Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Skin Problems in Dogs & Cats

The skin, your pet’s largest organ, acts as a barrier against harmful invasions from the environment. As an organ of elimination, symptoms of disease often show up in the skin and the body rids itself of toxins

Skin problems are probably the most common ailments seen in dogs. Usually they are not a disease in themselves, but a symptom of another underlying problem.

Allergies are the most common reason one sees problems with the skin or coats of their dogs and cats. It may be dietary, environmental, chemical or drug related. Problems can also show up due to dietary deficiency or poor diet in general. Symptoms include such as itching, redness, and poor coat quality.

If no other reason for the problem can be found, it is time to look for food allergies. Simply by changing the dog or cats diet to a higher quality food will often make a difference. Often simply adding raw meat to the diet is enough to see an improvement.

If the problem persists, or the pet is already on a healthy diet, then you must look at the specific ingredients in the food. Beef, chicken, corn and soy are the most common allergens, but cats and dogs, like people, can be allergic to anything. Try eliminating the above four things first, if that doesn’t work a more drastic “elimination diet” may be necessary. This usually takes at least 6-8 weeks to get a good reading.

If no food allergy can be identified, or if eliminating an offending food has not solved the problem, then you must look to the environment - inside as well as outside. Once an allergic reaction has been allowed to continue for some time, the immune system is taxed and the body may become sensitive to other irritants.

Play detective! Ask yourself if anything has changed in the house recently; new carpeting, new cabinetry, fresh paint? These things can all give off chemicals which may cause illness. Are the symptoms seasonal? Pollens are a common allergen, and difficult to avoid, especially for a dog. Did the symptoms start suddenly? What happened just before they appeared - vaccinations? Other illness? Emotional upset? Finding and eliminating the cause can be a long and difficult process.

Essential Fatty Acids can be extremely helpful in clearing up mild skin problems. You might also consider certain herbs, such as Milk Thistle or Dandelion, which support the liver and help the body detoxify. There are many natural topical products that can be used to calm the symptoms.

Bathing is not always the answer. If the dog’s coat is dry, bathing may just make matters worse. If you must bathe, use a gentle shampoo. For dogs or cats with itchy skin, look for oatmeal as one of the ingredients in a pet shampoo.

Another common cause of itching and redness for dogs and cats is flea bite dermatitis. Not all animals are allergic, but fleas will at least cause scratching or biting in all pets simply because they are annoying! Flea allergies however, cause the pests to be more than just an annoyance. Symptoms of flea allergy include hair loss, redness, and sometimes sores kown as “hot spots”.

If you suspect your pet has fleas but you haven’t actually seen any, look for the tell-tale black “specks” at the base of the hairs. Fleas particularly love the areas at the base of the tail, ears and hind legs (where they meet the belly). To determine if the specks are flea dirt (dried blood) and not just dirt, put some on a white paper or cloth and wet them. If they turn red, you’ve got fleas.

Some diseases cause symptoms of the skin and coat. Thyroid imbalances may cause dull, flaky or greasy coat and sometimes hair loss. Skin and ear infections are common with Cushing’s Disease.

There are some diseases specific to the skin. Mange is caused by a mite and causes lesions and hair loss, usually around the mouth and eyes. This most often clears up on its own, but some dogs and cats cannot rid themselves of the mites and have a more severe case. Ringworm is a highly contagious fungus affecting cats, dogs and people (especially children). It shows up as circular lesions that are raw, hairless and scaly. The disease spreads rapidly.

Boredom or anxiety can cause a dog to lick its paws repeatedly and constantly, resulting in “lick granulomas”. These are raised nodules, often rough and scaly. There is also a group of autoimmune diseases called Pemphigus which cause scaly skin, scabs and pustules. Some breeds are particularly susceptible to the disease.

Elyse Grau is an herbalist and a long-time pet owner, well-versed in pet nutrition and feeding. She is the author of Pet Health Resource, your web guide to a healthy, happy dog or cat. See her website for

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Do Cats Grieve for their Feline Friends?

by Kate Tilmouth

Our Happy Cat

It is not unusual for us to have more than one pet in our lives. We have more money and leisure time to spend on our pets than we did years ago and so more and more of us are choosing to live with two or more animal companions. This is great for us, as it means that we have more furry friends in our lives to keep us sane. However this also means that animals are more likely to form bonds and relationships with other animals, whereas in the past this was not the case.

Cats are not pack animals like dogs and so are quite happy being the only animal around. In fact most of the time they give other animals a wide birth. However now that more and more cats are being homed together, their relationships with each other are changing. It is now not uncommon for cats to form very close bonds with other cats in their family circle. They can now often be seen grooming each other and sleeping together on the same cushion. So we should not be surprised that they will grieve the loss of another cat, just as we do with our human family and friends.

However knowing if a cat is grieving the loss of another pet is not as easy to identify as in humans. After all cats cannot express how they are feeling to us in words and do not shed tears in the same way as we do. However cats do show other signs of grief that are very similar to our own. Loss of appetite, sleeping more, sleeping less and increased vocalisation are all signs that could indicate a cat is distressed.

Other signs of grief are, pacing and looking around the house for days, as if trying to find their companion. Looking out of windows and mewing for no apparent reason. A lack of interest in their favourite toys or food and a general listless behaviour that is out of character. Of course many of these signs can also be contributed to ill health and so if the behaviour continues it may be advisable to consult with a veterinarian.

To try and help a cat through a period of grieving, we can pay more attention to them and make more of a fuss of them than we would normally do. However we should not give them treats but rather we should try and distract them with a game. It is all too easy to give a cat a treat to console them when they are mewing or not eating their usual food, but to the cat, we are rewarding the behaviour and they will continue to do it.

It is also important not to rush out and try to replace the pet with a new one. Often people think that this will help their existing cat to get over the loss. However this is often a mistake. Cats should be given time to come to terms with the fact that their companion is not coming back. It also allows them time to establish their own position in the household again. Many owners have reported that a once shy and quiet cat, completely changed after another cat passed away. This can be easily explained; the cat may have been subdued by the other cat and was suppressing their own personality. Once left alone for a while, they as it were, “come out of their shell". So it is good to give them time after a death to find their feet again.

Once sufficient time has passed and the cat’s behaviour is back to normal, then it should be fine to introduce another cat to the home. This of course is very much reliant on the cat’s personality and the likelihood of accepting another pet, but then only individual owners can make that judgement.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Raw Feeding Your Cat – Is It Really A Healthier Diet?

By Moses Wright

Popularly know as BARF diet for bones and raw food or biologically adequate raw food diet, the natural raw feeding diet has been drawing increasing interest in the cat lover community.

One of the many people that support a raw feeding diet is Richard Pitcairn, DVM, PhD, author of “Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to the Natural Health for Dogs and Cats,” Rodale Press. He states that a cat’s health is improved by feeding a raw diet and that many of his clients have been feeding their cats raw meat successfully for many years.

When you are deciding what type of meat to feed your cat, Dr. Pitcairn suggests meats that can be easily found and prepare; many of his recipes use ground lean meat because it is high in protein but low in fat. In preparing the meat, Dr. Pitcairn says that 1 pound of ground meat equals roughly 2 cups. He warns that you should not feed raw rabbit, fish or pork as they can carry particular parasites.

Some of the meat type that he recommends as interchangeable are: turkey or giblets; chicken or giblets; beef, chicken or turkey liver; mackerel; tuna; beef, chick or turkey hearts; lean ground beef; duck, among others. Dr. Pitcairn recommends a varied diet and using more than one kind of meat in each meal.

On the other hand, a strong supporter for homemade food, Ann Martin, author of “Food Pets Die For,” New Sage Press, does not favor the raw food diet. The main concerns of a raw diet are bacterial and chemical contamination.

Citing the research of Jeff Bender and Ashley Robinson, veterinarians at the Department of Clinical and Population Sciences at the University of Minnesota, about an epidemic of food poisoning in a cattery. The food poisoning was caused by Salmonella that was thought to be traced to the 4-D meat (dead, diseased, dying or debilitated) in cat food. She is against feeding a raw food diet because of the potential for bacterial poisonings such as this and notes that these bacteria can also be found in meat intended for human consumption. Freezing the meat, she explains, destroys some but not all bacteria.

While Dr. Pitcairn disagrees and says that in over 17 years of practice, he has not seen any food poisoning in raw diets used by his clients. He comments that though it is not impossible that a pet may become ill, he believes they are less vulnerable. However, he leaves it up to the cat owner and suggests that if you do not feel comfortable feeding raw food, do cook it but realize that some of the nutrients will be lost.

Currently, there are still little substantiate results to support or go against raw feeding, and like what Dr. Pitcairn suggested, it’s totally up to the cat owner. As a cat owner who is truly concern about your cat’s health, you can try raw feeding and observe your cat’s response. You can then judge and decided for yourself if raw feeding is suitable for your cat.

About the Author: Moses Wright is the founder of More helpful information on Feline Cat Diet, Natural Cat Food and Homemade Cat Food can be found on his website. Webmasters are welcome to reprint this article if the content and live link are keep intact.


From Debbie the Blog Owner: "I personally feed my furkids a home prepared raw diet and couldn't be happier. Up until 6 months ago I fed them store bought canned food, yes, I higher end canned food but canned all the same. Anyway, I'm here to brag because my babies have NEVER BEEN BETTER! They look wonderful, their coat is silky and oh so soft it's incredible, eyes bright and even though they range between 8 and 14 years old, they have energy to burn! They're playing like kittens again. Bye, bye to the lethargic, slow moving, lay-around kitties that just lumbered from here to there. I love having my babies back!"

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Truth About Pet Vaccines

If you are like most pet owners today, you are probably finding the whole issue of pet vaccines more and more confusing. You have your conventional veterinarian telling you that “as a responsible pet owner, you should follow my advice and vaccinate your pet annually” with annual booster shots. And then you’ve heard the horror stories about cats who develop cancer at the site of vaccine injections, and numerous other stories about adverse vaccine reactions in both cats and dogs.

So… are we vaccinating our pets far too often? Are we giving them the right number of vaccines, or too many? By vaccinating yearly, are we really doing what is best for our pets, or is this all about the veterinarian’s ‘bottom line’?

There are many different views, often completely contradictory. The Veterinary Society in general is telling pet owners to vaccinate yearly, that vaccines are not harmful to our pets. Many veterinarians tell pet owners to vaccinate casually, that “at worst, they won’t cause any harm”. The evidence, and many individual veterinarians and alternative pet health practitioners, suggests otherwise.

Why do we vaccinate our pets?

A basic understanding of vaccines, and why we vaccinate in the first place, is important. We give our pets vaccinations to protect against infectious disease. When we give a vaccine, it stimulates our pet’s immune system to produce “Opposite Invaders” or antibodies. The new antibody that is produced is just for that particular virus, so if your dog or cat is exposed to the real virus at a later date, she will be able to respond quickly and produce antibodies to overcome the infection before it takes hold.

In theory, since vaccines are able to protect our pets from life threatening diseases like rabies and parvovirus, they sound wonderful. In that sense they most are - vaccines have saved countless lives. If that’s the case, why be concerned? Are there real drawbacks, reasons for caution?

The dangers of vaccines

The evidence is there for us to see, if we simply look. With the medical advancements we’ve made, we would expect our pets to be healthier than ever - but in reality, our pets are sicker than ever before. It is more and more common to see cancer in dogs and cats under 5 years of age, and autoimmune diseases are on the rise as well. Diseases such as immune mediated hemolytic anemia, immune mediated skin disease, vaccine induced skin cancer in cats, skin allergies, arthritis, leukemia, inflammatory bowel disease and neurological conditions are just a few of the diseases that have shown a link to over-vaccination in our pets. In fact, there are links to most of the common chronic health diseases of dogs and cats due to over-vaccination.

The reasoning for this is that when we vaccinate, the immune system can become ‘over-taxed’ and respond inappropriately. This is especially true when multiple vaccines are given at once. Pet owners may see adverse reactions directly (within 24 hours) after their pet has been vaccinated, with their pet having diarrhea, vomiting, or an abscess showing up at the site of the vaccine injection. In other pets, it may show up later, as an allergy, cancer, or a multitude of other diseases. One recent study has shown that the more vaccines that are given at once, the higher the risk of developing sarcoma (soft-tissue cancer). The study shows up to approximately 175% increase in cancer risk if vaccines are administered in the same location.

While over-vaccination may not be the sole reason we have so many sick pets today, it is definitely a major factor. Other reasons include low quality food, environmental toxins, and genetic deterioration due to poor quality breeding. The combination of these factors is leaving each generation more and more susceptible to disorders and chronic disease. Regardless, we are vaccinating our pets too often for more diseases than they truthfully need.

Reasons for over-vaccination

The reasons we have been over-vaccinating are manifold. These include the original belief that “at worst, vaccines won’t cause any harm”, to the bottom line of both veterinarians and the companies that produce the vaccines. Many veterinarians choose to ignore current research because they feel the benefits of vaccines outweigh any risks, or because they still rely on ‘annual booster shots’ as a source of income.

By now you are probably wondering if you should vaccinate your pets at all, with the risks of vaccines being so high. In short, I do currently advise a limited vaccine regimen for most cases - just not as often and not as many vaccines as you currently are giving your pet. Alternatives to vaccines do exist, but only if you are willing to make changes in how you care for your pet and how you view the risks involved. In Part 2 of this series, I will provide my recommended vaccine schedule and an overview of vaccine alternatives.

If you are wondering what the right decision is for your pet's vaccines, grab Dr. Andrew Jones' free dog and cat health e-book and ask for his report on dog and cat vaccines.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pica and Other Cat Eating Problems

By Kate Tilmouth

Most cat owners will notice from time to time that their cat decides for no apparent reason that they just don't like their cat food any more and won't eat it. This often completely puzzles a cat owner, as usually their cat just can't get enough of their so-called favourite food.

Everything a cat does, even if it is the strangest behaviour you've ever seen is always caused by something. It is never because they are being awkward or naughty and the secret to finding out why they no longer like their food is to look at it through the eyes of the cat. This way the cause is often much clearer.

The two most obvious reasons a cat may no longer want its food, is firstly has the food gone bad. Sometimes cat food can become tainted in its packaging, check to see if the can has any dents in it or if there is damage to the packaging in any way. Smell the food your self and see if there are any unusual odours or any mould on the food. Secondly, is the cat ill in any way? Sometimes bad teeth can cause problems or they have a stomach bug. A vet should check out any suspicions of illness immediately.

Other reasons why your cat won't eat its food are:

Getting food elsewhere - your cat may be catching its own meals if you live in an area where rodents are prolific. Or a neighbour could be feeding them. Cats have fairly small stomachs and need time between meals to digest their food. So a non-hungry cat may just be full.

Mating season - female cats when in season will go off their food naturally. So if you have a queen who stops eating but starts to display normal mating behaviour this is probably the cause.

Changes in situation - cats are renowned for being very fussy about change and they generally like their world to remain consistent. So even something as small as changing their feeding bowl or area can cause them to feel insecure about eating. Look around for little changes that may be causing your cat some concern.

Over feeding - In the wild cats choose to hunt and eat small rodents and birds. When you consider how much of a small meal this is, you may begin to realise that by providing your cat with a large bowl of food, you are providing too large a meal all at once. So when you see your cat eat a little then walk a way it's not that they are "off their food", it's because they want time to digest what they have just eaten. Unfortunately if the rest of the food is left to sit in the bowl all day it is likely become less appealing and the cat will not eat it. Most cats will self regulate their food intake like this but in some cases you will get a greedy cat who will stuff themselves with a large bowl of food leading to an overweight kitty. As a rule it's best to feed your cat small portions of food throughout the day to avoid overeating and wastage.

A less unknown fact about a cats appetite and feeding habits is that they have an inbred instinct to change their diet from time to time. This is a survival mechanism to prevent starvation in the wild if a particular food source disappears. This instinct is still present even in our domestic cats that have no worries of this. So from time to time a cat that normally loves to eat, say fish may suddenly only want chicken. From an owners point of view this is not only inconvenient but may also cause concern if their cat just won't eat it normal food. A solution is to always have some other flavour of food in stock for these occasions so that worries of ill health can be eliminated from the owner's minds.

A more serious eating problem known as Pica that some cats suffer from is a rather unusual condition where a cat will choose to eat non-food items. The most common substances are rubber, electric cables, fabric and wool. The cause of this unusual eating behaviour is unknown, although it is thought that it may be caused by under stimulation, in other words boredom. This is because most cases are reported amongst indoor cats, who do not have the normal cat stimulus of hunting, exploring and climbing etc.

At present there is no cure for Pica but as it is quite dangerous for cats to eat these substances, the main treatment is to make the substances they crave either inaccessible or taste very unpleasant. Whilst at the same time making their environment more stimulating and interesting, with toys, climbing frames and games. One such game is to hide small treats inside tubes or boxes, so that the cat has to seek them out and has to put some effort into retrieving them.

More cat health and cat care tips can be found at our site, a feline friendly community full of helpful advice and fun things to do to make sure you have a happy cat and a happy you.

Copyright 2007 Kate Tilmouth

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Natural Treatments Offer Best Hope For Cats With Feline AIDS

By Thomas Hapka

Each year, thousands of cats are diagnosed with Feline AIDS, also known as the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV. This potentially life-threatening disease attacks and impairs the immune system, leaving infected animals vulnerable to a variety of infections. Even a seemingly innocent head cold can pose serious risks for these cats.

The name "Feline AIDS" inspires fear in the hearts of many pet owners. However, this disease is not the same virus that infects humans.

FIV is species specific, affecting only cats. Furthermore, it is not easily spread among the feline population. Deep, penetrating bite wounds like those exchanged by un-neutered males during fights are the most common means of transmission, and some evidence suggests that mothers can pass the disease to their unborn kittens. Infected cats can share litter pans and food dishes with their housemates without spreading the disease.

Because traditional veterinary medicine doesn't offer a "cure" for Feline AIDS, well-meaning veterinarians often recommend euthanasia as a primary course of action. Others attempt to treat infected cats with aggressive courses of prescription drugs, including steroids, interferon, AZT, and antibiotics. This approach is problematic, as each of these medications can produce substantial side effects and further suppress the immune system - the last thing an immune compromised animal can afford.

While medical treatments for Feline AIDS are somewhat limited, natural therapies offer a variety of benefits. Vitamin supplements, homeopathy and herbals, for example, can bolster an ailing cat's immune system, even during the advanced stages of the disease. Most of these products are affordable and available at any health food store.

Comprehensive dietary nutrition is also essential for cats with FIV. Keeping them healthy on a diet of commercial pet food is extremely difficult, as these foods are nutritionally inadequate and laden with harmful colorings, preservatives, and inferior meat sources.

Many holistic practitioners recommend raw meat for cats with Feline AIDS. Some pet owners question the safety of a raw diet, but FIV+ cats frequently thrive on this rich, whole food nutrition. Unlike humans, animals are designed to safely digest raw foods as they would in the wild.

Although natural treatments have proven effective, anyone caring for an FIV+ cat should maintain a good relationship with a skilled medical vet. Immune compromised animals sometimes require IV's, oral cleanings, and other supportive care. Pet owners should exercise caution, however, as some common medical treatments - such as vaccinations - pose a threat to cats with FIV.

Cats receiving natural treatments often enjoy a high quality of life for many years, but there are times when euthanasia is the compassionate choice for animals in the throws of advanced Feline AIDS. The bottom line is that a diagnosis of FIV is not an automatic death sentence.

homas Hapka is a freelance writer and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He learned of FIV in 1995 when his cat, Jac, was diagnosed. Since then, he has consulted with hundreds of pet owners. His clients have spanned nine countries and included two American zoos. Hapka has been featured in the magazines Australian National Cat, Cat's Life, and Animal Wellness. He is presently enrolled at the British Institute of Homeopathy USA, pursuing a degree in veterinary homeopathy.

To schedule an interview, please call 920.285.8055 or email

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

What's Wrong With My Cats Legs?

By Darlene L. Norris

Is your cat having trouble walking? Are his feet slipping out from under him? Is he walking on his hocks (the "elbows" on his back legs), or on his wrists in the front? Does he have to lie down after a short walk? These are the symptoms of feline neuropathy.

In some kitties, weak legs can be the first sign of feline diabetes. If you already know your kitty has diabetes, this condition indicates that his blood sugar is out of control. He needs an immediate trip to the vet to get to the bottom of the problem.

Feline diabetes is caused when your kitty's body can't regulate his blood sugar levels. This is because either he's not producing enough insulin (type 1), or his body isn't responding to insulin anymore (type 2). In either case, eye, nerve, and kidney cells are more vulnerable to damage from high sugar levels because, unlike other cells, they don't need insulin to absorb sugar from the blood. There's nothing to stop them from taking in too much sugar, which causes internal damage to these cells. This is why it's so important for diabetics to keep their blood sugar under control.

Damage to nerve cells is called neuropathy. You may be able to improve your kitty's leg function, but it does take time and patience.

Before you can do anything about your furry friend's leg weakness, you do need to be sure his diabetes is under control. Many kitties improve when their sugar levels are controlled. In these cases, the leg weakness may have been caused by an electrolyte imbalance. Often this is because your kitty has been urinating too much, which is his body's way of trying to get rid of excess sugar.

Uncontrolled feline diabetes can also cause muscle wasting, and your buddy's leg problems can be due to muscle weakness. Regular exercise can help rebuild muscle. Gently tug on his legs so that he has to use his muscles to pull away. You can try holding his favorite treat above him as he leans on a footstool so he has to reach up for it. "Baby-walking," where you hold up his front end and walk him between your feet, can be helpful. He's able to move around, but he's not stressing those weakened muscles by putting all his weight on his back legs.

You may be able to help your furry friend by giving him methylcobalamin, also known as methyl B-12. This form of vitamin B-12 is active in spinal fluid. It helps to heal damaged nerve cells and restore the pathways between your kitty's brain and his muscles. Be sure you get methyl B-12, not regular B-12. This supplement is available at health food stores.

Give your fur ball three to five milligrams of methyl B-12 each day. Many cats have shown improvement within a few days, but it may take months for your kitty to recover fully. This is a safe supplement, as it's water soluble. What this means is that any excess leaves your kitty's body in his urine instead of building up in his tissues. Studies have shown that there are no side effects, even at high doses.

Feline neuropathy can be an alarming problem. But with proper blood sugar control, exercise, and the use of methyl B-12, your kitty friend can regain most, if not all, of his leg function.

Can feline diabetes be controlled with natural remedies? Visit Tips For Controlling Feline Diabetes Holistically to learn how to help your cat.

Darlene L. Norris has been owned by many kitties over the years. Now I've combined my love for cats and my life-long interest in herbs and healing at my new blog, Cool Cat Care Stuff. Information on natural remedies for cats can be hard to find. Stay up-to-date on the latest herbal and homeopathic treatments for your feline friends!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Can You Spoil Your Cat?

Cats, despite their loveable and inimitable independent tendencies, really do thrive when attention is lavished upon them. Often nearly standoffish absent a great deal of attention, cats seem to develop a closer relationship to their owners when pampered.

As a result, cat owners often look for new and interesting ways to give their cats extra attention. Cat pampering can take a variety of forms, ranging form simple extended petting sessions to homemade meals to elaborate toys.

Many cat owners have been accused of giving too much attention to their pets. People will argue that these well-intended owners are actually “spoiling” their cats by going out their way to show them attention and concern. Is this a valid concern? Can one truly pamper their cat too much?

The wise among us tell us to practice moderation in all things. The same, it would seem, should apply to cat pampering. At some point, too much pampering surely occurs, spoiling a cat and creating a needy animal. However, compared with other pets (most notably dogs), there is a wide margin of error with cats. Most of those who pamper their cats will see far greater benefits from their efforts than they will detriments.

Cats do need to understand that there are rules and boundaries. There are parts of every home and certain activities that must be forbidden in order for the human and his or her pet to function in the same household comfortably. Cats, luckily, are notoriously quick studies and usually pick up on these limits quickly and tend to abide by them.

Thus, it is very difficult to spoil a cat too much so long as those basic ground rules are observed and enforced. As long as a cat owner does not allow the animal to break these core rules, there is little risk in spoiling a cat.

Will a cat become more needy if attention is lavished upon him or her? Probably so. The cat who is frequently given pets and rubs will surely begin to expect them and will come back for more. Is this really a negative, though? Most cat owners would argue it is actually a benefit! After all, the cat enjoys the attention, the owner enjoys providing the attention and in the meantime the cat/owner bond and relationship is strengthened.

It is possible to allow a cat to develop unrealistic expectations or to become fairly demanding. Cats will begin to view pampering as “their due” and will insist upon it. In this sense, it could be argued that too much pampering is a bad thing. However, the cat’s expectations will seldom reach the point where they are unreasonable. In some ways, this development of an expectation is actually advantageous, as it can compel an owner to consistently show attention and love to his or her feline companion.

When one considers all of this, it becomes fairly clear that even if spoiling a cat is possible, the negative repercussions of the spoiling will be relatively minor so long as the owner does not create a situation where he or she cannot keep up with the expectations of the pet.

A cat owner can feel relatively comfortable that his or her kind and pampering acts toward a cat will do very little damage while significantly improving the quality of life for both the cat and the owner.

Yes, there are extreme cases where a spoiled cat could be developed and there could certainly be some annoyance and frustration as a result. However, it is hard to reach this point. The natural independence of cats generally serves as insulation from any such problem.

Cat owners can pamper their cats without too much concern about creating a “needy monster.” Instead, the pamperer is far more likely to create a loving pet.

You can spoil you catFeature Articles, but you really have to try in order to do so. Cat pampering is unlikely to create major problems for either the owner or the pet and should not be avoided due to fears of spoiling the cat.


I am Aditya Wardjat, author of "Cat Pampering". Learn how to "Make Your Cat Feel Special"! Get A Guide To Pampering Your Cat at

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How to Remove Cat Urine Odor Using a Free Homemade Recipe

By Sandy Stone

Last year we purchased a home that been soiled by the previous owners' cat. We thought that having the carpets professionally cleaned would take care of it but it just made the problem worse.

After using several well-advertised and expensive cat urine removal products that didn't work, I was searching on the web for a solution and found a homemade remedy that uses three simple household products. Desperate I tried it and wouldn't you know it - it worked!

So well that I had to find out why and researched the chemistry and origins of the recipe. I found out it was developed originally by a chemist for neutralizing the proteins in skunk odor, which are the same proteins found in cat urine and give it it's horrible smell!

Cat urine is not much different from any other urine, be it human or other animals. It is made up urea, creatinine, uric acid, sodium and other electrolytes. When cat urine dries the urea gets broken down by bacteria which gives it that distinctive ammonia smell. As it decomposes further it releases thiols which make the cat urine odor worse yet.

The recipe works because the reaction of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda produces large amount of oxygen. The oxygen molecules bond to the thiols, breaking them up into carbon dioxide and ammonia, that evaporates quickly thereby effectively neutralizing the thoils and their foul-smelling odor.


  • 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide

    1/4 cup baking soda

    1 teaspoon of liquid soap
Gently mix all ingredients in a non-metal container. Do not mix or shake vigorously!

The mixture is best used when fresh but can be stored. Do not keep mixture in an airtight container as baking soda and hydrogen peroxide when mixed together release loads of oxygen. We don't want an explosion on our hands on top of the mess we already have!

I mix and keep mine in a large spray bottle I bought from Home Depot but on old plastic liter soda bottle works just a well. Just remember to keep the cap on loose.

3% hydrogen peroxide can be bought at most grocery and drug stores in pint and quart bottles.

A word of caution:

Surfaces that are porous may swell e.g. drywall, wood flooring, particle board, etc. with application of this recipe. But if your surface is already ruined by cat urine and you want to get rid of the odor until you can replace it - give it a try.

Always test for color-fastness when using first. Apply to a small area and wait 24-48 hours until dry before using on an entire area. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent in stronger concentrations (think teeth whiteners) and can lighten materials that are not color-fast.

For specific applications and details on how to use the recipe for carpets, sofas, mattresses, comforters, hardwood floors and many other things, please visit

ASPCA Day is April 10

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