Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fourth of July Festivities: Should You Bring Your Pet?

As the country dons its red, white and blue to celebrate Independence Day, nothing says patriotism like a good old-fashioned barbecue with a side of fireworks. But beware pet parents, what’s fun for people can be a downright drag for our furry friends.

The ASPCA recommends keeping your pooch indoors as much as possible during backyard parties and Fourth of July festivities, even if he is a pro picnicker. From toxic food and beverages to raucous guests and fireworks, the holiday weekend is a minefield of potential pet problems.

From the Frenzied Feline to you, have a safe and happy Independance Day!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Is It Going To Be An Indoor Or An Outdoor Cat?

by: Judy Jantzen

Is your cat going to be an indoor cat or outdoor cat or an indoor cat with outdoor access? It is a big decision to make for the well being of your cat and your sanity.

You need to think carefully about the positives and negatives before deciding which way to go. Some things to consider are the dangers to your cat from other animals and mean humans. Fleas, ticks, scorpions, snakes, coyotes, rabies, etc. and do not forget annoyed neighbors.

Cats can be happy indoors, if you see to their needs. Any window with a birdfeeder and bird bath in the view can provide hours of pleasure for your cat and satisfy their stalking and hunting instincts. Open the window on nice days with a secure screen in place. A handful of chemical free grass will supply their need for green grass to eat. We keep a special patch to pick from. In the Winter months we plant a big pot of rye grass.

We lived on a 41 feet sail boat for ten years with two cats. For 5 of those years we were on a mooring and for the other five we were at a dock. We trained both cats to wear a harness when we were under way and when we were going to come into a dock. Then they quickly accepted the idea of walking on a lease, so that they could investigate their new environment. They played on the deck and went up and down stairs, dozens of times a day.

Later when we moved into a house, we continued to walk them on the lease. One cat even got to the point that we could carry him down the block and put him down. Then he would walk home on his own. He did not like to walk away from home, only the return trip. Being accepting of walking on a lease is also great for traveling purposes. It is a safe way to have your cat be outside.

Now we have two rescued cats who want nothing to do with the outdoors.They had enough fearful experiences outside. They both enjoy watching the birds from inside the patio doors, but they prefer their food in a food bowl. Just hearing a neighbors dog bark or seeing one from a window can freak them out and send them running for their safe hiding place.

We live in SE Arizona and outside cats do not last too long with coyotes, snakes, scorpions, rabies and other terrifying things.

Cats with outdoor access can treat you to fleas and ticks. They can bring you special gifts of a dead mouse or bird. They can be hurt by another cat, dog or other animals. Chase the wrong thing and it could be the last thing the cat does chase. But they do have the freedom to roam and upset the neighbors by using a flower bed as a litter box or hunting birds in the neighbors yard. Just because you think they are adorable, does not mean that others do.

The choice to declaw or not is a big and very important decision. I would suggest that you do a search and read the available information and discuss it with your vet, to make an informed decision.

As you can see the choice of an indoor cat or an outdoor cat affects not only you and your cat but your entire neighborhood so think long and hard before you make your decision. Your neighbors will appreciate your consideration.

About The Author

Judy Jantzen: - My husband and I have owned cats for the past 25 years.

For more fabulous cat articles and some of the finest cat goodies available anywhere including cat food bowls, cat harness, cat leashes and cat training e-books check out our web site at:

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Clues to Detecting Fluffy and Fido's Painful Secrets

To protect themselves from predators, animals naturally hide their pain. Your pet may be suffering even though he isn’t showing obvious signs. Advancements in veterinary science have decoded subtle telltale signs of animal distress. Observing your pet’s behavior is vital to managing his or her pain. How well do you know your pet? Use these five clues from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) to help you understand your pet’s body language.

Clue 1—Abnormal chewing habits

If your pet is showing abnormal chewing habits, such as dropping its food or chewing on one side of the mouth, it may have a dental disorder or a mouth tumor. Additional signs may include weight loss, bad breath or excessive face rubbing. Routine dental checkups are important to prevent and treat dental disorders and related pain.

Clue 2—Drastic weight gain or loss

Continued here:

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Popular flowers a fragrant pet-killer

By Kasha Stoll

Special to The Capital-Journal

Lynn Zoeller loves lilies. She also knows they are extremely dangerous to cats.

According to the National Animal and Poison Control Center, Easter and tiger lilies are toxic to cats regardless of sex or age.

"Cats can be poisoned by ingesting one or two leaves or flowers," said Wilson Rumbeiha, assistant professor of pathobiology and diagnostic investigation at Michigan State University.

He warned that symptoms could start within 30 minutes and include depression, vomiting and loss of appetite. Acute renal failure starts at about 48 hours.

Since the toxin hasn't been identified and there is no antidote, Rumbeiha said the mortality rate runs between 50 percent and 100 percent. The chance of survival increases dramatically, however, if medical treatment is begun within the first six hours after ingestion.

Dr. Emily Wood, a veterinarian at Burlingame Road Animal Hospital, 3715 S.W. Burlingame Road, said it is crucial for the cat to vomit out the toxins before the kidneys are affected.

If necessary, the veterinarians will use activated charcoal, she said. Following that, the cats are placed on intravenous fluids at a rate two times that of daily maintenance levels.

Prevention is the best medicine, however, and Zoeller, a florist with Custenborder Flowers, 1709 S.W. Gage Blvd., recommends two options.

The first is to keep the lilies away from the cats.

"Keep it in an area where the cats can't get to it," she said. "Put it in another room and shut the door."

Diane Barnes, a volunteer and a board member of the Cat Association of Topeka, said cats don't like the smell of citrus. She suggests laying orange peels on top of the dirt in potting plants, or spraying the plant's leaves with Bitter Apple, a product that doesn't hurt the plants but keeps cats away.

The second option Zoeller recommends is getting fresh plants that aren't toxic to cats. Daisies, pansies and tulips are good springtime choices.

Kasha Stoll can be reached at

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Timid Cats

Larry Chamberlain

Nervous cats hide from people, they do not readily present themselves for petting, and may seem downright scared of you.

Probably, this was not exactly what you had in mind when you decided to get yourself a pet. So, is it at all possible for nervous cats to overcome their timidity and learn to trust you? The answer is yes, but you will need patience, patience, and patience.
It is usual for a kitten to be cautious and timid for the first week or so in its new home, but some kitties remain nervous of you no matter how loving and caring you are to them. Kittens that spent the first weeks of their life in the company of humans and other pets, along with the associated sounds and smells, are far less likely to be nervous cats. They will accept sharing their living space with humans more readily, and be more likely to accept petting. Your cat may have had a nasty experience before coming to your home, and is naturally apprehensive of a reoccurrence.

One way to gradually get a nervous cat used to petting is to gently wrap your pet in a thick towel, to prevent it from scratching you, and gently stroking its head. Talk to your cat
softly as you do so, and only use a light grip never hold your cat extremely tight. Set aside a time each day to perform this bonding ritual and your shy cat may grow to trust you enough to
stroke it without the towel, remember patience pays.

Great results have been obtained by owners of nervous cats by using a pet crate. Cover the sides of the crate with card or a blanket so that your cat can see through the front but still feels protected. Put the litter tray in the crate and perhaps your cats favorite toy. Start by using the crate in a room that humans are not using, but from where your cat can hear the sounds
of the house. Then, move to a place where the humans of the house can be seen carrying on their normal activity, talk to your pet soothingly. Gradually your cat may learn that there is no threat
to it from you, and you may achieve enjoying your cat's company outside the crate without any sign of nervousness.

Bribery can often work wonders with nervous cats. Try a offering a tempting healthy treat, if your cat is hungry enough to overcome its fear and stay still to eat its treat, stroke it gently, don't make sudden movements! You may have to persevere, but often your pet will eventually accept and enjoy your petting.

Never lose patience, and remember that your nervous cat is not rejecting you, it is just an in built protective reaction to something that has given kitty cause to be wary of humans. Love
and perseverance will often win the day, and you will be rewarded by your cat's affection.

Larry Chamberlain is a lifelong cat lover and webmaster of Cat art posters, art prints, cat calendars and cat collectibles. Great cat gifts for yourself or your cat loving friends

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Cat Health News from the Winn Feline Foundation: Probiotics for Cats

Cat Health News from the Winn Feline Foundation: Probiotics for Cats

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Go Orange Photo Contest

In honor of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, we’re asking everybody to go orange for animals. And when we say everybody, we mean everybody—including your four-legged family members! Dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs…all species look great in orange! So get out your pet’s favorite orange outfit, grab your camera and send us your best shot! The top ten winners will receive an ASPCA Prize Pack, and will also be featured on the ASPCA website.

Click here for more info:

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What to do about Cat Scratching the Furniture!

Nani, a regular reader asked me about her kitty Kaline's scratching obsession with the loveseat and as it happens I do have a couple of suggestions. First, apply a layer of double sticky tape or bitter apple spray to the area you don't want Kaline to scratch. I've never personally used the bitter apple spray I've just heard it works. I KNOW the double sticky tape works. Tin foil works as well. Cats do NOT like the feel of tape/foil on their paws and will not sharpen their claws on something unpleasant to them. Its a texture thing. Foil has no texture and tape is obviously sticky. Kitties LOVE things with texture. You can also use a Kitty Off spray (I found this at Petco). It does have a bit of a nasty odor until it dries which is just minutes but the downside is you have to keep re-applying it every day until the habit is broken. Usually several weeks. Kitties also do not like citrus odors. Lemon scented sprays, popourri or even orange peels applied to the area will also help deter Kaline.

You will also need to remove her scent. There are scent glands in her face as well as her paws that help her mark her territory so use a pet odor remover to remove her smell from that spot. Natures Miracle products come to mind on that one.

Put the post where she goes to scratch. Scratching is a territorial behavior usually done in a "family area". It shows other people and animals that this is her territory and BACK OFF! There are only 3 rooms in my home that do not have a scratching post! Spray your scratching post with kitty "feel good" pheramones like Feliway brand. You could also use catnip either the spray or just rub it on. I know some cats just aren't into catnip so Feliway would be a good alternative. Personally, I would use both. Attach toys to the post. The idea is to send a clear message to Kaline that this is hers and the loveseat is not and to make the post irresistable to her.

If all else fails a squirt bottle of water when catching her in the act will also get the message across.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cool Tools for Pet Pests

There are LOTS of products to protect your dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, rats etc., and if you give me a minute I'll sell you all of them at but today I'm out to save you some money, get you much closer to your pet, and eliminate the need for my own Flea & Tick products. Here's a few tips you can easily use to deal with Ticks, Fleas and other small insect parasites that, literally, LIVE to hitch a ride on your little loved ones.

Eucalyptus: I've had 2 separate successful incidents of eliminating a flea infestation in my home using this common tree. By Infestation I mean fleas jumping on my bare feet while just walking through a room. It got that bad because we did NOT want to use an insecticide at all, let alone INSIDE our house! I did a lot of research on natural methods of dealing with fleas and ticks. Most were a bust, but we did find a write-up in Jethro Kloss' "Back to Eden" that suggested using Eucalyptus.

Here's what we did: There happened to be a grove of Eucalyptus trees just across the road from our house. We went over there and picked up a bunch of fallen branches and cut a few down too. We took them all across the street, took all the leaves off and spread them all over the house. About 48 hours later, there wasn't a flea or tick to be found, not even on Disco (the cat) or Toke (The dog). As it turns out, most insects, including fleas and ticks, are not particularly fond of the scent. They simply left on their own. We were delighted that we didn't have to harm anything, including the pests we wanted to be rid of, while solving a real problem with no cost what so ever.

Years later I had the same problem with a roommates' Cat. My roommate insisted her name was "Sly" but I called her "The Evil One"! That's a story for another day, however. This time there were no Eucalyptus trees to be found and we didn't have the luxury of raiding a nearby grove. So I tried the next best thing. I learned that it was the scent that the nasty little buggers didn't like, so I went to "the Body Shoppe" at the Mall and got some Eucalyptus oil and put it in a spray bottle with a bunch of warm water and walked through the house spraying every carpet and rug I could find. Furniture too! Sure enough, about 48 hours later, we were free of fleas and ticks.

Love that Jethro Kloss! He also suggested making a shampoo for furry animals that includes good concentrations of Pennyroyal. It's as effective as any current meds available today but it's a lot more labor intensive. You have to shampoo your pets regularly, about every 5-7 days in some cases. The labor comes in when you have to negotiate with a cat to give them a shampoo ONCE let alone every 5 days. The Dogs had fun with the whole operation, though. When they got out of the tub naturally they would run through the house shaking the water off their coats (Pennyroyal and all) all over the house. Immunizing the rugs and furniture in the process. How thoughtful!

Lastly, and this one works for Ticks much better than fleas, you can pick up some "Brewer's Yeast" or "Nutritional Yeast" in the bulk section of most grocery stores these days and certainly at any natural food store. Just sprinkle a little bit on your dog or cat's food every so often. When a tick bites your loved one they don't like the taste and start looking for another host to hitch a ride on. Don't over do the yeast sprinkling even though you dogs and cats love the taste. It gave Disco and Toke the runs because I started out thinking I had to use a heavy concentration. Just a little will do the trick and you'll save yourself the nasty chore of cleaning up runny,,, um,,, well, you get my meaning!

As an aside: A little Brewer's Yeast and soy sauce on your popcorn and/or your baked potatoes is a real delight at my house and it DOESN'T give us the runs. Since you already have some in the house now anyway…..

So if you don't want to go to all the trouble of using these "Back to Nature" tricks, we have a variety of solutions for your pets that are also natural, but we do all the work FOR you. Stop by and see what we have for you and your funny furry freaky friends at
Much Love, Gregory

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cats and Behavior - Why Cats Sulk

By Lamar Dean

Cats sulk for a number of reasons. A cat that has been scolded by its owner oftentimes will turn its back and with disdain refuse to look at him or her. Some cat owners describes this 'snubbing manner' this way: My cat turns its back, sits down on purpose, and will not respond if we call its name as it normally does, although it occasionally lays one ear back.' This conduct, noted by some owners when their pets have been corrected or disciplined in some manner, is generally referred to as a dignified sulk. But why is the cat really behaving this way?

The answer isn't that it's exhibiting wounded pride...this is usually what the owner thinks...but rather the pet is displaying its social inadequacy. Its arrogance is external, not genuine. Accepting this for some owners is hard to understand, since they have so much admiration for their feline friend. However they miss the fact that, to the cat, they're overwhelming and thus psychologically overpowering. When a cat acts up and doesn't behave and its owner snaps at it, the cat feels endangered. An owner's wrath at the cats misbehavior usually includes rough tones and intent staring. Staring is extremely unnerving to a cat and its instinctive reaction is to evade the unpleasant image of the staring eyes.

This activity is called 'cut-off' because it cuts off the input signal...the unpleasant face towering over it. It causes a twofold effect. It reduces the fearfulness in the cat itself and allows it to remain where it is, instead of moving off into the distance. It also hinders the cat from staring back, which would spell rebelliousness and possibly encourage more animosity.

The significance of this 'anti-stare' in a cat's social life is plain whenever two cats are embroiled in a status conflict. The dominant cat constantly maintains a fixated stare pointed towards its opponent. The inferior cat, if it wishes to defend its ground, purposely looks away from its foe and makes totally certain that its stare never goes anywhere near the glaring eyes of its opponent.

The stare threat event also illustrates another peculiarity of cat behavior. A few observers have observed that domestic cats, when hunting small birds in the garden, seem to be surprisingly intelligent in one specific regard. If the bird's head disappears behind some small obstacle, the cat can be seen to charge forward and pounce, as if it knows that at that moment the bird can't see its speedy approach. For the cat to rationalize this out would call for considerable

mental agility, however there is of course a simpler explanation. As long as the bird's eye is in view, it's automatically giving the cat a stare that inhibits its attacking lurch. Once the eye is accidentally out of sight behind some obstruction, the stare is turned off and the cat can attack. Studies of big cats stalking prey have uncovered a similar interaction. If the prey looks up and stares straight at the lion or tiger, the big cat looks sheepishly away as if all of a sudden it's indifferent to the whole business of predation. So for any prey with the courage to hold its ground and stare down a hunting lion, there's some considerable advantage to be earned.

Different types of cat breeds have different temperaments and personalities. Knowing those traits is important before adopting a cat. Here are some of the more popular Cat Breeds. What do you do when your pet cat gets sick? Click Here to find out

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cat Claw Survival Solutions To The Rescue!

By Romi Matsushita

Cats can be ill tempered and mean on their worst days, but even the most annoying problems have a remedy somewhere. If your cat is clawing your furniture, your carpet, and your legs with the same ferocity, understanding the how and why behind the behavior can help you redirect your feline friend’s clawing instinct to be expressed in less destructive ways.

So why IS your cat clawing everything in sight?

Here’s the jawdropper: a cat’s claws never stop growing. Let me repeat that: They NEVER stop growing. When I found that out, a big light went off in my head. Just like a pet hamster that constantly needs to knaw on wood to keep their teeth from growing too long, what cats are actually doing when they sharpen their claws is removing the outermost layer of their claws. O.K. Kitty Cat, we finally get it!

So what to do? What to do?

The first thought bubble that forms is to scoop kitty up for a little declawing action at the nearest vet’s office. But before you take such a drastic step, keep in mind that once those claws are gone, they’re GONE. Take away those claws, and you’re taking away your pet’s primary form of defense. Even if you have an indoor cat like I do, chances are, sooner or later, a window of opportunity is going to open up just long enough for your cat to slip outside and be vulnerable to attacks from other animals and people.

O.K. So now you know why your cat is actually using you as a scratching post. Let’s move away from the word “using”. In a way, it’s kind of flattering. That doesn’t make it hurt any less. Let’s get your cat to branch out. It’s time to get a REAL scratching post, so that your pet can get into the habit of using it instead of YOU, whenever those claw sharpening impulses may strike.

So how do we get kitty to break her bad habits and start to use the proper place where she can scratch to her heart’s content?

The answer lies in you.

That is of course, IF you are your cat’s favorite person in the family.

If so, then try hanging an article of clothing that belongs to you on your virgin scratching post. The idea is to make the area smell familiar. A day or two should be enough for your cat to become accustomed to its’new scratching outlet.

Don’t want to part with something from your wardrobe? Time to get a little sneakier then. Catnip can be your secret weapon. Sprinkle catnip over the scratching post and watch what happens. This one may be even worth breaking out the video camera for.

This next option sounds a little weird, but believe me, it WORKS!

Try sprinkling the post area with powdered chicken bouillon. The idea is to get the cat to feel friendly enough toward the scratching post to attack it.

While your cat is making the transition to a designated area for scratching, there are several ways to make your cat’s favorite scratching areas a lot less attractive. This will help ease the transition from the old spots to the new.

Sprinkle fresh lemon juice over them. Cover or wrap the areas in aluminum foil. Remember what it felt like when your fingernails went down the chalkboard? Ever try it again? Cats will experience the same thing and be deterred from using the areas. Finally, clean the areas well to eradicate any cat odor. This will go a long way toward removing the aura of familiarity that creates the habit of using the space. Also, just keep the doors closed to make those places inaccessible to the cat.

Now that you know more about the how and why of your cat’s clawing instinct and behavior, take these simple steps and you’ll soon see a resolution to the cat clawing issues in your household. With a little time and patience, your cat’s claw sharpening activities should be limited to its’favorite spot: the scratching post!

About the Author: Romi Matsushita is a Cat Claw Survivor who has the scars to prove it. Learn more reasons your cat’s claws come out at:

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why Does My Cat Bite My Hand When I Stroke Her?

by Larry Chamberlain

You have settled into your favorite armchair, perhaps reading the final chapters of a gripping novel. Suddenly you are aware of the imploring
stare of your cat sitting at your feet. You invite her onto your lap. Gently you begin to stroke her and your cat signals her appreciation with an audible purr.

One hand holding your book the other hand continuing to pet your mouser, you again get lost in your novel. All is well in the world with you and with your cat.

Suddenly your cat bites your hand!

Why did kitty do that? Why did she bite the hand that strokes her?

The experts don't agree on exactly why it is that some cats enjoy being petted, but end up biting. One thing that they do agree on is that when kitty bites at you, it's a sure sign that she has decided that she's had enough stroking.

Cats differ in the amount of petting they will accept, and not all cats respond by biting when they have had enough. Some cats simply jump from your lap and saunter off to investigate interests anew. But many cats will nip you and your animal is one of them.

Could you have known that a bite was on its way? Yes, there are often signs that cats give before biting. And, if you had not been so wrapped up in reading your novel, you may have paid heed to your little pets warning.

If kitty's tail begins to twitch, in a rolling flick, watch out! She's getting ready to chomp at your hand.

If your cats ears start turning towards the back of her head, or flatten against her head, that's a warning a bite is coming.

If your cat suddenly becomes restless, or stiffens and stares at your hand, she could be about to nip you.

If you noticed any of these signals, simply stop stroking your cat. Your pet will either stay on your lap or jump down and walk off, whichever happens you don't get bitten.

What you should not do is punish your cat for biting your hand. That simply does not work. Cats are more likely to identify the punishment with you rather than with their bad cat behavior. If you miss a warning sign and kitty manages to get her jaws around your hand, try to resist the temptation to pull your hand away or push your cat away. Simply freeze. Chances are that your cat will not sink her teeth in, she has got her message across, and you have stopped petting her.

If you try and push your cat away it is likely that she will fight with your hand resulting in skin punctures for you. (An animal bite can become infected quite easily, if your cat does draw blood clean up the wound scrupulously and seek the advice of your doctor.)

Why do some cats behave in this aggressive way? The degree of tolerance to petting may be genetic, or it may be learned behavior. If when your cat was a kitten you allowed her to chew on your hand in play, she learned that biting human hands was an OK thing to do. So, when she
feels that she has had enough stroking (she's the boss remember,) she will bite at your hand to let you know - if you ignore her warning signals.

Some experts recommend the use of healthy tidbits, as a reward, in order to increase the time your cat will tolerate stroking. At the first warning signal offer kitty a treat, continue to stroke your cat
gently for a time and offer her another reward. It is said that your cat will learn to connect petting with the tidbits and may, with patience, allow you to pet her for longer periods.

Larry Chamberlain lives in London, England, and has had a lifelong fascination with domestic cats. His web site provides information about all that is best in cat art. Also
pages about cat and kitten care and information on cat breeds and types.

Kitty Hollow Cat Tree
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From: Cat Furniture

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Discover Ten Causes Of Feline Incontinence

Are you worried that feline incontinence is a problem for your cat? You need to realize that incontinence in cats and inappropriate urination are two different things. An incontinent cat is not able to control her urine. She dribbles urine, or leaves wet spots where she's been sleeping. Often an incontinent pet is unaware that she has a problem.

Inappropriate urination, on the other hand, is when a cat is purposely urinating in places other than her litter box. This may be a behavior issue, but it can also be cause by feline lower urinary tract disease.

It's important to know the difference between the two because incontinence in cats can be a sign of serious health issues for your feline friend.

Ten Reasons For Feline Incontinence

Usually the simplest reason is feline lower urinary tract disease. One of the symptoms of a feline bladder infection is needing to urinate often. It may be that your cat just isn't able to make it to the litter box in time.

If your cat has had repeated feline urinary problems, her bladder may be scarred. This prevents her bladder from expanding to hold urine, which leads to very frequent urination.

  • Cat bladder stones can cause a partial blockage of your cat's urethra, making it impossible for her to empty her bladder completely. As her bladder fills with urine, the pressure can force some urine around the blockage. If you suspect a blocked cat, get her to the vet as soon as possible, as this can be fatal within a day or two.
  • A weak urinary sphincter also causes an incontinent cat. This is more common in older spayed female dogs, but it does occasionally happen in spayed cats, too, especially if they're heavy. This type of incontinence, called hormone-responsive incontinence, can develop years after she's been spayed.

  • Feline diabetes can cause an incontinent cat. A diabetic cat is drinking lots more water than normal because the disease makes her very thirsty in an effort to flush the excess sugar out of her body. Of course, this makes her urinate more, too. She may have trouble making it to her litter box before she has an accident.

  • Cats with feline leukemia sometimes become incontinent, too. This can happen in both males and females.
  • As a cat ages, the urinary sphincter can weaken. Your cat may develop other problems as she gets older, such as diabetes, which cause her body to produce more urine than normal. Combine a very full bladder with a weak urinary sphincter, and it's easy to see why urinary incontinence in cats is the result.
  • Your cat may have some kind of neurological problem with the nerves in her bladder that cause her to be unable to hold her urine.
  • Bladder tumors can be another factor.
  • An older cat may be getting forgetful, or in the early stages of senility, which can lead to litter box problems.

Natural Feline Urinary Support

If your furball is having cat urinary problems, it's important to take her to the vet for a check-up to rule out anything serious. Most cases of inappropriate urination are due to feline lower urinary tract disease, which can be a frustrating condition to deal with.

The most important thing you can do is to feed your cat a high-quality canned food. Cats are meant to get most of their water from their food, so feeding a cat dry food all the time is an invitation to disaster in the form of cat urinary problems.

You may want to consider giving your cat one of the many natural remedies for pets that are available for feline urinary support. Herbs and homeopathic remedies have a long history of success in humans, and they're very effective for pets, too. Look for a remedy that's produced by a long-standing company with a sterling reputation for producing high-quality herbal remedies for pets.

In conclusion, if your cat is showing signs of feline incontinence, you need to take steps now to help her now.

Darlene Norris has combined her long-time interest in natural healing with her experience working at a vet clinic to bring you her new website, Natural Pet Urinary Health. Learn more about solving the problem of feline incontinence, and find feline urinary support information at

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Holistic Cat Food Vs Grocery Store Brands

By Shannon Hutcheson

Don't confuse Holistic with Organic. There is a distinction. Holistic means management of foods in an ecological manner above and beyond going back to simpler, more natural methodology. Organically managed food basically means the land and resources are used in a more natural manner (grain fed, no additives or pesticides etc). One might say Holistic is a way of life, while organic is just a better diet. Either is much better than the typical grocery store brands (like Iams which also makes Eukaneuba, or Friskies and Whiskas).

When you put the word Organic on human food, you can pretty much guarantee double the price. Of course things will vary for different countries. The same can apply to holistic pet foods. Some are quite expensive, but when you read further you may see why I personally feel that anything holistic rather than a grocery store brand is better. You do get what you pay for after all.

Sure, some kitties will not eat anything BUT those low grade grocery store foods full of fillers. I have heard the argument that "My mom's cat ate BrandX cat food for years and never had problems" many, many times. Usually about animals that have long since passed on. Think on it though, 10-20 years ago we did not have nearly as much toxin in our food, water and even the very air we breathe. Today, however, our bodies are being bombarded with so innumerable things that break down and try to destroy our natural immune systems. It becomes increasingly important that we ensure that the food that sustains us is as good as it can be. AND be free of pesticides, additives and preservatives and all the other toxic man-made things that we really don't even need. The same applies to our pets. That pet food so and so's mom's cat ate 10-20 years ago was fed to a cat that was intrinsically healthier because it lived in a healthier atmosphere to begin with.

Our pets can't speak for themselves. And certainly, as you may know, the pet food industry sure hasn't been speaking for our pets either. The pet food industry has been feeding (no pun intended) crap to our pets, to the media and therefor to us, the consumers, for decades! Pet food is not nearly as regulated as human food. Until last year, specifically with the pet food scare we had in 2007. The media put a huge spotlight on the pet food industry because of the pet food recalls last year.

It's about time the pet food manufacturers were held accountable for the quality of their food and how it is produced! But did YOU know what is really in pet food?

Let me introduce you to some of the holistic cat foods my cats have tried. Merrick's, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Natural Balance and Nutro. We now feed Wellness Core exclusively because of its quality at a reasonable price and, quite frankly, its availability at our local pet store.

You surely recognize some of these brands. Next time you are at the pet store, compare any of the holistic pet foods to Whiskas or Iams, or even Royal Canin and Science Diet. What you are looking for is an absence of by-products and any type of wheat, corn or corn meal. Cats are obligate (true) carnivores, yet many commercial pet foods are composed primarily of low-cost grains. These grains are fillers and are not necessary to the diet of your cat at all. If you see corn or wheat or corn meal in the first 5 ingredients, find another cat food. It's no different than feeding your cat cereal.

*Note that even some of the prescription grade Science Diet has by-product in it!

Meat and poultry by-products are the unrendered parts of the animal left over after slaughter; everything deemed unfit for human consumption. In cattle and sheep, this includes the brain, liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, blood, bones, fatty tissue, stomachs and intestines. The items on this list that would normally be consumed by humans, such as the liver, would have to be diseased or contaminated before they could be designated for pet food. Poultry by-products include heads, feet, intestines, undeveloped eggs, chicken feathers and egg shells.

Why then, one may wonder, will pets even eat such food? After that slurry pot of "meat" is processed, it is bound with wheat or grains. Then it is basted in fat. The pet smells this glorious kibble basted in fat. No wonder he/she will eat it.

The number one reason why I will always feed holistic is because the cats absorb MORE of the good stuff that is in the food. They have improved skin and coat, increased vitality and increased energy, and they pass less stool - much less stinky stool at that!

An even more interesting and 'pure' holistic food the cats have tried and liked is Wysong. Wsyong's processing methods are what really interested me though.

Since about 1979. Dr. Wysong began with clinical and surgical inventions, and branched into the various facets you see today as his research demonstrated the problems in conventional medicine and the importance of prevention. One of his company's beliefs is that usual pet food processing (intense heat to cook and preserve) destroys way too much of the essential nutrition required for balanced, healthy diets. Wysong's processing and storage methods alone make them a leader in excellent quality holistic pet food products. Definitely worth reading their numerous articles and documentation on their pet food products.

Now I'm not saying that Science Diet or Royal Canin are not good products. They are simply NOT holistic brands. They are mid-grade quality cat foods while Whiskas and Friskies would be considered low grade quality.

One product I always recommend for people wanting to feed their pets better, but who may not be able to afford the high end holistic grade pet food, is by Nutro. Nutro has two levels of very decent cat food. One is more grocery store priced (but not grocery store level), and the other is a bit better, but again not overly expensive. Try Nutro's Maxx Cat or their higher end brand, Natural Choice. While not considered Holistic, these brands have NO by-product and very little grain. Nutro has some excellent dog food as well as a holistic brand.

There is one Canadian made holistic pet food that I am aware of. Orijen is made in Alberta with Canadian grown meat and fish, grains and produce. If Orijen was sold at my local Pet Valu, I'd be buying it!

Learning to read cat food labels can be difficult. But with a little effort, you can learn to feed your beloved cats the healthiest choices available. Your cats will thank you! And so will your pocketbook.

Shannon Hutcheson is a pedigreed cat breeder who believes that true to nature diet for all pets, including pedigreed cats is the best choice. You can read more articles by Shannon at the Cattery Index Magazine website, a cat breeder's community and resource site. Read the full version of this article at Cattery Index.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pet Diseases and Diet

by Janine Carter

If you are feeding your dog store bought food that is produced by the large manufacturing companies, your pet may face some health problems. Some large manufacturers are using products in their food that has been removed from human foods. Find out what you are feeding your dog or cat.

Like most of the population, you would think that dog and cat food manufacturers are paying close attention to a healthy formula for your pets' good health and wellbeing. It may surprise you to know that not all manufacturers do, and that some use discarded animal parts that can actually harm your dog.

Not long ago, pet owners were shocked to find out that the food they were feeding their dogs had toxic ingredients and were causing many deaths in the pet world. Healthy dogs were fed this store-bought dog food that was well trusted by the unsuspecting public. Federal testing of some of the cat and dog food and the wheat gluten used in their production turned up the chemical melamine, which can be toxic in high doses. Gluten brings elasticity and chewiness to baked products, but in this case was toxic.

Know what's in your pets food. Make sure to always read the labels. Watch for by-products, which can contain diseased and contaminated slaughterhouse meats. Healthy dogs and cats can have their lives shortened by what they are eating every day. Also, meat from animals that have been drugged and chemical preservatives are also dangerous.

If at all possible, feed your pet all natural dog foods that have not been on the shelf for a long period of time. Food should be manufactured in smaller quantities to allow freshness. Food that has been sitting in a store for a year will not have the same quantities of nutrition it did when fresh. The longer the food sets the less nutrition.

A healthy dog should have a life expectancy of twenty years or more, yet most only survive ten to fifteen years. Good nutrition is key to ensure your dog lives out his full life and is not taken early by preventable diseases and bad diet.

Many things can be caused from improper nutrition such as, Allergies, Arthritis, Bladder problems, Cancer, Dental problems, Diarrhea, Diabetes, Digestive problems, Kidney problems, Liver problems and Obesity. Obesity can be caused by too much sugar and carbohydrates that are found in store-bought dog foods.

In the end, buy a quality dog food. All natural human grade food with no preservatives added. An Internet search can quickly find you the best natural food for your pets. In doing so you will increase their lives and their happiness.

If you have any questions on Dog supplies or Posh Pampered Pets, please call 979-221-7251 or email Our home office is located in Waller, Texas, with warehouses located throughout the United States such as Dallas TX, Houston TX, New York NY, Denver CO, Chicago ILL, Seattle WA, Kansas City MO, Miami FL, Raleigh-Durham NC, Washington DC, Los Angeles CA, Fayetteville AR, Philadelphia PA, Phoenix Arizona, San Antonio TX Texas.

This article was written by Janine Carter, owner of Posh Pampered Pets. If you have any questions regarding
Dog Supplies or Posh Pampered Pets, please feel free to call 979-221-7251 or email

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pet Policies: Pleading Your Case Successfully

by: Dan The Roommate Man

I was spending the evening with friends, a married couple who had just moved into an immaculate, upscale apartment community in North Dallas. Their two "children" were a good-natured cat and a very large, yet friendly dog who claimed the apartment's second bedroom for herself. "How did you get the leasing staff to agree to let you keep her here?" I asked, motioning to the dog. The couple exchanged a knowing look as one of them said, "Well ... I showed them a picture of her when she was a puppy."

That's certainly a creative solution to a common dilemma. Most apartment complexes who do allow pets have weight and size limits. But for some of us apartment-hunters, it seems to be Murphy's Law. You find the apartment of your dreams: spacious, great layout, all amenities included, reasonable rent, easy commute to work and local resources. There's one catch, however. You can't have pets. That includes not only dogs and cats, but also hamsters, gerbils, birds, anything that has wings or more than two legs. While such policies are probably fewer in number these days, landlords and leasing companies reserve the right to establish no-pet policies. Another friend who resides in a no-pet building in New York decided that she and her large dog would have their cake and eat it, too. Every time he needed to be walked, she smuggled him out through the freight elevator, out of the doorman's sight. Clever. Risky, but clever.

Must of us pet-owners have enough common sense to take Fido out on a regular basis or keep a clean litter box for Sylvester, but that doesn't stop pets from acting out when they're lonely or bored. And many of them exhibit a remarkable regression in good training habits in the event of a move, which can be a very stressful event for them. A new home means that your pet is being introduced to a completely different environment. The layout is different, the scents are different, even the water is different. So it's understandable both that a pet might react negatively under such stress, and why a savvy landlord might opt to forbid pets on his or her property. If you're moving into an apartment,
surely you feel better knowing that a dog with bad habits didn't live there before you arrived.

But for those of us who do have well-behaved pets, are these policies fair? Sure, we can look elsewhere, but today more than ever, people realize the positive impact that pets have on our
lives. They reduce stress and lower blood pressure, provide companionship, teach responsibility, cheer us up and can even help us meet other people. Rather than throw a towel over Fido and attempt to smuggle him into a no-pet property, you might want to consider pleading your case to your prospective landlord.

Most local branches of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals maintain a list of landlords and Realtors who help prospective renters and homeowners who own pets. The SPCA can help you locate specific properties that rent to pet-owners, and some branches even list specific apartments for rent (and whether they'll accept dogs and cats or just cats), along with a contact phone number for your convenience.

The Massachusetts Chapter of the SPCA recommends that prospective renters "market" themselves as responsible pet owners while they're apartment-hunting. What does that mean? For starters, it means avoiding any property that clearly states a "no-pet" policy. You're not going to change the policy or twist anyone's arm to make an exception. Your best bet is to open your local
newspaper or apartment guide, or online apartment guide, all of which will tell you whether or not pets are accepted on premises.

When you start making phone calls, call smaller properties -- those that probably have a landlord as opposed to a management company -- before the large ones. Your chances of success are better at smaller properties. Mention your pet only when asked. In other words, you don't want to start the conversation by asking, "Do you accept pets?" rather than stating "I'm calling to find out about the apartment for rent." It's not being dishonest; it's just knowing when to introduce the subject. And don't make your pet the focus of your conversation with your prospective landlord; you don't want to give the landlord the impression that he or she should be wary about you and your pet. If the landlord never asks you if you own a pet during your phone conversation, bring it up when you go see the unit and meet the landlord in person. Be completely honest (no puppy pictures allowed). The landlord will appreciate your honesty. Waiting until moving day to spring Fido on your landlord will get your relationship off to a very bad start, and it could end your relationship with Fido in a big hurry.

When you meet your prospective landlord in person, bring along "letters of reference" from your former landlord or apartment management company, as well as your veterinarian and fellow
neighbors, which state that you're a responsible pet owner. The San Francisco SPCA offers a "pet resume" service, a clever way of showing off your pet's attributes and good behavior. You may
consider creating your own while you're on the hunt for a new apartment. You can even offer to have your prospective landlord meet your faithful pet at your current residence, so that he or she can see in person how well-behaved your pet is, and how well you maintain your current property. And you may consider offering to put down a "pet deposit" if the landlord hasn't already established one. Last but not least, tell your landlord that you will pay for any damage incurred by your pet during your lease -- no questions asked, and put your promise in writing to assure your landlord of your word (make sure you also state in writing how such damages would be assessed, so that you're not

So before your landlord questions you about the moving beach towel with four legs who accompanied you outdoors this morning, state your case clearly to every prospective landlord with whom you communicate during your apartment search. Honesty now can save you innumerable headaches later.

Since 1989 Dan The Roommate Man has helped 1000's people find roommates. Need help? Contact him at 800-487-8050 or

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Chicken Gizzards And its Role In Preventing Cystitis In Cats

Author: Sarah Smith
Cystitis is a very common problem encountered in the cat community. Typically there are signs of blood in the urine, straining to urinate or even worse, a blocked bladder. If your cat has ever had a blocked bladder you will know that this is a life-threatening emergency. You need to get your beloved puss up to your vet as quickly as you can.

In my practice this condition is very common. It is more serious for males than for females in that the male cats urine outflow pipe, the urethra, is very fine. It can easily become blocked by blood clots or crystalline sludge. Typically there is a dietary history of feeding dry cat food. One thing we always advise is to stop feeding the dry food. Some cats are addicted to eating dry food and refuse to eat anything but dry food. These cats do better if they swap to a prescription diet designed to be lower in the minerals that cause the crystals that cause the blockage. They also contain a urinary acidifier to reduce the chances of minerals forming together to create the crystals. Some cats will still have problems regardless of what they eat.

One of my interests as a veterinarian is to look at alternative ways of treating these common, often frustrating and frequently life threatening conditions.

In my reading around the subject of cystitis in cats and possible approaches I came across an interesting thought.

In traditional Chinese medicine the development of cystitis and crystals in the urine is considered a form of DAMPNESS. Dampness is correlated to the presence of food allergies or sensitivities and incomplete digestion. Many of the Chinese medicines used specifically for the treatment and dissolution of bladder stones or crystals contain the inner lining of chicken gizzards, also called ji nei jin.

Chicken gizzard lining has been used for over 2,000 years in China. Initially it was used in the treatment of diarrhoea. Later it developed a reputation for promoting digestion and astringing fluid discharge. The digestion promoting effects were prominent on both meat and grains. The astringing effect was found to actually break down kidney and urinary stones.

An active principle, named ventriculin was named as the component that gave chicken gizzards its medicinal effects.

In the wild situation one of the main food sources for cats is birds. Obviously not chickens but chickens are birds and all birds have gizzards. I have to say I'm not entirely sure about what goes into the moist style of cat food in a can but I do wonder how much chicken gizzards are incorporated. I doubt that there are any in the dry form of cat food and I often wonder just how digestible it really is anyway.

It makes sense to me to consider adding chicken gizzards to our cats dinners. The eating of birds by cats is greatly frowned upon in many circles. It is especially unacceptable in the National Park where I live.

Obtaining chicken gizzards is at best a challenge. It can however, be readily accessed in its medicinal form of ji nei jin.

Given that it is a natural component of the wild cat diet and its historical use in Chinese medicine as a treatment for cystitis, urinary stones and digestive disorders in humans it seems logical to consider supplementing cats diets with ji nei jin especially if they are prone to urinary tract problems.

Sarah Smith is a student with Success University. Her online studies are teaching her to create a healthy work and home life balance. She is learning the secrets of attracting success in ALL areas of her life. Sarah is a student with Success University. Learn to Create a Successful Home Business Collect your FREE E-book

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cat Care - The Best, the Easiest, the Most Natural

By Madeleine Innocent
Raw Food Diet - Photo: © Alison007 (Flickr name) reproduced under creative commons

Caring for your cat is easy when you try to remember her origins. Being domesticated doesn't mean you should abandon how she would live in the wild. Cats have evolved in the wild over millennia. They have been domesticated for a mere trifle in comparison.

This means that their nutritional and emotional needs remain identical to those of their forebears. In attempting to provide the best cat care means looking at these needs. Lets look at their nutritional needs first.

Wild cats hunt on their own. They hunt small animals, sometimes up to about their own size, but mostly smaller than themselves. They rarely eat anything other than freshly killed meat. Contrasting this with a typical domestic cat's diet of dried pellets and you realise how off the mark commercial pet food is. Even if dried pellets were made with the best cuts of meat (which they aren't), the meat is still not fresh or raw. So, if you're trying to provide the most complete cat care, what should you feed your cat?

In my opinion, the best cat food is raw meat and bones. You can't completely duplicate a wild cat's diet, but you can come so close as to not compromise her health. Cat care starts with food as this is consumed daily. Something done daily has much more impact on our health than say something that only happens once a year.

When a cat eats her prey, she will eat all the meat, including the bones. Bones are the best source of calcium for a cat. And meat can only be properly digested when it is consumed with bones. After all, all carnivores eat meat with bones. Not only that, crunching up on bones is the best way of keeping her teeth and gums healthy, as long as they're not too big. No dried pellets can do that as well, despite the promises on the label.

Some think that giving a cat raw meat will trigger their hunting instinct. In my experience, it does the exact opposite. Because raw meat is nutrient dense, your cat will be satisfied and won't feel the need to supplement her diet as when fed a nutrient deficient diet.

Natural cat care also means providing your cat with her basic emotional and physical needs. Cats are intelligent and inquisitive. They need visual stimulation. This is best served by being outdoors, where nature provides an abundance of stimulation. If it's impossible or too dangerous to let your cat outside, do make sure she has access to safe stimulants, perhaps in the form of toys. Make sure you play with her to ensure she gets adequate exercise.

Sun is an important aspect of good cat care. Cats love the sun and it is essential to good health for all of us, not just your cat. Regular outdoor access will allow her to choose for herself. For confined cats, make sure there are times when you can open a window (safely) to allow the sun's rays in, unhindered by glass or plastic.

Easy cat care really means allowing your cat the freedom she desires. Confining cats indoors is going against good animal husbandry, I am also of the opinion that declawing cats is not only painfully inhumane, it deprives the cat of the natural joy of stretching. If you are considering declawing your cat, maybe you should also consider having a cat is not for you. Cats have already adapted a great deal to live with us. Putting them through an unnecessary, inhumane and painful operation is purely for your benefit, not your cats.

Cats provide us with an abundance affection, love and enjoyment. To provide even adequate cat care, we should at least do the same for them.

Madeleine Innocent has been a homoeopath, a natural health therapist, since 2000. She treats both people and animals and finds that when the diet of her patient is addressed, to one that is more in keeping with natural laws, at the same time as her treatment, enormous strides in the resultant good health are made. To underestimate a good, natural diet is to play Russian roulette with life.

For more information, click on this website:-

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine’s Day Tips

Valentine’s Day can be as much fun for pets as it is for humans if dangerous foods, flora and other items are kept out of paws’ reach. Each year our poison control experts see a rise in cases around February 14, many involving chocolate and lilies, a flower that’s potentially fatal to cats. So please heed our experts’ advice—don’t leave the goodies lying around on Lover’s Day.

Pet-Safe Bouquets
Many pet owners are still unaware that all species of lily are potentially fatal to cats. When sending a floral arrangement, specify that it contain no lilies if the recipient has a cat—and when receiving an arrangement, sift through and remove all dangerous flora. If your pet is suffering from symptoms such as stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea, he may have ingested an offending flower or plant. Use our online toxic and nontoxic plant libraries as visual guides of what and what not should be in your bouquets.

Forbidden Chocolate
Seasoned pet lovers know the potentially life-threatening dangers of chocolate, including baker’s, semi sweet, milk and dark. In darker chocolates, methylxanthines—caffeine-like stimulants that affect gastrointestinal, neurologic and cardiac function—can cause vomiting/diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate. The high-fat content in lighter chocolates can potentially lead to a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Go ahead and indulge, but don’t leave chocolate out for chowhounds to find.

Careful with Cocktails
Spilled wine, half a glass of champagne, some leftover liquor are nothing to cry over until a curious pet laps them up. Because animals are smaller than humans, a little bit of alcohol can do a lot of harm, causing vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances and even coma. Potentially fatal respiratory failure can also occur if a large enough amount is ingested.

Life Is Sweet
So don’t let pets near treats sweetened with xylitol. If ingested, gum, candy and other treats that include this sweetener can result in a sudden drop in blood sugar known as hypoglycemia. This can cause your pet to suffer depression, loss of coordination and seizures.

Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Don’t let pets near roses or other thorny stemmed flowers. Biting, stepping on or swallowing their sharp, woody spines can cause serious infection if a puncture occurs. “It’s all too easy for pets to step on thorns that fall to the ground as a flower arrangement is being created,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine for the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. De-thorn your roses far away from pets.

Playing with Fire
It’s nice to set your evening a-glow with candlelight, but put out the fire when you leave the room. Pawing kittens and nosy pooches can burn themselves or cause a fire by knocking over unattended candles.

Wrap it Up
Gather up tape, ribbons, bows, wrapping paper, cellophane and balloons after presents have been opened—if swallowed, these long, stringy and “fun-to-chew” items can get lodged in your pet’s throat or digestive tract, causing her to choke or vomit.

The Furry Gift of Life?
Giving a cuddly puppy or kitten may seem a fitting Valentine’s Day gift—however, returning a pet you hadn’t planned on is anything but romantic. Companion animals bring with them a lifelong commitment, and choosing a pet for someone else doesn’t always turn out right. Those living in the Manhattan area can let their loved one choose their own cat with a gift certificate to adopt from the ASPCA. If you’re not from New York, check your local animal care facility or take a romantic trip to the shelter together.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tips For Spotting 5 Hot Cat Health Symptoms Needing Immediate Attention

No matter how much love and attention you give, felines experience cat illnesses. Recognizing cat health symptoms is challenging because, unlike their human caregiver, cats are rather stoic soldiers. They don't go around grumping when they have a belly ache.

Here are 5 Hot Cat Health Conditions that should alert you that your feline is fighting off sickness or injury.

1 - A Loss of Appetite

Train yourself to be a responsive and observant caregiver. Take notice when a cat has stopped eating or skipped a meal. If your cat experiences trouble eating, drinking or swallowing, then there is a cause for concern. It is a big RED, FLASHING LIGHT that something is wrong.

A change or lack of appetite can happen slowly or suddenly. Recognizing a change in appetite can be complicated if food is left out for cats to share in a multi-cat household. Her appetite may be off because she is struggling with a hairball or she ate a bad mouse. Far worse, she consumed a poisoned mouse and she is now poisoned, or she is in the early stages of a serious illness like kidney disease or fatty liver syndrome.

When your cat misses a couple of meals it is time for a visit to the vet. Do not wait to see if she is going to suddenly start eating. The sudden drop in food intake causes damage to the liver. This turns into a vicious cycle where the cat won't eat because her liver is sick and no food intake aggravates the liver damage.

2 - She Is Lethargic

A noticeable change in your cat's energy levels is also a good indicator that something is awry. Cats do sleep a lot, as much as 18-20 hours a day. However, if you notice she has zero interest in her beloved toys or catnip, she is quietly telling you something is wrong. She has pain or a fever and feels lousy.

3 - She's Losing Weight

She probably isn't eating well. When cats are sick they stop eating. When you lift your cat does she feel lighter than normal? Weight loss goes hand-in-hand with loss of appetite, but it can also be a sign of kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes and cancer. Weight loss is considered a serious sign of cat illness and should prompt an immediate trip to the veterinarian.

4 - She's Drinking A Lot of Water (Urinating A Lot Too!)

Does she fall to sleep while drinking at the water bowl? The good news is that she's still drinking. A increased need for water leads to an increase in urine. Obviously the two are linked together. After all, if she takes a lot of water in, it has got to go out sometime. Common causes of excessive thirst and urination include kidney disease, diabetes and elevated thyroid levels.

5 - Urination Is Painful or Interrupted

When a cat strains using the litter box, has accidents outside the box, squats for a long time, cries, or repositions herself over and over, you have spotted a problem indicating one or more cat illnesses. If you could view her urine under a microscope, odds are you would find traces of blood.
Male cats may lick at the tip of the penis or suddenly lose his appetite, vomit or become very vocal during urination. More than likely he is experiencing a complete blockage. A male cat that is straining during urination is having a fire-alarm emergency. Get him to the vet pronto.

When a female cat strains during urination it may not be a complete blockage because her urethra (the tube that drains the bladder to the outside) is wider than a male cat's and is less likely to clog. However, if she can't urinate that means she can't eliminate her body's liquid waste. A blocked cat becomes ill in 24 hours and can die in 72 hours -- don't wait for the weekend to pass!

Your veterinarian can unblock the urethra by inserting a catheter. This removes the obstruction allowing the urine to drain. It is most easily accomplished with early detection of the problem.
Urinary problems can be caused by a number of things, including bladder stones in the urethra, dietary causes, bacterial infections and the least understood problem, feline lower urinary tract disorder (FLUTD). This illness can be related to stress or a virus similar to a human's cold sore.
Some cat illness can be handled with gentle care and love at home, but other conditions are potentially life-threatening requiring immediate medical attention. As a feline caregiver, there is a certain amount of on-the-job training, but delaying a trip to the vet or waiting to see if things improve can be expensive or even cost your feline her life.

Your relationship with your cat is what helps you get through your personal trials and rough times. If you lost her because you failed to recognize a life-threatening, but treatable condition would you always regret your ignorance? The answer is obvious isn't it?

Bottom line: Don't be shy about calling your vet. Also, find a trusted resource to coach you through cat behavior or cat care questions and your chances for having a delightful, loving and long-lived feline partner become a whole lot better.

Kate Rieger has been owned by 15+ cats and is a champion of spay and release for her feral cat neighbors. She is partnered with the Kentucky S.N.I.P clinic and together through adoptions, education programs and spay/neuter efforts, they provide affordable solutions to reducing the pet overpopulation crisis in the Kentuckiana region. Never one to be short on opinion, she is on good behavior during her speaking engagements at local schools, organizations and on local and national radio talk shows. Drop by and pick up more free tips on using natural remedies to treat
cat health symptoms and naturalize your pet care today at

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Monday, February 9, 2009

A Guide to Holistic Cat Care For Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

By Darlene L. Norris

Have you ever wondered if holistic cat care would help with feline lower urinary tract disease, or FLUTD? Many cat owners who have had a long and frustrating battle with feline cystitis wonder if natural feline urinary support would help.

What Is Holistic Cat Care?

Holistic care involves looking at your kitty as a whole, as an alternative to focusing on her kidneys and bladder when she has cat urinary problems. Instead of just treating the symptoms of FLUTD, a holistic practitioner will want to know about your cat's diet, and stress in her life. Natural remedies for pets are often used, too.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease And Your Cat's Diet

Many cat owners don't realize that there's a direct link between their cat's diet and feline lower urinary tract disease. Ads on tv and in magazines tell us repeatedly how great dry food is for our cats. It has all the nutrients your cats needs, yes. But that's not the whole truth.

In the wild, cats don't drink much water, for the simple reason that they've been designed to get most of their water from their food. All people and animals are over 90% water. A cat who eats mice and other prey animals will almost completely satisfy her water requirements.

It's a different story for our kitties. We want to do the best for them, so we feed them what we have been told is the best possible diet. But dry cat food has a moisture content of less than 10%. This is good for a long storage life, but it's not so good for your cat's health. A cat who eats only dry food is probably a chronically dehydrated cat, since it's hard for her to drink enough water to make up the difference between what's in her diet, and what her body needs.

Did you know that kidney failure is the leading cause of death in older cats? It can be the result of a lifetime of chronic dehydration.

It's also been proven that the best way to prevent FLUTD is to increase the amount of water going through your cat. A more than adequate water intake flushes impurities out of your cat's body and his urinary system. Be sure your kitty always has access to plenty of clean fresh water.

Cat Stress Is Linked To Feline Cystitis

Most of us would think that our cats lead a charmed life. Wouldn't it be great to just lay around and sleep all day?

Well, maybe not. Cats face a lot more stress than most of us realize. Just being an indoor cat is a stress on an animal that's meant to be outside hunting, and slinking around in the dark. Add a lack of exercise, too much of the wrong food, not enough water, annoyances from other cats and pets, and just being cooped up inside, and you can see that maybe life isn't quite as easy as you thought for your fur ball.

Feline interstitial cystitis has been linked to cat stress. If your vet can't find any reason for your cat's bladder inflammation, maybe you should be looking for hidden stress in your cat's life.

Natural Feline Urinary Support

You may be interested in one of the many natural remedies for pets available now. You should look for one that contains the herbs uva ursi and barberry, along with the homeopathic remedies Cantharis and Staphysagris. These remedies work together to provide natural feline urinary support to keep your cat's urinary system working well.

Your goal now? To use holistic cat care to keep your cat healthy and to prevent feline cystitis.

Darlene Norris has combined her long-time interest in natural healing with her experience working at a vet clinic to bring you her new website, Natural Pet Urinary Health. Learn more about holistic cat care, and find the best place to buy herbal pet remedies at

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Consider Shelter Adoption for Kittens

by Elyse Grau

Thinking about getting a kitten? Well, first stop (and hopefully only stop)should be the local animal shelter. From early spring through the start of fall most shelters are brimming with adorable, cuddly kittens of all colors

If you really want a specific breed of cat and can't find one at the shelters, try a breed rescue group.

By adopting a "shelter" or "rescue" animal, you are giving an animal a second chance, and maybe it's last chance. Overcrowding and lack of resources results in many of these cats and kittens being euthanized.

You can also help to keep the pet population in check by adopting a "pre-owned" animal.

Before you go to the shelter or call a rescue group, you should have some ideas of what you are looking for in a cat or kitten. Are you willing to groom a longhaired cat as often as required? Are you sure no one in your household is allergic to cats?

Is this your first dog or cat? If so, you may want to talk to other pet owners to be sure you have a realistic idea of what you are getting yourself into. Remember that this is a long-term commitment, as much as 20 years for a cat! Look hard at your budget before deciding on a new pet. Don't forget food, vet expense, possible boarding or pet sitting, groomers, kitty litter, etc.

If you are adding to a household of pets, consider the ones you already have. Will they accept another animal? Most dogs and cats can learn to live with each other eventually, but some will have a harder time adjusting than others. Some cats do not tolerate other cats well. Planning ahead for the introductions and potential problems will ease the way considerably.

If you are renting, are pets allowed? Are you planning to move in the near future? Consider your lifestyle, your habits and your home. Once you have reviewed your situation and are certain that this is the right time for a new pet, then the question becomes "What breed of cat is right for us?"

My favorite breed of cat is the "domestic shorthair", a catch-all term for mixed breed cats. Really, unless you are looking to show or breed the animal, there is really no reason to choose a purebred cat.

Mixed breed cats tend to be healthier. Since most genetic anomalies and predispositions to disease are carried on recessive genes, mixed breeds will be less likely to inherit these traits. Often times you get the best of both worlds - or at least the best of both breeds. The animals will usually exhibit the most predominant traits of their breeds so knowing something about the different breeds will tell you something about the animal you are considering. There are only a few breeds of cat that really have specific characteristics beyond looks. Siamese, for example, are known for their vocalizations.

If you have your heart set on a specific breed, and you have done your research and know that the breed is right for you and your lifestyle, then you might want to consider looking for a rescue group for that breed. The internet is a good resource for finding a rescue group in your area.

When visiting a shelter, remember that cats are usually much more timid than dogs, and are often frightened by large, noisy spaces. Their behavior at the shelter is a response to their environment. They may seem frightened, shy or depressed. Talk to the shelter personnel, find out as much as you can about the cat's normal behavior.

Once the kitten has adapted to its new home it should shed its fear and anxiety. Hopefully they will turn out to be the perfect cat or kitten for you. And don't forget to have them spayed or neutered!

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. The website strives to answer your holistic pet health questions through a large collection of articles.

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