The 25 Most Pet-Friendly Cities in America

aricvyhmeister/iStock via Getty Images
aricvyhmeister/iStock via Getty Images

For many people, having a pet is basically the equivalent of having a child. So it's important to live in a place where both you and your fur baby feel welcome. To determine which cities are America's pet-friendliest cities, financial advisory site WalletHub looked at 100 of the largest cities in the U.S. and figured out what it costs to own a pet (including average vet costs); the area's dedication to pet health and wellness (factoring in the number of vets, trainers, and caretakers as well as the abundance of pet-friendly restaurants and other establishments); and the number of pet-friendly outdoor areas (like dog parks and walking trails).

After determining each city's weighted average, WalletHub then ranked all 100 cities. While Scottsdale, Arizona topped the list, two Florida cities—Orlando and Tampa—took the second and third spots, respectively.

Source: WalletHub

At the other end of the pet-friendly spectrum is Fresno, California, which ranked dead last in WalletHub's rankings (followed by Laredo, Texas and Buffalo, New York). You can read the full list here, but these are the country's 25 most pet-friendly cities. 

  1. Scottsdale, AZ

  1. Orlando, FL

  1. Tampa, FL

  1. Austin, TX

  1. Phoenix, AZ

  1. Las Vegas, NV

  1. Atlanta, CA

  1. St. Louis, MO

  1. Seattle, WA

  1. Portland, OR

  1. San Diego, CA

  1. Albuquerque, NM

  1. Birmingham, AL

  1. Oklahoma City, OK

  1. Raleigh, NC

  1. Colorado Springs, CO

  1. Irvine, CA

  1. Sacramento, CA

  1. Tucson, AZ

  1. Cincinnati, OH

  1. Denver, CO

  1. San Antonio, TX

  1. Pittsburgh, PA

  1. Lexington-Fayette, KY

  1. Fort Worth, TX

How to Keep a Cat Out of Your Christmas Tree

MW47/iStock via Getty Images
MW47/iStock via Getty Images

You may be able to resist poking around the Christmas tree until December 25, but your cat has different plans. The tree you spent hours decorating is nothing more than an oversized toy to the feline in your home. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to dissuade your pet from swatting away all your hard work.

As Lifehacker reports, an elaborate skirt is the key to a cat-friendly tree. If a cat loves the soft, fluffy material beneath the tree, it may lose interest in the branches overhead. A different approach is to use the skirt as an opportunity to create an uninviting barrier between your cat and the tree. It's hard to mess with ornaments when they're hanging above a layer of tape laid out sticky-side up, or even a bed of pinecones if you want something that looks more natural.

Some curious cats can't be deterred by a few obstacles in their way. For these cases, PetCareRx recommends using a safe cat repellent. There are many smells cats can't stand, like bitter apple, citronella, potpourri, and even Vicks VapoRub. You can either spray pine cones or cotton balls with these scents and tuck them around the tree, or spray them directly onto the branches. Your cat will suddenly be repulsed by the shiny new object in the living room, plus your tree will smell a little more festive—especially if it's fake.

Even after taking these precautions, it helps to have a few more safeguards in place. Limiting ornaments to the top half of the tree where they'll be out of kitty's reach, and securing them with strings instead of wire hooks, means they're less likely to end up on the ground or in your pet's paws. Location is also crucial—setting up your tree right next to a sofa or another piece of furniture your cat likes to climb on is like inviting him to use it as a launchpad.

If you're thinking of skipping the traditional tree altogether this year, here are some regional alternatives.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Treat Your Achy Back to a Cozy, Vibrating Sloth Pillow This Winter


Battling your way through the biting winds of winter just to get to your office or run a simple errand—even if you’re just dashing a few yards to and from your car—can make your body feel like it’s been through an actual battle. And while cold weather definitely justifies curling up on the couch under a weighted blanket for hours on end, sometimes a regular throw pillow just isn’t enough to soothe your stiff muscles.

Smoko’s plush boo pillow from Urban Outfitters ($49), however, just might do the trick. Not only does it have a fleece exterior, it also vibrates: Just press the power button on the right arm, and the pillow will give you a subtle, relaxing massage to sink into while you binge-watch whatever television series your friends won’t stop talking about. According to PopSugar, it comes with three AA batteries, so you don’t have to worry about bundling back up for a last-minute trip to the convenience store after you realize the only batteries you have are in your TV remote.

The smiling sloth face on the front gives you the impression that you’re being hugged by the world’s cutest, coziest arboreal mammal. There’s also a handle on the top of the pillow, so you can easily relocate from the couch to your bed whenever you feel like it.

In short, the sloth-themed pillow might make you actually look forward to hearing your local meteorologist drop the term “wintry mix” in the forecast. And, at $49, it’s an ideal gift for anyone on your list who loves sloths and/or enjoys indulging in sloth-like behavior.

You can get one (or more) from Urban Outfitters here—and, for the full effect, why not pair it with a nice ugly Christmas sweater? Here are our 11 favorites.

[h/t PopSugar]

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