Cat Care – Feline FIV

The two pictures above are of Raymond. His expanded bio can be read at the Meet The Kittys page. Raymond was a feral rescue. He was immediately taken to the vet and was diagnosed with  FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). The first picture shows Raymond’s deteriorating condition. His second picture illustrates the fact that after a vet visit and proper home care how he has improved. I get reports on him regularly and he is doing fine. While his initial few weeks in the house were spent hiding, he eventually bonded with his human mum and now lives with one adult cat, three new kittens and a old dog. He is friendly and loveable. The under lying story here is that FIV cats cat lead normal lives and can be integrated with other cats with no problems.


FIV is diagnosed with a simple blood test. FIV is not typically fatal for cats. Infected cats can live normal lives and have normal life spans. FIV is transmitted through infected blood entering a cats blood stream through deep bites.  FIV is not transmitted through the saliva, or the teeth or from scratching. When integrating a FIV cat into your clowder it is not a problem to share water or food bowls. When a person owns a FIV cat a relationship with a vet is necessary to treat any secondary  infections quickly. With proper home care and regular vet visits the probability of the FIV kitty passing on the virus to the other family cats is non-existent. In closing Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is not a death sentence and it is not necessary to euthanize infected cats. I am including a Wikipedia link with a more in-depth article on this subject.

That’s my story for today. Hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Today topic is complicated. If you would like more discussion on this E-Mail me at


Cat Care – The Magnificence Of The Cat

This picture of Lacy is a perfect illustration of the magnificence of the cat. We adopted Lacy from a friend. Her transition to a new home was a bit of a shock to her and it took months of cautious walking and a two week escape from the house for Lacy to adapt to her surroundings. She now is comfortable within the clowder. She demands her space mind you and will tune up the kittens if necessary. At feeding time they all line up and wait for their bowls. Lacy likes to eat slow. When the bowls come out she goes to her favorite spot and takes her time. I think the key to her happiness is to just let her live. Petting and grooming was done in short spurts and she lets you know when she has had enough. At this time she comes for rubs and likes to play. Lacy enjoys catnip and long sits at the window. We keep her as an inside cat. Older cats like Lacy and Alexis need to adapt at their own pace. The transition can’t be forced. Both of two older females would not like being handled rough or taunted by a child. These are things that need consideration when picking a cat for a family. Older cats at the shelter need consideration as they are probably removed from a comfortable home and now stuck in a small kennel.  When looking for a cat please don’t overlook the old or handicapped cats.


I like cats. Its that simple. I have seven cats and they are all magnificent. I couldn’t give up any of them. They can make me smile at any time of the day or night. The highlight of my night is when Esther comes to bed and snuggles up beside me gives me a lick or kneads me and then falls asleep with her paw on my hand. I love listening to a cat purr in bed at night. What is so great about a cat? They are polite, agile, curious and elegant. From the domestic cat to the jungle feline, cats are magnificent.

Responsible cat ownership is our mandate. Proper feeding, regular vet visits, grooming and spay or neutering are how we participate in their lives. I don’t believe in free roaming cats. There are just to many hazards outside to be worth the risk. I could not sleep at night if everybody was not in the house. Of course cuddling and playing are just part the experience.

That’s my story for today. Hug a kitty and leave a comment. Do something green for the environment and check my Products page for cat toys.



Cat Care – Alexis Update

Todays post deals with Alexis’s diet. About two weeks ago Lexi would vomit after almost every meal. After some study about diets we concluded that our cat food was inadequate. We quit the grocery store cat foods and went to a human quality canned wet food. We had to try several different flavors until we found something that everybody eats.  The above link is an excellent discussion on what goes into pet food. We also quit feeding Temptations cat treats. The other six cats ate these with no visible problems other than what underlying health issues I might be subjecting the cats too. Now Lexi has supper and she has not vomited for two weeks. Good food is expensive, vet bills are more expensive. If the diet did not resolve the problem she would be going to the vet for an examination possibly dealing with gastrointestinal problems. This has been the second time we reevaluated our feeding program.  I will keep everyone posted on Lexi’s progress. If you would like more discussion on this please leave a comment at the bottom.

Movie Review


This is a fantastic movie about a family living with dozens of large jungle cats. It has been considered the most dangerous film shoot in history. Its a movie that should be watched at least once. I loved the big cats. It will teach us that living with a large cat is not easy or something that a layman should do. On my Products page there will be a link to purchase the movie.

That’s my story for today. Good food makes for happy cats. Hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. I want to thank all my readers. Please leave a comment below.


Start An Adoption Facility Pet Rescue

So you want to start an adoption facility and pet rescue. I think its a great idea. As I read my Twitter I can see there is no end to animals that need rescuing and homes. Even in my local area adoption facilities are packed and there is always a need. I think that starting a rescue requires three ingredients. They are Passion, Desire and Money. Its important to realise that its not just cats that need rescuing. There are dogs, horses, birds, reptiles, rodents, or any living entity that was once a pet and escaped or got dumped.

Passion and Desire

These two qualities go hand in hand. When I picked up my first rescue kitten I started on my path to cat care. From there I found kitties in the bush and on the street. They are now family. It was the same with my dogs and horses. The horses were a real learning curve. I had to learn about diet, foot maintenance and training. Education and study are necessary for good animal health. I am still learning about cat diets, so education is ongoing. I have a good relationship with a vet I am not afraid to phone and ask questions.

Another thought is how big do you want to get and are you going to think about finding homes for everybody. In my particular situation I am keeping everybody. If a box of kittens were found on my door step I would raise them until they were old enough to get neutered or spayed and then find them homes. At this time with seven cats and two dogs in the house  we are maxed out for space. Don’t find yourself with to many lives in the house and not being able to provide proper care and attention. A good example of a home rescue leading to adoption is The Kitten Academy on You Tube. If you are working from your home and you are a one person / family show this is a fairly straight forward operation. Lots of work with great rewards.

If you want to become a large rescue facility there will be lots of planning required. A business plan will be a necessity as you consider funding, staff, veterinarians on call, and building rental or purchase. If you go this route all the best and know you are providing  a service to the community as well as saving lives.

When I got Tenzin from the Pet Rescue Centre they were quite thorough with the paper work laying out the conditions of adoption. This is necessary to save the kitten from possible poor care. If I was adopting out from my home I would ask lots of questions and the new care giver would have to pay all the vet bills up to adoption. I believe that if a person pays for that life there will be more respect for that cat or dog. I would always give the option to return the pet if it does not work out.


This ingredient is necessary for a successful rescue facility. In 2015 I spent $10,000.00 CDN at the vet. Regular visits, horse maintenance,  dog dental, minor surgeries are on this list. This was for eleven animals. Finding a kitten and raising it for the first year will cost about $400.00 CDN. This includes vaccinations, deworming and spay or neutering. This is where I live, it may cost more or less depending on your location.

Institutions rely on public and maybe government or local funding. If you are going big your business plan should be well thought out. Here in Manitoba lots of big rescues are registered charities and will give tax receipts. They are always operating at capacity so I encourage people to adopt, donate or volunteer to help these institutions survive.

One last note. If you are running a rescue be sure to have a plan in place in case something happens to you and you can’t care for the lives under your care. A will or somebody to step in if you can’t work anymore is necessary. There was a news story of a parrot rescue with lots of birds under care,that had the facilitator die with no plan in place. A local vet took over and found homes for the birds. They were lucky, its not always a happy ending.

That’s my story for today. Please leave a comment. Hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Thank you


Cat Care – Matted Cat Fur

The two boys pictured above have the same fur. Matted cat fur is common with both of them. Tenzin the orange and white boy knots quickly and requires brushing every day. Not to long ago Tenzin would not sit for brushing, however lately he even sits for grooming. The areas that are hard to groom are under his legs and around his bum. The knots got so bad that we had to take him to the groomer for a clipping. He spent 50 minutes under the clippers and was a really patient boy. The secret to grooming this cat is being consistent and working on knots as soon as you find them. A person needs a double sided brush. This brush has steel bristles on one side and hair brush style bristles on the other. Another useful tool is the matt removal comb. This comb has long steel sharp knives to help you cut through the mat. I will have examples on my Product page.  If your cat is patient with you and sits this job will fairly easy. If you find you are pulling so hard causing kitty to run away you might have to start with scissors first. Be careful not to cut the skin. The key to keeping this job fun is to do it every day and make it a play time. Be sure to brush under the legs and at the bum. We have decided that even thought Tenzin is a domestic long hair, we are going to take him to the groomer regularly he keep him more of a medium hair length cat.

When Ariel needed a doctor visit it was found that he was so thick with fur at the bum we could not take his temperature. I took Ariel to the groomer and we used clippers to trim his bum area and some knot removal. Two points here. When a cat has to push a bowel movement through to much hair it can cause a straining problem. Secondly if your kitty gets diarrhea that hair will get soaked and will be hard to clean. If your cat doesn’t like baths this can be a problem. When the groomer clips the under tail area you should be able to see the anus.

With the tool examples on the Product page simple knot removal is quite easy. Knotted fur that is tight to the skin is very hard to do with brushes and combs. This problem  requires electric clippers. This can be done at home if your cat will cooperate. The sound and vibration will make some cats nervous. When I go to my excellent groomer Alannah, she puts a hood on Tenzin and this keeps him calm. We trim his nails and clean his ears, then clip his knots. I have to help by holding him so we can get at the hard to reach areas. Same for Ariel. When using clippers be sure not to burn the skin or cut off nipples. Go slow and get help if necessary. I think the best thing to do if there are clippers required is to go to a groomer.

In closing brushing your cat is necessary. They will learn to love the attention. Keeping your cat mat free will make him more comfortable and reduce hair ball issues. Watching a kitty wretch out a hair ball is not nice to watch. Tenzin even cried once during his hair ball vomit. Hair balls look like cylindrical plugs with a pool of fluid around it. Short hair cats can get hair balls also. The brushing will reduce shedding and hair ingestion.

That’s my story for today. If you have any questions please leave a comment at the bottom. Now go hug a kitty and do something green for the environment.


Cat Care – My Cat Vomiting

Todays topic is a required discussion if your cat vomits. My cat vomiting became an issue when we determined that Alexis would throw way to often to be an isolated incident. She would eat supper and then all of a sudden bring it back up. We would find regurgitated crumbles in the sink in the morning. Alexis is a nine year old cat with good overall health and agility, so this turned into a mystery that required some study.


After some reading we found that one of the most common reason for cat vomiting is diet. We thought that we fed our cats a good diet. We found that our wet food and treats were not of a good quality. It was back to label study with a trip to the pet store for a much superior food . The link above takes you to a fabulous discussion on pet food. Other reasons that cats throw up are milk, hair balls, and fast eating. Hair ball vomiting is different than food vomiting. When Tenzin threw up his hair ball he cried in pain. Food vomits are generally quiet.    These items can be diagnosed and remedied by the cat owner. If a food change is not the answer for you a trip to the vet is necessary where your kitty should be checked for a gastrointestinal problems.

Other things that a cat owner has control over are removing toxins from around the house. Cleaners and poisonous house plants can be serious problems. On my Maintaining your cat page there is a list of poisonous plants .

Please understand throwing up is not ‘normal’ for cats. If your cat is sick too often talk to your vet and discuss your options. Good cat food is expensive, Vet bills are more expensive and stressful for every body involved. I have enough experience to try the change in diet first. If you are new to cats don’t be afraid to go to the vet.

This link below is a wonderful discussion on todays topic from a professional veterinarian.

Movie Review

After today’s discussion everybody needs something lighter. I would recommend that you watch the movie KEDI. A great movie about the street cats in Istanbul. I loved the cats and a look into Turkish life. Check the Products page for a link to purchase the movie.

Cat Care – The Esther Up-Date and Random Thoughts.

Esther Update

Esther is doing well after her surgery. Her spaying incision is now four days old and to me it looks like it is healing well. She had a day or so grogginess from the anesthetic. During the first couple of days she was clingy and wanted to cuddle. She had two mornings of pain killer.  She slept in bed as she always had done, but she had to touch someone  until she fell asleep. Her appetite is normal. Her energy is on the rebound.

Do Cats Care

While Esther was away for a day and a half Tenzin was obviously upset. He hid and did not interact as much. During the night Ariel came to the bedroom to look for Esther. Now that Esther is back these two are back to normal.  The more time I spend around all my family members the more I realise how much they understand and feel. Anyone who says cats don’t care obviously isn’t in the moment.

House Work

With seven cats and two dogs in the house the house work is an ongoing project. This morning as I was about to have breakfast China, my Husky threw up on the floor. Lucky for me it was on a hard surface with just a wipe up required. A wipe, a wash and a squirt of spray nine and I was done. Then I noticed that one of the litter boxes was loaded from overnight activity. Now I had to clean all the litter boxes. We now have five litter boxes. We put out one more after Alexis had her UTI. The rule is to have a litter box for each cat plus and one extra. We are making it work with five until we are forced to change. The litter box illustrated in my Products page works really well for reducing the amount of litter outside the box. We have two in use.  The toilet should be cleaned after every use if your cats look in the bowl and the lid is never closed. Never use chemical toilet bowl cleaners. It will poison your cat or dog. Vacuuming and laundry is a daily chore. Sometimes a quick booming works but after a day or two the vacuum has to come out. We really like the Bissell units as illustrated on the Products page even though we have central vac. I think if you can’t keep up with the housework maybe there are too many animals in the house. Get help in some way before somebody steps in and forces the issue.  I have read many news stories of animal hording and to let thing get that far is totally unnecessary.


I recently read an article on declawing. The article went on to emphasise that the procedure is NOT good for your cat. I am shocked that it is a procedure that is even considered these days. It is a form of cat torture that is only to the benefit of the owner. It is like removing the first knuckle off each of your fingers and toes. We have seven cats and I see no need to do this to anybody!  The solutions to scratching are learning how to trim the cat’s nails, cat trees and scratching posts. I think furniture covers are a necessity for many reasons. It’s nice because they are machine washable. Its easier than shampooing a chesterfield.

That’s my story for today. Please leave a comment or question at the bottom of the page. We are now on Twitter @CatInTheCradles. Hug a kitty and do something green for the environment.





Cat Care – Cat Carriers

Todays post is about cat carriers. A necessary accessory to any cat owner. I have used my carrier a lot lately with trips to the groomer and the vet. There is nothing harder than getting a scared cat out from under the car seat. The picture above is of Ariel. He is a perfect illustration of a timid cat that does not like to travel. The carrier provides piece of mind while you drive and limits any distractions that might cause you trouble. We have seven cats and there is a carrier for each cat. This is necessary in case we have to evacuate for any reason. It would hard to put two cats to a carrier. We have hard carriers and soft carriers. Both are good. I will put examples of each in my Products page. If your cat is afraid of being put into the carrier just wrap the kitty in a large towel and put him in. Its easy and will prevent the frustration and scratches of putting a frightened cat into a box. When you take the kitty out just be careful you don’t  hook a leg in the door. It should be that easy. I have seen people give up when kitty will not cooperate.

For those of you that like to hike with your feline there are back packs and strollers for getting your cat out doors. I have never used these items but I would think that if they don’t like getting in it you probably should not do it. The trick here is training with short trips and few distractions. Older cats might not ever get used to hiking while if you start training a kitten early it just might work out. My girl Roxanne loves going out and would probably love hiking. Now that there is snow on the ground she only likes going out for a few minutes. Some cats prefer staying in.

In closing carriers for your cat are necessary for your cat and for your peace of mind. A trip to the vet will far less traumatic if you don’t have to fight your cat. One last note, a blanket in the hard carrier make a more comfortable ride for your cat and you can use it to put the kitty back in.

That’s my story for today. Hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Please leave a comment or question and I will get back to you.


Cat Care – Esther’s Post Surgery Monitoring

Esther’s post surgery monitoring starts today and will be necessary for the next week or so. The photo above shows that her neck was shaved probably where the initial blood test was taken and where the anesthetic went in. The incision is clean and her belly is shaved. She will get two mornings of pain killers with breakfast and I have to watch for swelling and infection. When Roxanne was spayed she had an infection and got antibiotics a week later. Please click on Roxanne above to see the post on her surgery. It is recommended to keep the kitty quiet, but that will impossible for many reasons.  It is quite likely she will heal up and there will be no action required. Along with the surgery she had her nails done and got her ear tattooed. I really like tattoos. Sometimes you have to look deep into the ear, but its an obvious ownership mark. I was also told that Esther was getting over weight. To me just to look at her I never would of thought that, but during surgery it was noted there was excess fat. Diet time for everybody.

When I took Esther to the vet she was nervous and scared. She cried all the way to the clinic and did not like being left in a small kennel. She had to overnight with a crying puppy and no snacks. Her surgery was mid morning with it being completed by noon. She stayed the whole day for observation and I picked her up on Thursday morning. I was there at 10:00 and paid the bill. The ride home was filled with Esther talking and her nuzzling my finger all the way home. When she got in the house she patrolled every room and checked everybody out. She was happy to be home and didn’t miss supper. The night she was gone Ariel looked for her and Tenzin missed her I am sure because he hid and acted distressed until she came home.   This procedure cost $257.26 CDN. So far we have spent about $400.00 CDN to have a kitten vaccinated and spayed in her first year of life. This should tell you that when you get a kitty from the shelter for $200.00 or less you are getting a deal. My $400.00 is even cheap compared to other parts of the country.

Shelters are providing a tremendous service to the community. Many are operating at capacity and always need funding. Many shelters are certified charities and will provide a tax receipt. If you can’t adopt, donate or volunteer at a shelter.

One last thing before I go. I just read an article on how to stop furniture scratching. It recommended a scratching post or cat tree. I agree with both of these. The comments at the end of the article had many readers recommending declawing. In my opinion declawing is wrong and is nothing more than cat torture. Its like cutting the first knuckle off your own fingers.  Lets work to put a stop to this procedure.

Esther is home and I am glad. Have a great evening and hug a kitty. Do something green for the environment. Please leave a comment or question below and I will get back to you.


Cat Care – Spaying or Neutering Cats


Esther had her surgery this morning and all went well . She is in recuperation and observation for the day and she will coming home tomorrow morning. The surgery takes a week to ten days to heal. During her post surgery recovery she should be kept quiet and be watched for licking and scratching. Keeping her quiet will be hard as she is such an active girl. Ariel came to bed this morning and I am sure he is looking for her. Generally she should have no complications and her days will be normal. I have to watch for swelling and weeping of fluid at the incision. Roxanne had a bit of an issue when she was done. At this point I am confident that there will be no problems. Esther did not like being left last night and I am sure she wants to be home. I read that a spayed female cat live 60% longer than an intact cat. She will get over all of this and run around as normal.

That’s my story for today. Hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Please leave a message or question at