pets

Mari-chan the sensational Shiba Inu actress is back and cute as ever

Mari-chan might be “the meanest dog in Japan,” but we still can’t help but love her. We’ve seen her before “helping” her master study by spraying him with water, comically refusing his desperate advances for doggie kisses, and even going so far as to nonchalantly knock away his crutches and life preserver rope.

But now Mari-chan has decided to move on: she’s gotten a real job, as a construction worker. Her latest YouTube video shows her first ten days as the newbie at work, learning the ropes and causing plenty of adorable mischief.

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Pampered hamsters chill in tiny home, eat pies, win hearts 【Videos】

Needing some cuteness in your day? Well do we have just the thing for you! Meet hamsters Enoki and Bunapi from Singapore as they invite you into their home and go about their day, chilling in front of the TV, eating apple pies, taking a bath… you know, just normal hamster things.

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Pet treats from China pulled from shelves, suspected in the illness/death of thousands of dogs

Any pet owner will tell you that pets are undeniably a part of the family. Everyone wants the best for their furry four-legged friend, and it is emotionally painful to watch them when they get sick or when their lives end. Even worse is when their already too-short lives are cut even shorter due to illness caused by something that was believed to be good for them. So, in response to consumer concerns that jerky treats manufactured in China have been the cause of thousands of pet illnesses and deaths, pet-supply chain Petco has decided to stop all sales of Chinese-produced dog and cat treats.

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The pets of Japan wish you a happy new year (some are happier about it than others)【Photos】

Just like how families in the west put lights on their homes and ornaments on trees for Christmas, Japan has its own traditional decorations for New Year’s. One of the most common is kagami mochi, a stack of two or three rice cakes topped with a mikan or daidai, both orange-like citrus fruits.

No one’s exactly sure why it’s called kagami mochi though, since even though the name literally means “mirror rice cake,” there’s no mirror included in the display. As a matter of fact, in the minds of some animal lovers in Japan, the design options for kagami mochi are wide open, as shown by this collection of photos where adorable pets take the place of the rice cakes.

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Courageous kitty offers himself up for dinner during tough financial times

Pets are expensive to feed and keep, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re financially able to support a little furry life for the next 10-15 years before making the decision to adopt an animal.

Sometimes, though, life throws you financial curve balls, and you may find yourself struggling to cover the cost of kitty’s food and litter. Today, we’d like to share with you the funny yet kinda sad tale of a kitty-owner whose struggle to make ends meet led to their furry little pal making a drastic suggestion of self-sacrifice (although, it’s a cat, so we’re pretty sure it was being sarcastic…)

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Video of crafty cat’s escape from behind bars shows no simple cage can hold him

Japan’s comparatively cramped housing means there’s not only less room for a home’s human occupants, but for its animal residents as well. Because of this, you may sometimes see pets spending a few hours a day in cages that, in other countries, would ordinarily be able to run free around the house.

But if the sight of a cat behind bars makes you feel a little sad, you’ll be happy to know that at least one Japanese feline can apparently escape whenever he feels like it.

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Catatsu is one of the ridiculous new “hot” items for your pet to wear (yes, wear) this winter

As you may have already heard, winter is cold in Japan. Maybe not as cold as some other more northern countries, but it’s still very chilly even indoors because many people still choose to only heat one room in the house at a time, or live in buildings made out of lightweight materials in an effort to make them as earthquake-safe as possible. This proves to be a bit of an issue for pet owners. Many pets are built to resist some amount of cold (because duh, fur!) but others aren’t equipped to deal with the cold daytime weather.

Perhaps this is why Japan sells some pretty ridiculous pet clothes! UNIHABITAT has a couple of new pet outfits that are going to turn some heads, but will also keep your pets warm and cozy this winter season.

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Video series of cats with mikan and kotatsu is also a cute survival guide for Japanese winter

Chilly as winter may get in Japan, we’ve got to admit there are some cool things about the coldest part of the year. For example, the Christmas decorations around Tokyo are amazing, and even if you’re not feeling up to braving the cold weather, Japan offers a couple of ways to make winter more bearable even if you’re staying indoors. High on the list are mikan, the mandarin oranges that’re at their tastiest in winter, and kotatsu, the blanket-covered, heater-equipped tables that’re so cozy it’s almost impossible to pull yourself out of one once you get situated comfortably.

Don’t take our word for it, though, as these adorable cats lounging though a Japanese winter serve as far better spokescreatures for mikan and kotatsu than we ever could.

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Japanese pets find ways to keep warm despite the cold snap 【Photos】

It’s been unseasonably cold around Japan this week, sending most of us scurrying for those wooly mittens and knit caps in the back of the closet lest we lose a finger or ear to frostbite.

You’d think with the layers of fur and feathers they are already schlepping around, pets wouldn’t feel the falling temps quite as much, but if Twitter photos are any indication, they are looking just as hard as we are for ways to ward off Old Man Winter.

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How to make a Whack-a-Mole game your cat will love in just 60 seconds【Video】

Part of the appeal of cats is their air of sophistication. Compared to dogs, their simple-minded and eternal rivals, felines seem to exhibit a deeper appreciation of the finer things in life. Just like humans, they appear to understand the intrinsic value of gourmet food, luxurious surroundings, and, as this video shows, the most cultured pastime of all, whack-a-mole.

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Ago-kui is the new kabe-don, and it looks incredibly cute when done to pets!

Are you still caught up in the kabe-don craze? We’ve even seen some variations to the wall-pounding approach, but it’s time to change it up for the next manga inspired photo trend – ago-kui!

Japanese Twitter users have shifted their attention to another heart throbbing situation that often comes up in manga and anime, the act of gently tilting another person’s head upwards by their chin. Similar to when kabe-don was trending, Twitter users started posting images of themselves getting caught up in an ago-kui situation, but they soon realized, it looks way cuter when ago-kui is done to their pets! More cuteness ahead!

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Most popular pet names in Japan for 2014 suggest owners obsessed with food

Earlier this week, we looked at popular baby names making the rounds this year in Japan and now we’ve discovered some data on what Japanese named their pets in 2014. The little guy above may be right to look concerned because almost every name on the list is food-related

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Treats for the sweet! Kitties paw-litely beg for fishy snacks 【VIDEO】

One of the first things every new pet owner learns is to never feed your furball at the table. You only have to give in once, and you’ll spend the rest of your days fending off kitty with a fork and spitting fur out of each mouthful as your adorable pet gets a little overinvolved in your meal times. In my house it’s got to the stage where I can’t even butter a slice of bread without one of my kitties attempting to lick the knife, and I’ve had to remove the other cat’s head from the refrigerator before closing the door so many times it’s beyond a joke. But what are you supposed to do when your pet looks up at you with those big, round eyes and begs you for a treat? Just see if you can watch this video of kitties begging for fishy snacks without melting!

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Japan’s pet kitties are reportedly spellbound by recent NHK wildlife documentary 【Photos】

Netizens on Twitter recently reported that a rather strange phenomenon was affecting their pet cats during the broadcast of NHK’s “Mitsuaki Iwago’s World Catwalk”, a documentary by prominent wildlife photographer and documentary filmmaker Mitsuaki Iwago.

Apparently, the scenes of furry felines in their natural habitat completely captured the attention of household moggies watching at home, to the extent that their owners felt compelled to tweet photographic evidence of the event. Join us after the jump for images of cute kitties viewing images of other cute kitties!

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Japan is doing what people do best with fallen leaves: playing with them【Photos】

There isn’t much to dislike about fall. The weather has finally turned to a comfortable temperature and the colors of the fallen leaves fill you with awe and playfulness. People and animals alike always enjoy the autumnal weather to its fullest as we all know what is to come, the “stay-at-home-under-the-kotatsu” cold of winter.

So while it lasts, enjoy some of the creative pictures of fall collected from all over Japan. Maybe it will inspire you to get outside and frolic around too.

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Give your cat a sleek Egyptian makeover with the help of a piece of everyday packaging

Earlier this month, cat owners in Japan stumbled across affordable, adorable beds for their pets at IKEA, of all places. But while repurposing the furniture megastore’s doll beds will make your cat look incredibly cute while it’s sleeping, what about when it’s awake?

Actually, we just picked up a collar with a design so elegant it wouldn’t be out of place on an exalted feline in ancient Egypt. Not only was it incredibly cheap, we found it at yet another unlikely place: the grocery store.

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Deal of the day – Give this hamster’s Vine video six seconds, and he’ll give you a huge smile

It’s one of the sad facts of life that it generally takes longer to build up a good mood than to tear one down. A quick bit of bad luck can ruin your afternoon (just ask anyone who’s been pooped on by a pigeon), but blissful joy is often the result of building off a string of successes and blessings.

We say “often” because sometimes you stumble across a shortcut to a genuine smile or heartwarming laugh, which is definitely the case with the twist ending to this short video of a hamster having its ear stroked.

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Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】

One of the great things about IKEA is the broad appeal of its furnishings. With understated styling, reasonable prices, and adequate quality, the Swedish-based megastore is the perfect place to find sofas for recent college graduates, dishes for newlyweds, and work desks for telecommuters.

And also, as clever Japanese pet owners have learned, adorable beds for cats.

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Ginji the hamster tends miniature bar, serves tiny sushi, makes everyone smile from his cuteness

Growing up, I, like a lot of kids, bugged my parents for a dog. They, like a lot of parents, rightly realized I envisioned myself spending more time playing fetch with it than scooping up its poo, and suggested a much more low-maintenance pet instead.

Eventually, we settled on a hamster, since at the very least the house would stay clean if it was kept in a cage. And while Hamlet (of course we named him Hamlet) never complained about his metal wireframe home, I can’t help but look at these pictures of fellow hamster Ginji and think how much cuter it would have been to make a miniature bar and Japanese-style living room for him.

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Japanese cats commandeer space heaters, owners left shivering from cold and cuteness 【Photos】

Japan gets pretty chilly during the winter, but houses and apartments aren’t designed with centralized heating systems. Since mounting an array of full-blown AC/heater units throughout your home is a pretty expensive endeavor, a lot of people instead opt to use space heaters to warm up a patch of their living room.

The downside to creating this tiny oasis of warmth, though, is that it can be hard to force yourself to leave it. This phenomena isn’t limited to humans, either, as shown by these Japanese cats lounging luxuriously in front of their owner’s space heaters.

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