and see the boys enjoying their new home.

We still have some "home" improvement projects to complete such as landscaping, but we figured it was more important to move the cats so they can enjoy the open space!

Now that the cheetahs moved out of their old temporary home, we plan to moves some more cats around, so stay tuned for all the upcoming news on their moves!

In the meantime, here are a few more pictures for you to enjoy!

Cheetah sighting!

"Thank you everyone for my new home!
You can stop taking pictures now..."

Wait for me!

Which way did the horse go?

We hoped you enjoyed today's cheetah surprise!  If you are in the area, we'd love to have you come out and see the boys in their new home.  We are on the Fall/Winter schedule, which means we are only open on Saturdays and Sundays.  For more information, please click HERE!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

You Can Help Help Stray & Feral Cats This Winter!

The Old Farmers Almanac's  2012-2013 long range winter weather predictions (80 percent–accurate weather forecasts) predicts that winter temperatures in the Dallas/Wylie areas will be slightly colder than normal, on average, with precipitation and snowfall near or a bit above normal. The coldest periods will occur in late December and early January and through much of February. The snowiest periods will be in early to mid-February and early March.

Brrr!  Brrr!  Brrr!

Winter seems to advance earlier than expected this year in Texas.  With the cooler temperatures felt throughout our area last weekend, many of our neighbors scrambled to the nearest home improvement stores buying up heaters, electric blankets, warm socks and slippers.

But, what happens to the stray and feral cats left outside during severe weather?

If you have stray cats on your property, how do you plan on keeping them warm?  Need some ideas?  In-Sync Exotics to the rescue!  Here are a few tips on how to keep stray and feral cats safe during the cold winter months:

Step 1:  Build an Outdoor Shelter

Feral and stray cat shelters are easy and rather inexpensive to build.  If you happen to love carpentry, than you’ll want to build your own cat house (click HERE to learn more about building an inexpensive cat shelter).  You can also modify a pre-built dog house or purchase pre-built cat shelters.

Great for snow
Key things to remember when installing the shelter: 
(1) If you plan to place a shelter on someone else’s land, be sure to ask for permission first;
(2) A good size for a shelter is at least 2’x3’ and at least 18” high. Larger shelters are not necessarily better, since heat disperses quickly, leaving the inside as cold as the outside.  So if you have multiple feral cats on the property (and they all get along reasonably well), you’ll want to provide shelter boxes that can comfortably house 3-5 cats;
(3) Make sure the shelter is elevated off the ground and rests in a quiet and draft-free area that has limited amount of foot traffic or human activity;
(4) Make sure your little house has a door flap no more than 6-8 inches wide to keep out predators and other unwelcome wildlife;
(5) Insulate the shelter with straw to repel moisture and keep cats warm and dry (Note: Make sure it’s straw and not hay because hay absorbs moisture—easy way to remember – horses eat hay and sleep on straw). Old blankets and towels may seem like a good idea, but since they are also extremely absorbent, they make bad bedding. 

During the months of October and November, many stores sell small bales of straw as a decorative feature for the outside of your home.  A small bale may be ideal for a small cat house.  If you can only purchase a larger bale, please consider sharing a portion of your bale with other caregivers.  Be sure to store straw off the ground and keep it dry by storing indoors.  If kept in a good area, the leftover straw can be used again the following year!

Hay is for food...

while straw is for bedding.

Step 2:  Provide a Feeding Station, Meals, and Water

In addition to a shelter, you’ll want to provide a simple feeding station with a roof and sides to protect cats from the elements while they eat.  We know that keeping food and drinking water from freezing may be challenging to our fans living up North in much colder temperatures.  Cat will be looking to conserve energy, even when it comes to eating, so the most ideal meal for winter feeding is moist wet food.  Moist wet food takes less energy for the cats to digest than dry food—and during those cold winter months, the cats can use all the extra energy to stay warm in their shelter boxes.  It is very important to keep a regular feeding schedule every day, that way the cats spend less time in the elements. The cats will come to depend on you for their meals. On average, you can expect an adult feral cat to eat roughly 5.5 ounces of wet moist cat food and 2 ounces of dry food daily in temperate weather (add a half cup to that amount if only feeding dry food).  In colder weather, make sure to feed larger portions than you usually do for an extra caloric boost.  If the cats eat all the food within 15 minutes, you may want to put more food out for them.

To keep the food and water fresh try to feed the cats in the morning and during the day, if you are home. Feeding at night encourages other wildlife (including stray dogs) to visit your yard and eat the food instead of the cats. If you feed other nocturnal wildlife, you definitely want to feed them in a different area of your yard at night!

Keeping water from freezing can be challenging during the cold winter months and can cause the cats to suffer from dehydration if they do not drink enough water each day.  You can help keep the water drinkable by (1) checking on the water bowl often and replacing frozen water with hot or warm drinkable water (2) use deep water bowls filled with water instead of using small wide shallow water bowls.  A pinch of sugar in the water keeps it from freezing quickly and may provide an extra boost of energy for the cats (and we do mean a pinch please!); and (3) try to keep the water bowls in in the sun and use dark colored bowls that will absorb the sun’s heat or purchase heated electric or solar water bowls found in pet stores to keep the water from freezing.

Step 3:  Important Tips to Remember
  • If you keep your car outside at night, remember to give the hood a really good tap and check between the tires before starting your car—cats will sometimes crawl into the engine or hide underneath the car for warmth.
  • Antifreeze danger—deadly toxin!  Winter is also the time of year for antifreeze, which tastes sweet and irresistible to animals.  Keep it out of reach of small children and animals.  Don’t forget to clean up any spills, no matter how small!
  • Remember to shovel out cat shelters areas when you’re shoveling your own driveway. Cats in shelters can get snowed in, so keep their entrances clear and shovel an exit for cats who may be taking refuge under bushes, porches, or other hiding spots.
  • Stay away from salt and chemical melting products. These products can be toxic to animals and harmful to their natural snowshoes—paws!

Tobias snuggling up in his den, staying nice and warm! 2011

Even though the weather may seem "brrr" to us, the cats are just loving the cooler weather.  We won't be putting down straw for cats' den boxes until the temperature starts to drop into the upper 40s.  So, for now, we shake out the dust from our jackets and coats, prepare shelters for the stray and feral cats, plus enjoy the change of season all around us!

If you have great tips on how to care for stray and feral cats, we'd love to hear from you.  Just fill-out the comment box below and share your knowledge with your In-Sync Exotics' blog family!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Meet Neffie's New Friends!

We have some wonderful news to share with our fans!  Late last night hailed the arrival of two servals who traveled over 1,000 miles to their new home in Wylie, Texas!

Meet Mr. Kibo and Shira, two beautiful former pets, who came came from a loving home in Orange, Virginia. It was obvious that both cats were well-cared for; received regular vet exams and pretty much enjoyed the run of their owner's house. Unfortunately, Connie (their owner), could no longer provide the cats with the time and attention they needed, and since she only wanted the best for the cats, decided it was time to find them a new home with an accredited sanctuary.  She made contact with an American Sanctuary Association member, asking for a referral, who in turn, sent out a general e-mail to all ASA members, asking for placement assistance.

When we read about the cats' plight, we immediately thought of Neffie, our only serval, who recently lost her cage mate, Jassi.  We hoped by moving Jasper, our bobcat, in with our girl, he would help fill in the empty void that Jassi's passing left behind.  But Jasper wasn't Jassi and he wasn't a serval, so when this pairing didn't work out, we were saddened that Neffie might have to live alone; but as luck would have it, we now have two new companions for our girl!  We pray that Neffie will enjoy the company of these two playful cats.

So on Friday at midnight we packed up the In-Sync Exotics' van and left Wylie, Texas bound for Virginia.  The trip was about 20 hours each way as we traveled through Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and parts of Virginia, until we finally reached our destination.  Our trip was met with cold, rainy weather, especially at night, but we were not deterred from our mission -- to bring home these two precious cats.

We were able to spend a few hours with Connie as she described what her two cats were like. She showed us how Shira loves playing with foil wrapped in a ball, proudly carrying it around the house. Mr. Kibo was sleeping on top on the fridge when we first met him and we noticed right away that he was a lot more timid than his sister. The lady fixed us a nice hot meal, and gave us the opportunity to shower before we loaded the cats into the van. When it was time for Connie to say good-bye to Mr. Kibo and Shira., we witnessed to  a very loving parting--it was obvious that Mr. Kibo and Shira were precious cats in this woman's eyes.  We promised her that Mr. Kibo and Shira would always receive the best care and we invited her to be a part of the cats' lives--she was always welcomed at In-Sync Exotics.

The cats were none to happy to be placed in a cat transporter and then into an unknown van with strange faces, sounds, and smells surrounding them.  The cats clearly missed Connie, as she was their primary caretaker for six years.  It took several hours for the pair to settle down for the long drive home.

We are happy to report that Connie wants to stay a part of the cats' lives but by contributing towards their continued vet care and perhaps towards a new serval habitat.  This trip was made possible because Connie paid for our travel expenses.  She is already looking forwarding to flying down to Texas to see Mr. Kibo and Shirain their new home in a couple of weeks!

We are praying that Neffie will embrace this brother-sister pair as they slowly become acclimated to their new indoor/outdoor enclosure.  No doubt the new sights, smells, and sounds may be a little intimidating for the two servals, but we have high hopes that they will settle in to their new life in no time at all!

So, please welcome, Mr. Kibo and Shira to In-Sync Exotics!

Our T-Shirts are Now on Sale -- 50% Off!
How ironic! Our local temperatures will be dropping to the mid 50's and low 60's this weekend and is having a sale on t-shirts! That means our short sleved t-shirts will be 50% off, ... excluding shipping charges, gift wrap charges, taxes and custom duties. Coupon code SWIFT must be entered at check out. Promotion starts on October 5, 2012, at 12:00 a.m. (PT) and ends on October 8, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. (PT). Offer only applies to orders from the CafePress Marketplace. Click below to see our t-shirts on sale in the marketplace!

Happy shopping!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting! Be sure to check back tomorrow for more fun and informative information about our exotic cats and their friends of In-Sync Exotics! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!