Our two rescue cats have a microchip cat flap, coming and going as they please. But visiting cats make their lives miserable: the female only goes out if there’s a human beside her, and the male keeps getting injured in fights. How can we make our garden safer?
Cats are independent creatures under the law, so you can’t make other people keep pets out of your garden. But you can make it more difficult. See if you can block up obvious access points. A cat containment system (e.g. protectapet.com) will keep your cats in your garden, as well as keeping other cats out.
My female crossbred Pyrenean mountain dog has just finished her first 21-day cycle at one year of age, and her personality has changed. She was calm and quiet and is now pushy and defiant. What can I do?
AG, Alberta, Canada
Progesterone levels remain elevated for 75-90 days after the end of the cycle, and this may change your dog’s general attitude. The danger is that her new behaviours may become a new “normal”. Engage with a good behaviourist to deal with problem areas, and get her spayed when her progesterone levels have returned to normal (i.e. after 90 days).
Just like humans can use wristband devices to track activity, collar devices are available to track dogs’ exercise, sleep and sometimes other activities (such as scratching, barking and head shaking). With names such as Animo, PoochPlay, FitBark and PitPat, the devices feed information to customised apps on your phone via Bluetooth.
Jet is a shy, seven-year-old Border collie. Call Border Collie Trust GB on 01889 577058 or visit the website bordercollietrustgb.org.uk. To view outcomes of rescued pets from this column, see petethevet.com.