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Grab Your Blankies & Relax With Some Cat Nap Cuties

Naps are the best. There’s nothing like curling up under your favorite blanket with the fan whirring away above while the afternoon sun bakes the land. And cats agree.

The only thing felines prefer to naps is probably a snack, but once that treat is done, its back to sleep! But why do cats sleep so much?

Nature tells them too!

Cats are born hunters, usually stalking their prey in the dark of night, or at least at dusk and dawn. So, to be ready for the hours of extreme hunting games, cats need to be well rested. And much of this rest occurs when humans are awake.


@cats.ya/Instagram

While they sleep 12 – 16 hours a day, Cat International tells us cats actually sleep in three different ways, “the brief nap, the longer light sleep, and the deep sleep.”

The napping cat is on “radar patrol”, remaining alert to any sounds or disturbances around them. The light sleep generally lasts around a half hour and makes a cat a little more vulnerable to the world as she isn’t as aware of her surroundings. A deep sleep does not last long for a cat, only “six to seven minutes”. During these few moments, you can probably catch your cat twitching and shivering. Don’t worry, he’s only dreaming of catching mousies!

And when cats nap, they are just too cute not to snap a pic. Especially when our kitties curl up for naps in the strangest of places and the silliest of ways!

Sleepy cat

Cat Nap Cuties

A tiny salad box and a bed of leaves make a purrfect napping spot. You might want to check your salad for fur though…


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This chonky Ragdoll almost had the ultimate hidden nap spot, but its seems that’s just too much fluff for that tiny hole!


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And who knew Lou Diamond Phillips was a prime napping spot for cats!?! And for the cat who didn’t find a spot on Mr. Phillips, the cat tree will do.


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Taias just wants to stretch out a little longer…


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Dobby loves to nap dangerously…


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A sprawled out snoozer has no worries!


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This doesn’t look comfy, but a cat proves if I can squeeze, I can make ZZZs…


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Wait, what?


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Oh, baby kitty was just too sleepy to make it all the way in…


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And sometimes, kitties smile a little smile as they dream of a time when the humans weren’t in their fur all day!


@louieandleslie/Instagram

H/T: www.icepop.com
Feature Image: @ragdolls_uuno_and_manu/Instagram & @louieandleslie/Instagram

The post Grab Your Blankies & Relax With Some Cat Nap Cuties appeared first on iHeartCats.com.

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How To Protect Your Cat From Common Health Problems

As a cat parent, your cat’s health is the number one priority. Unfortunately, cats are notorious for hiding illnesses, so you might not even spot a serious health problem until it’s too late. Luckily, if you know what to look out for and how to reduce the risk of these health problems, keeping your cat safe will be much easier. Our partners at PrettyLitter, creators of the color-changing, health-monitoring kitty litter, have shared this beneficial information with us to help your cat live a long, healthy life.

Common Cat Health Concerns

While cats are great at hiding their pain, there are still plenty of ways to spot their major health concerns. Some of the most common health problems for cats have to do with the litter box, and some of them are similar to conditions humans can get.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

UTIs are likely the most common health problem for cats. They’re most commonly found in adult female cats, but if a male cat gets one, it can be much more dangerous for them. Bacteria is the main source of a UTI, causing your cat’s urine to have a higher pH, which often leads to crystalized urine. If this is not treated right away, it could cause a urinary blockage for your cat.

If your cat is suffering from a UTI, you might notice them trying to urinate more often. Additionally, they might be spending more time at the litter box, even if they don’t leave any urine behind. You may also notice other signs, such as having blood in their urine, drinking more water than usual, or not eating as much as usual.

Bladder Inflammation and Bladder Stones

These two medical problems have similar symptoms to UTIs. Bladder inflammation, which is also commonly referred to as cystitis, is simply an inflamed bladder with an unknown cause. It’s not as serious as a UTI, but it can still cause lots of discomfort for your cat. Meanwhile, bladder stones are small, rock-like crystals that are found in your cat’s bladder. They can also cause inflammation and blockages.

If your cat has either of these health problems, you may notice them struggling to urinate. Urination might appear painful for them or there could be hints of blood in their urine. You might even notice them trying to use the bathroom more frequently than usual, sometimes even in places outside the litter box.

Metabolic Acidosis and Kidney Tubular Acidosis

Acidosis refers to having too much acid in the body. So, metabolic acidosis is simply when acid in your cat’s body is too high, oftentimes related to chronic kidney disease. It can often be harder to diagnose than other health concerns. Then, kidney tubular acidosis, which is also referred to as renal tubular acidosis, is when your cat’s body is unable to get rid of the acid through urine. This causes extremely high acidity in your cat’s blood and low acidity in their urine.

Some common symptoms for metabolic acidosis include trouble breathing, twitching, heart disturbances, and seizures. For kidney tubular acidosis, possible symptoms include panting, weight loss, dehydration, muscle weakness, blood in urine, and frequent urination. Therefore, it’s best to catch these health problems early on before they worsen.

How to Avoid These Health Problems

Just because your cat can’t directly tell you when something is wrong doesn’t mean you can’t stop major problems from happening. Here are some easy ways to help prevent your cat from getting ill.

Keep the Litter Box Clean

Keeping the litter box clean is the first step to keeping your cat healthy. If you neglect changing the litter and cleaning the box, then bacteria could easily build up inside. It’s important to limit your cat’s interactions with bacteria as much as possible, especially because bacteria in the litter box could lead to UTIs.

Feed Your Cat a Healthy Diet

When it comes to your cat’s food, you need to choose it carefully. Make sure the food is high in protein and free of unnecessary fillers. Sometimes, cheap filler ingredients can greatly impact your cat’s health and cause allergic reactions. Also, wet food and fresh food are usually better than dry food for cats because they provide more moisture, preventing your cat from getting dehydrated.

Lower Stress Factors

Believe it or not, a lot of cat health problems can develop due to stress. By making sure your cat gets plenty of playtime and has lots of places in your home to explore, such as perches and hiding places, they will likely feel more relaxed. If you have more than one cat in your household, make sure each cat has their own litter box and water dish because that can be more comfortable for them as well.

Cats also don’t do well with major changes. If you move or have a kid, try to make the transition as gradual as possible. This is because if you surprise your cat with an unexpected change, they will not be happy.

Image: @eileen.thecat/Instagram

Visit the Vet Regularly

It’s no surprise that cats should visit the vet regularly, especially since they are good at hiding diseases. Make sure your cat goes in for regular checkups and gets all the necessary vaccinations. Then, if you’ve noticed anything unusual with your cat, that’s the perfect time to ask your vet about it.

Try PrettyLitter

The best way to stop you from worrying about your cat’s health is by trying PrettyLitter! PrettyLitter is an advanced form of crystal litter that can actually monitor your cat’s health. Bacteria can change the pH of your cat’s urine, so when your cat uses the bathroom with PrettyLitter, the litter can help detect whether or not something’s wrong with your cat.

If your cat has any of the major health problems mentioned earlier, PrettyLitter could detect it. The litter simply changes colors to reflect which problems your cat might have. Then, if you see an unusual color in your cat’s litter box, you’ll know to consult your vet right away.

When you use PrettyLitter, here are the colors you might see:

  • Blue or dark green: this indicates a high urinary pH, which could signify UTIs or bladder stones.
  • Orange: this indicates a low urinary pH, which could mean your cat has metabolic acidosis or kidney tubular acidosis.
  • Dark yellow or olive green: this is the color of your typical cat urine.
  • Red: this could mean bladder inflammation, bladder stones, or even UTIs.

With PrettyLitter, these colors can show up in your cat’s litter even before you notice any symptoms. That way, you can address the problem before it’s too late. In the long run, this litter’s advanced color-changing technology could save your cat’s life.

Are you ready to switch to a litter that can help you spot health problems easier? If so, switch to PrettyLitter today! We’re proud to have PrettyLitter as our partner, so you can now get 20% off with the code BESTPET20!

The post How To Protect Your Cat From Common Health Problems appeared first on iHeartCats.com.

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Ikiru The Cat, Maker Of Mischief, Master Of Blep

To say Ikiru is merely a cute cat sorely understates his adorable charm. Upon first seeing Ikiru’s photos, cat lovers become instant fans, his 124k followers on Instagram proving this to be true! Those crossed blue eyes and cute pink tongue are irresistible.

And his internet fame all began when his mom and dad first saw his sweet face on a breeder’s website. Once Ikiru’s parents welcomed the handsome kitten home, Emma and Rich started an Instagram page to share Ikiru’s life with the world.

Emma and Rich shared, “Exotic shorthairs have a slightly pudgy face but he’s very energetic and in great shape. Believe it or not, he doesn’t always have his tongue hanging out, but it seems to be a quirk of his, leading to some amusing facial expressions.”


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And those expressions are touching hearts everywhere thanks to the reach of social media.”We get messages from all around the world saying his silly faces, cuteness, and personality brightens their day.”


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His unusual appearance leads some folks to ask what’s wrong with Ikiru, but his parents assure worriers their boy is just fine! “Ikiru is really healthy and our vet told us he has some of the best teeth she has ever seen.”


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A Face of Inspiration

With a face so unique, fans find themselves inspired by Ikiru, Lord Derpington of Blepshire. “People have some fantastic illustrations which really capture his cheeky character.”


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He’s so adorable, he sometimes looks unreal!


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But he’s more than the imaginings of an artist, he’s a real cat of cheek and sass. Ikiru is still feline after all, and kitties are known for their volatile moods. While he looks tough, Ikiru is adorable when mad. But don’t tell him that!


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And when acting the fool, Ikiru is super kawaii. “One particular quirk is he loves tunneling and hiding underneath things like blankets or sheets of paper, or staring at you upside down from the corner of a room.”


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Unique Name for a Unique Lad

With his perfect blep and expertise in front of the camera, Ikiru is an unforgettable boy.


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Couple his cattiude with an inspiring name and cat lovers will never forget Ikiru. But, what does his name mean? In Japanese, ‘ikiru’ means ‘living’ or ‘to live’.

And, the name Ikiru also offers a nod to his parents’ favorite film director and screenwriter, Akira Kurosawa.


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Of their precious cat, Emma and Rich said, “He’s loving, affectionate, and grumpy in the best way. Ikiru is also playful and endlessly amusing.”

Never miss a minute of Ikiru’s playful ways, follow him now!


@neko.ikiru.san/Instagram

H/T: www.pawsplanet.me
Feature Image: @neko.ikiru.san/Instagram

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Cat Proof Your Home: Keeping Felines Happy & Safe

When kitties get curious, trouble can happen, but if you’ve taken steps to cat-proof your home, the deepest of feline investigations will be just fine. Whether welcoming a new cat, updating safety in the house, or moving to a new home, there’s much to consider when making your home safe for felines. Cats can wiggle themselves into disaster in a hurry, but you can head off problems by simply having a look around the house, searching out potential problems. You know your kitty better than anyone, so you also know what trouble they’ll most likely seek.

With a little thought and some simple steps, you can keep your cat happy and safe!


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Cat-Proof Your Home to Keep Furry Family Safe

Secure Cords of All Kinds

Electrical Cords

Cats have an odd attraction to the cords that tie us to our technological world. Some of them want to lay amidst them or even play and bite at the cords. Either way, cats need to be kept away from power cords of all kinds as a punctured or broken cord can result in electrical shocks. Hide cords under furniture or purchase cord protectors to keep them away from felines. Also, unplug any items not in use and wrap up the cords to keep your cat from playing chase with what they view as a toy.

Window Covering Cords

Don’t forget the cords on blinds and drapes. These dangly strings can be enticing, but seriously dangerous. A cat that becomes entangles in a window blinds cord risks strangulation. Keep cats safe by adjusting cords to lengths your cat can’t reach.


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Lock Your Cabinets to Keep Curious Paws Out

You may think toxic substances, like medications and cleaning supplies, are safe from cats when kept in cabinets, but kitty paws are curious and dexterous. A combination that can lead to disaster as chemicals, even in trace amounts licked from a paw, can make cats severely ill. Head trouble off at the pass by securing cabinets from digging paws. Child-safety cabinet locks aren’t just for the human kids. They help keep fur babies out too.

And as for things to keep in cabinets, stand in each room of your house and identify items that can cause a cat harm. Most every room in a house has a cabinet of some sort, whether installed or part of the furniture.


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To cat-proof your home, collect the following items and stow them away in those safety-locked cabinets:

  • All medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Poisons and fertilizers
  • Razors, trimmers, and tweezers
  • Sewing materials like thread, buttons, safety pins, or needles
  • Scissors or box cutters
  • Loose parts to children’s toys
  • Craft supplies such as paint, glitter and glue
  • Loose pieces of plastic wrap
  • Fishing line, curling ribbon, or any easily swallowed string
  • Hair ties, bobby pins, and rubber bands

Stow The Breakables in Safe Spots

Cat parents know destruction is often a result of kitty curiosity. How many of us have witnessed a cat knock something off a countertop just because they want to see what happens when the object falls. So, if you have family heirlooms or cute knick-knacks you don’t want broken, put them in spots you know your cat can’t access. Display cases or high shelves blocked off from cat advances will do fine in protecting your cat and your valuables.


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Remember, broken shards of ceramic or glass can slice open cat paw pads easily, so prevent injury by stowing breakables in your efforts to cat-proof the house.  

Secure Windows Before Letting Your Cats Enjoy the Breeze

When taking the time to cat-proof the house, don’t forget the windows. Cats love the fresh breeze coming through an open window as much as we do. But window screens are only a thin barrier between safety and the outside world. Before opening windows, be sure there’s a screen in place and latched tightly.


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Also remember, feline claws can make short work of a window screen, giving your cat sudden access to the outdoors. Plus, the weight of a cat draped up against a window screen can cause the mesh to give way and a snoozing kitty could tumble out to injury. The starting of a loud appliance might cause a cat to spook and fall from an open window.

But windows and screens can be reinforced to prevent escape or accidents. Metal screening and grids can be installed across windows to add a sturdy barrier between cat and screen. There are also specially made guards for keeping cats and dogs safely inside windows. Floppycats.com also suggests magnetic screening or child-safety window locks.

Cat proof screening is relatively inexpensive and can be installed DIY-style.

Cover Trashcans and Assure They’re Tip Proof

A trashcan is a dangerous place for a cat, but in their eyes, the garbage can be a wonderland of toys and snacks. Filled with household trash like razor-sharp can lids and foods that can be toxic to felines, garbage cans should be equipped with snug lids that keep cats out. Sneaky kitties also know tipping the can will allow access to the treasures inside. Bearing this in mind, choose a trashcan that cats can’t knock over.


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Exchange Toxic Pants for Cat Safe Ones

If you’re a plant lover, you know living with greenery and felines can be a tricky balance. Cats possess the ability to make a mess of a plant in a heartbeat, either shredding leaves and blooms or tipping the pot and strewing spilled dirt. But is your plant safe for kitty to gnaw?


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There are plenty of cat-safe house plants for your house tiger to play jungle in, but the list of toxic plants is long as well. Here are 12 cat-toxic plants that should be removed when working to cat-proof your home:

  • Asparagus fern
  • Cyclamen
  • Dumbcane
  • Dracaena
  • English Ivy
  • Fiddle-leaf fig
  • Jade plants
  • Lilies (highly toxic)
  • Peace lily
  • Pothos
  • Rubber tree (there is a variety known as the American rubber tree which is cat safe, but all other varieties are cat toxic)
  • Sago Palm (highly toxic)
  • Snake Plants

If it turns out you have plants on this toxic list, perhaps re-home those plants to a friend without critters.

Potting Soil

SFGate.com suggests, when choosing a potting soil for your plants, select organic or sterilized soils when you have cats at home. “Avoid choosing potting soil with added chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Fertilizer consumption can lead to serious gastrointestinal problems for a pet. Steer away from potting soil with Styrofoam in the mix also.”


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Tips to Keep Cats Out of Plants

  • Layer top of the pot with large stones and rocks to keep a cat from digging in the soil.
  • Choose pots that won’t tip easily.
  • Considers planters made from a material that won’t break into a thousand pieces if it does get knocked around by a cat.
  • Hanging planters can remove cat temptation by taking plants out their reach.
  • Create diversion plants for your cat, like catnip, silver vine, or cat grass.

Store Toxic Food Away from Roving Cat Noses

Cats may seem like they can eat anything, but there are actually quite a few foods humans eat which are capable of causing a cat serious harm. Further cat-proof your home by keeping toxic foods stored in the refrigerator or pantry and off the counter.


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Dr. Jason Nicholas of Preventive Vet lists these foods as harmful to cats:

  • Alcohol
  • Any caffeinated beverages, including energy drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Grapes, raisins, and currants
  • Raw meat and seafood
  • Uncooked eggs

Avoid allowing cats access to these foods as well as limiting dairy intake.


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It’s important for cat parents to keep their feline family members safe and sound by taking careful steps to cat-proof the house. After all, home means security, and secure cats are happy cats!

Feature Image: @swisscats/Instagram

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Cathedral Cat Distracts Prayers By Disappearing Into Priest’s Robes

Cats are no strangers to divinity. Throughout history, evidence suggests cats were often viewed as mysterious creatures with a certain air of the otherworldly. Felines have not forgotten this either.

And Leo the black cat of Canterbury Cathedral is one cat who knows his power to help people connect with their faith. He quite enjoys helping Revd. Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury, deliver sermons and prayers online. Parishioners watching from home love the sweet black cat for his devotion to the church as well as his general cat ways.

Leo can’t help stealing the show sometimes, as he is “undoubtedly the comedian” of the four cats that call the Deanery home. And a recent Morning Prayer put Leo’s silliness on full display.


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Mister Mischief

Revd. Willis was delivering words of faith when suddenly Leo comes strutting into view. His purposeful stride states he has a destination in mind.

@No1Cathedral/Twitter

Leo walks straight into the folds of Revd. Willis’ cassock and the dark fabric hides Leo’s black fur well!

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Revd. Willis continued on, apparently quite used to Leo’s comedic scene stealers!

The Cathedral shared the video via Twitter, writing, “Leo the cat has been getting up to mischief again! Did you spot this moment in Morning Prayer last week?”

The clip quickly went viral, garnering millions of views and the number is still growing.

And as Canterbury Cathedral’s social media reveals, the silly cat often appears with the Dean.

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Staff shared, “He has been enjoying making our daily broadcasts since March and, whilst he would be happy to be in every one, we have tried to include the others to prevent them getting jealous.” Leo’s three furry siblings at the Deanery want to help spread the good word too.

Leo Loves His Work

Despite Leo’s mischief, “He loves to socialise with the cathedral’s many pilgrims and visitors and takes his role as ambassador very seriously.”


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As reported by PA Media, “With over 20,000 visitors to the Deanery and its gardens each year – and over 1.5 million to the cathedral – he is used to being on show and, having been born in the Deanery and growing up here, he is very used to company and is a very friendly and happy little cat (if not the brightest of the four).”

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The Deanery is home and with its green gardens and sense of peaceful reverence, Leo is a happy cat who loves to spread goodwill and joy.

 

H/T: www.cnn.com
Feature Image: @No1Cathedral/Twitter

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“Loving Reaper” Artist Jenny Jinya Raising Awareness Through Touching Comics

The plight of forgotten and abused animals remains a worldwide problem, but thanks to the understanding kindness of one artist, these lost souls are receiving increased awareness through a series of touching comics.

Artist Jenny Jinya brings the issues of “abandonment, neglect and abuse” to light in her comic series, “Loving Reaper”.

The ongoing series features the Reaper and an assortment of animals who’ve have died as the result of neglect or abuse. But rather than focusing on the fear thoughts of the Grim Reaper often conjure, Jenny Jinya illustrates the compassionate side of death while raising awareness for animals in need.

On her website, Jenny shared, “‘Loving Reaper’ is my ultimate love project.”


@jenny_jinya/Instagram

Art for Awareness

Jenny’s inspiration was born from her love of animals, explaining to iHeartCats, “Seeing and reading about how animals are exploited, abandoned and abused in our world has always been heartbreaking to me, but as a poor student there wasn’t much I could do about it. So I started drawing about it. I wanted to give a voice to those who have none in this world.”


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The “Loving Reaper” series “enables me to use my art for good causes and raise awareness.”

Telling the Stories of the Often Forgotten

If you haven’t seen the comics before, first a warning. Your heart is going to fill with emotion and tissues may be necessary! In the beautifully drawn and scripted series, Death comes to the rescue of animals whose lives have been lost to cruelty or neglect. Rather than sadness, animals like Good Boy and the Black cats find comfort in the arms of the Loving Reaper.

In the tale of a black hit by a car on purpose, the kitty worries over the kind woman who fed him. But the Loving Reaper has something happy to show the grieving cat. Love lives on through adoption and rescue…

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To see the full story, visit Jenny’s online gallery.


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Working under the name Jenny Jinya, Jenny Hefczyc lives in Germany with her “lovely” rescue dog. When the pair met, Jenny told iHeartCats, “It was love at first sight and I just had to adopt her.”

Jenny also shared her pup walked a hard road before finding her loving forever home. “She was abused and neglected by her former owner and ended up in a shelter.”

Jenny wants to remind everyone that all animals deserve a safe and happy home. “I just want people to be more aware of how hard animals are struggling in our world. It is not only the animals in far away countries, or on the Internet, who suffer. They are on your doorstep and everyone can do something to help.”

The animal lovers at iHeartCats agree. Everyone has something to offer because animals everywhere need our help. Every kitty matters!


Jenny Jinya/Facebook

To see more of Jenny Jinya’s work, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Webtoon!

H/T: www.pupperish.com
Feature Image: @jenny_jinya/Instagram

The post “Loving Reaper” Artist Jenny Jinya Raising Awareness Through Touching Comics appeared first on iHeartCats.com.