Cats And Essential Oils

Are Essential Oils Safe

Essential Oils

Essential oils are nothing new. The Ancient Egyptians invented the distillation methods and observed the medical benefits of essential oils. The Chinese, Indians as well as the Greeks and Romans had knowledge of essential oils.

Essential oils are botanical extracts of different plant materials such as flowers, leaves roots bark or stems. The word oil implies an oily substance, but in fact most essential oils are not oily at all. A lot of essential oils are clear while some oils are amber or yellow. It must be noted that essential oils are not perfumes, but are highly concentrated true essence of the plant it was taken from.

When your cat or your dog inhales the fragrance of the essential oil the molecules of the fragrance is taken in to the limbic system of the pets brain. The oil works there to promote calmness, mental happiness and general well-being.

ALL OILS ARE POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS

Cat

They have to be used properly and correctly. An interest in natural medicine for people have also promoted an interest in natural cures for your pets. What this means is that cats and dogs, birds are susceptible to the missuses of essential oils. The reasoning that natural cures are harmless it should be emphasized that not everything in natures is complimentary and safe. Remember our list of poisonous houseplants that look and smell nice but are deadly to our pets. When one considers a cats small size and unique physiology its may not be obvious that essential oil treatments might do more harm than good.

Diffuser

Essential oils are processed through the liver. There is an enzyme called glucuronyltransferase and cats lack this liver enzyme. Because of this it is not recommended applying essential oils directly to the cats or use diffusers in the home. It may be noted that while your cat may not exhibit any symptoms of poisoning the effects of exposure can be cumulative. Cats should not be trapped in a room where diffusers are being used.

Therefore, all essential oils can present problems for your pets. Products high in 1,8-cineole, camphor, pinene, limonene, methyl salicylate, ketones, and phenols are especially dangerous. These include, but are not limited to, bergamot, camphor, clementine, clove, eucalyptus, fir, most species of frankincense, grapefruit, juniper, lavender (spike), lavandin, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange (including bitter, blood and sweet varieties), oregano, peppermint, pine, rosemary, sage, spearmint, spruce, tangerine, tea tree, thyme and yarrow. This list comes from an article on essential oils and should not be considered complete and I cannot guarantee its accuracy. The point here is if you are considering using essential oils in your home or on your pets it would be wise to CONSULT YOUR VETRENARIAN first. Any house bound pet must be considered when introducing essential oils to your home.

Observable signs of essential oil poisoning will be depression, weakness, muscle tremors as well as in coordination. Other symptoms may be breathing problems, vomiting, drooling or looking like they are trying to bring up a hair ball.

Today’s post on Essential Oils came about from a book I bought on these oils for your pets. As a skeptical layman I did more research and at that point began to wonder exactly what to do. I wanted to calm my new arrivals and calm down the established cats. I have come to the conclusion that with the proper veterinarian consultation some products are usable. While this post is directed to cat lovers, dogs, birds and reptiles can be equally at risk. We must educate ourselves to make the best decisions possible. In closing all the advice in the world does not over rule the advice from your vet.

That’s my story for today. If you have any questions or concerns please leave a comment below. Afterwards take a moment and have a look at my Cat Care products page.

Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment.

Trevor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance Of The Veterinarian

kitten

How Often Should Your Cat See A Vet

 

The importance of the veterinarian in your life and your cat can not be underestimated. No amount of internet advice comes close to the quality advice from a trusted Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine. Your vet will provide the pet owner with proper care and treatment to ensure that your cat has the best health care possible.

Your vet will advise you on the proper visit schedule for cat. After the initial vaccinations and the spay and neutering is complete the usual procedure is to go yearly. Some clinics are now recommending vaccinations every two years. I personally agree with this as I think it is possible to over vaccinate. Elderly cats might need special attention. If your cat is allowed to free roam it will necessary to consider rabies vaccinations as recommended by your vet. Remember there is no cure for rabies after it develops and that’s for people too.

When your cat is healthy it is quite an easy job to look after kitty. Good quality food, clean water, a clean litter box plus some toys and love, your cat is happy. A healthy cat is easy to observe. If you grab a pinch of skin at the back of the neck and release it, the skin should fall right back into place. This means that your cat is properly hydrated. If your kitties gums are moist and pink your cat is probably in good shape.

Its times when your cat quits eating or has trouble going to the litter box, it is time to go to the vet. I always recommend to occasionally watch your cat go to the litter box and observe anything out of the ordinary. Crying when peeing or blood in the stool should be investigated immediately.

There is an abundance of medical information available on the internet. Internet advice usually tries to be all-inclusive and with that a layman can be overwhelmed with medical advice. It is important at this time to not self medicate without a vet consultation. I am hesitant to try homeopathic remedies without talking to a professional first.
Another caution is to not give your cat people medicine. Over the counter pain killers will do serious harm to your cat.

How To Select A Vet

Vet and Kitten

 

Selecting a vet is as important as selecting a doctor for your family. The office should be clean and the receptionist should be pleasant and knowledgeable. There should be appropriate certificates on the wall. The examination rooms should be clean and you should be able to attend the examination. The doctor that examines your cat should be gentle and have good bedside manner. If you cat has to be left overnight ask if someone checks on the patients through the night. Do not be afraid to get a second opinion or leave if you are not happy with the service. One feature I like is the 24-hour emergency phone number. I have used this more than once. The cost of veterinarian care can be expensive. If your cat is young enough there is health insurance available and your vet can advise.

Black Cats

Black Cat

 

With Marvel Studios releasing the Black Panther movie there has been an adoption craze of black cats. I sincerely hope that when someone adopts these cats it is realized that CAT CARE is forever and not a fad. I am happy when any cat gets adopted and finally the black cat is not a subject of fear and superstition. Let’s hope all these black cats get caring and loving homes.

The same thought comes to mind with the Lykoi or Werewolf cats. I hope that whoever owns these cats loves and protects them with the respect a cat deserves. My hope is that the Lykoi cat is expensive enough so that only responsible people own them.

I am an advocate of adopting cats and removing as many as possible from the shelters. It saves lives and reduces animal suffering. This does not mean that people should not buy from breeders. These cats are special too. It is the buyers’ responsibility to hold breeders to a high standard. Preventing animal abuse is every ones responsibility. No one should tolerate cat and puppy mills.

Hint For Today

I actually have two hints for today.

First hint: If your cat is eating to fast put a golf ball in the food bowl of wet food and let them work for it. What do you think?

Second hint: Salt Lamps are dangerous to your cat. Cats will lick the salt lamp and get sick and it may be lethal. Salt poisoning in cats can cause kidney damage. No salt lamps. Remember dogs can get sick from salt lamps as well.

That’s my story for today. I hope you have enjoyed reading this and if you have any comments please leave them below. Is there a topic you would like discussed, let me know. Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment.

Trevor

Cat Care – Living With Multiple Cats

Esther and Ariel
Esther and Ariel

Tips For Living With Multiple Cats

Todays post is for anyone who is considering having more than one cat in the house. My tips for living with multiple cats’ comes from my experience with seven cats’ in the house. My first cat Soxs has been in the house for five years. My oldest cat Alexis is turning 10 years old this spring and has been in the house for 2 years. The rest of the cats’ range from 1 1/2 years to 3 1/2 years old and have been together for approximately two years. I have raised three of them from kittens, three were adopted and Roxanne was found outside. We believe that she was dumped by someone because her socialization int the house was very easy. It should be mentioned that the three kittens I have raised were found loose outside also and if they would not of been rescued would have died through the winter. For more information on each cat follow this link to Meet The Kitties.

Socialization

Bringing these cats’ together under one roof had its moments, but was not as dramatic as on might expect. Each cat has its own personality and it has been interesting watching behavior change as I watched them grow up. Cat experts recommend isolation time for new cats’ and a slow socialization to new feline family members. I did not follow this advice. None of my seven cats’ were difficult personalities, but each had their own quirks.

Soxs
Soxs

Soxs is my first cat. His first experience with a new cat was typical with apprehension and some confrontation. There was no isolation time, however the house is big enough for each cat to find a place to hide. One of our rescues, Rufus hid for a few weeks. He became comfortable at his own time and then loved to be with Soxs and loved to be around people. Unfortunately he passed away after three months due to some unknown medical issue. He was a magnificent cat and I miss him still.

Lacy
Lacy

When Lacy came she was dropped off and her first few weeks were stressful for her. She cried and hid. She wanted out and one day she escaped and stayed out for two weeks. When we got her back her personality changed dramatically. She liked being in the house and having regular meals. She lost a lot of weight during her holiday and I had to live trap her to get her back. She had another personality change when the kittens Esther and Ariel came. Lacy went off her food and became lethargic. Vet visits found no medical issues. She got medicine to increase her appetite. She overcame this issue and now she defends her self from over playful kittens. Lacy has recently become more friendly and loves getting brushed and cuddled.

Tenzin
Tenzin

Tenzin came to our home from a pet rescue. We brought him home and just opened the carrier and he came out when he was ready. After he got out he cautiously moved around the house. He kept to himself a lot. His socialization was done on his time. He did not like people handling, but now he loves to get brushed and goes to my wife and asks for brushes. He sleeps with my wife and now plays with Soxs and the kittens. He has grown and changes daily.

Alexis
Alexis

Alexis is my oldest cat. She likes to be alone and does not trust the rest of the cats’. She will stand on the cupboard at feeding time with the rest of the cats’, but will let everybody know when she has had enough close company. I hold her and groom her as mush as she will let me just to let her know she is loved.

Ariel and Esther
Ariel and Esther

 

Ariel and Esther were found as small kittens in the bush. They grew up together and have no fear. Esther likes to torment the older females just for fun. She plays with everybody else and generally does as she pleases. Ariel has grown up to be a handsome boy. He does not like to be picked up much, but I do cuddle him as required. These two were only isolated when they were very small so that the dogs or older cats’ would not hurt them. When they were big enough to look after themselves they were released into the clowder. Ariel like to push glasses of water onto the floor.

Roxanne
Roxanne

Roxanne was our last rescue. She was isolated for three days until the vet visit. Then we just let her out with the rest of the cats’. Soxs didn’t like her at first and I had to break up a couple of fights. None of the fights were crazy, but I would break things up as soon as possible. Roxanne was the easiest and quickest socialization I have seen. She must of been a house cat before I found her.

The socialization process at our house was always monitored as there was someone home almost all the time. We did leave them alone as necessary and when we came home everybody was in good shape. We still do see some nose scratches now and then, but never any serious wounding. When it was necessary to break up a hissing session I would pick up the attacked cat to show them they were protected. I have not had to do this for a long time. We have had good luck with quick socialization. We have a broad range of ages and almost even mix of male to female. Isolation might be necessary to prevent disease and parasites being introduced into your house.

Health Care

I take our cats’ health care seriously. They get regular vet visits and I will go to the vet as required if something pops up. The same goes for my dogs and horses. If you want to keep your vet bills down the key is to feed a good quality food and always have lots of clean water available. Dental care is an overlooked item. If your cat will let you brush their teeth that would be the best. If not a water additive could be a possibility. There are tooth care formulas that you can apply with your finger into the cats’ mouth. I am trying one of these and I will report back on how it works.

Vet and Kitten

It is necessary to have a relationship with a good vet. I have recommendations on vet criteria on my “Maintaining Your Cat” page. If you have health care questions ask your vet first. Do not give your cats’ people medicine and use homeopathic remedies only after professional consultation.

Have a litter box for each cat and one extra. Keep it clean and use fresh litter. I have recently replaced most of our litter with pine pellets with good results. We keep one box with clay litter and four with pine pellets. Yes it violates the rule for boxes but our house is not that big. We clean the boxes a lot to compensate. I do not recommend self-cleaning litter boxes. The litter box is the key to your cats’ health so I like open litter boxes with tall sides. See my Products Page for more information.

House Cleaning

Extra cats’ mean extra house cleaning. Vacuuming and sweeping should be done as required and if you think it should be done then it should be done. I clean water bowls and feeding bowls every time I use them. Since we switched to pine pellets for litter the house is cleaner. If the cats’ are not using the litter box it might mean its not clean enough or there might be a medical issue. A cat with a urinary tract infection will start to pee everywhere. None of my cats’ spray or mark. This is due to everybody being spayed or neutered. If you have to clean up a urine stain please refer to my Pet Urine Stain Removal post.

How To Know If You Have To Many Cats

Having lots of cats’ is great. I could not give up any of them. If you can’t keep the house clean you might have to many cats’. Other factors would be if a person could not afford food or health care. Cats having unwanted kittens is a problem. Please don’t find yourself in a hording situation. Get help as required.

Something that must be considered is to have a plan in place if you find yourself not being able to be a care giver. A will or a responsible person must be available to look after your cat or cats’ if something should happen if a person can’t provide the necessary care. If you don’t provide your cats with a responsible and caring attendant they will probably end up at a shelter or worse.

That’s my story for today. Its nice to have my seven cats’. I love them all. It’s best to only have the number of cats’ that you would be comfortable with. Now it’s time to hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Please leave a comment below especially if you want something discussed.

Trevor

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Care – What Cats Need

Soxs

What Do Indoor Cats Need

When you bring a kitty into your home there are some needs that have to be met. They are really quite simple and not complicated. Your cat is a family member and wants to be a part of your life. Some times it’s not obvious and when your cat appears illusive it might make you wonder what they really need.

What your cat really needs is YOU. Not only are they totally dependent on you for the basics of life they really do want your company. Then they will usually tell you when they have had enough and then go sleep somewhere. When your cat rubs on your legs, climbs on you when you’re sitting and sleeps with you at night it means they love you.

The Basics

The basics of cat care begins with a good quality food and a litter box. I think that the choice of cat food is an important as picking food for yourself and your children. I am now feeding human quality wet food and the best dry food I can afford.
Label reading is important. I encourage you to read my two reports on cat food on my “Maintaining Your Cat” page.

Every cat needs a clean, roomy litter box. The importance of the litter box can not be emphasized enough. It is the key to your cats health. When you clean the box out check the contents for anything unusual such as blood or diarrhea. A clean litter box will mean that your house will stay cleaner as well. If your cat is not using the litter box maybe it’s your fault. I do not approve of self-cleaning litter boxes because you are depriving yourself of watching your cats health. Please use the “search” box for all related articles on the litter box. For litter box and litter choices please follow the link to my”Cat Care Products” page. The rule for litter boxes is that you should have a litter box for each cat plus one extra. I have seven cats with five litter boxes. Yes it’s a broken rule, but we clean often plus we don’t have room for eight boxes.

Cats need stimulation. A nice selection of ball toys is fun for your cats. Something to chase creates good exercise as does a second cat. Some cats like to be alone, but it’s my experience that a friend is nice when there is no one home. Cats love to sit in boxes and this is a cheap solution for entertaining your cats.

Roxanne

Our cats love to sit at the window. Giving them a place to sit such as a cat tree or a bench is money well spent. I like watching them chatter at birds or have them watch me work outside. My cats are not free roaming cats so providing them some extra stimulation is something we as cat owners are obligated to do to prevent boredom.

Beds

Everybody likes to sleep in a nice bed. Our cats have free access to the whole house. They can sleep on the bed when ever they want plus we have cat beds around the house so every body has a place to be alone and feel safe. We built a cat condo from two end tables with covers over top to give them a nice covered hole to sleep in. We placed one table feet down and the other feet up on top with a hard cover on top and a nice fabric over the front for doors. In this configuration it’s impossible to pull over and no one can get hurt.

Grooming

Cat grooming is something your cat needs. Brushing prevents hair balls. Even short haired cats can get hair balls and you will be surprised how much hair you will get off your short haired cats. I recently took Ariel to the groomer and in the pictures you can see what a properly groomed Domestic Long haired Cat should look like. Alanah at the Dog Den did a fabulous job. You will notice that the back end is nicely shaped. This prevents feces from accumulating in the hair and it’s easier for your cat to use the litter box. If your cat has to push a bowel movement through matted hair the kitty could hurt themselves.

ArielAriel

Nails should be trimmed regularly. This will save you and your furniture from damage. Its easy to do yourself. Just buy a good set of clippers and don’t cut to short to make them bleed.

Vet Care

Your kitty deserves regular medical checks. It’s your responsibility to provide health care. Spaying or neutering, dental care are as necessary as medical care for your self. Regular medical checks will save you money in the long run. The money you spend on good food will be saved in medical bills. If your cat is young enough it might be worthwhile to consider pet health insurance. Your vet will be able to advise you with this.

The Last Point

The last thing your cat really needs is cuddling. Right now Roxanne the office cat is right in front of me watching me type. Cuddle as required. Tenzin came to me tonight for brushes. Lacy wanted to be petted. Lexi wanted to head butt. They will let you know when they have had enough. ENJOY.

 

That’s my story for today. Follow this link to my”Cat Care Products” page for items to make cat care easy. Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Please leave a comment below and if there are any Cat Care topics you would like discussed indicate them in the comments.

Trevor

 

 

 

 

Caring For Senior Cats

 

Alexis

The Senior Cat

Maintaining your senior cat can present you with some special considerations. We all get older and as we get older our bodies and temperament changes. The same thing happens to our cats. Cats between 12 to 14 years are considered older cats. My Alexis is turning ten years old this year and is showing no signs of slowing down. Her coat is nice and she loves her wet food. We have found that if she is over fed she will vomit. I think this is due to eating very fast. We now have improved the quality of our cat food and with Alexis we feed her smaller portions. Her bowel movements are good with no signs of any health problems. Remember the litter box is the key to your cats health and a cat owner should take interest in what is in the litter box.

Alexis is a long haired cat. As she gets older her coat may deteriorate and not be as pretty. This means that brushing and clipping may need to be done more regularly. Remember to clip up the back of the legs and bum. This will save your a lot of work. When cats gets older their ability to groom themselves will become difficult. We may have to bathe more often and regularly wash the bum to prevent hair being matted with feces. Our vet sold us an oatmeal based shampoo to prevent dry skin and itching. AMAZON sells several cat shampoos and I will provide examples. Please click on the shampoo pictures for more information. I have never used dry shampoos. Please consult with your vet as what to use.

 

Old Age Issues

Maintaining senior cats is not that hard. It is as when we get older we have to reorganize our lives a little.

With vision and hearing deterioration it will help your kitty to keep things easy to find. The water and food bowls should be kept in a familiar spot. Try not to sneak up on your kitty as with any older person we don’t like to be surprised and have little patience for tricks. Place a night light so that the older cats can find their way around at night. If there is decreased mobility due to some form of arthritis it will be important to keep litter boxes and favorite sleeping areas easy to access. Older cats will appreciate a warm place to sleep. Keep beds away from drafts.

I mentioned arthritis and decreased mobility. Diet will be an important issue as kitty gets older. Ask your vet at each examination for diet recommendations and supplements for not only dealing with arthritis, but dealing with overweight problems and reducing other medical issues such as kidney problems. We have put turmeric in our pets food as a natural anti inflammatory supplement to help with healthy joints. Some cats may not like it. Start with small amounts and mix it in to the wet food.

Dental Care

This the area where I personally have the biggest problem. It is recommended to brush your cats teeth regularly. I have tried different products with limited success. I put additive in the water to prevent plaque build up, but the cats could smell it and would rather drink from the toilet. We tried a spray to apply directly in their mouth. When they see me coming they take off, it is the same with the tooth brush. I am going try another supplement that is put in with the cat food. I will do a report on this after a trial period. The next option is to go to the vet for regular dental cleaning. This requires an anesthetic and as with my dog it takes a couple of days to get over it.
Dental care is important as your own teeth. Gum disease, tooth loss and infection will accompany poor dental care. I have watched a good video on dental care and brushing on the Cornell University, College of Medicine website. Due to copyright I did not include the link.

Internet medical advice does not supersede the requirement to go to a proper veterinarian. If you have any concerns see your veterinarian.

Adopting Older Cats

Older cats that are at the shelters are ready for a new home. Through no fault of their own the have been removed from a comfortable environment and placed in a stressful situation. When you go to the shelter please don’t overlook the older cats. They will be great companions. Even if it takes a year to become comfortable, remember you have saved a life. Lacy and Alexis both took months to be totally comfortable with their new home. The same applies to blind, deaf or physically handicapped cats. Adopt don’t shop. This does not mean I am against buying a special breed cats. I love all cats, I will not support mills. At Cat Care we love dogs too. This whole post applies to dogs as well.

Lacy

Thats my story for today. If you have any questions or comments please do so below. Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment

Trevor

 

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Amazon

 

Cat Care – What’s My Cat Saying

What’s My Cat Saying

 

Today story is about how your cat talks to you. My office cat Roxanne is a very verbal cat. That’s her in the picture above. One night when I was working on a post she started talking a lot. Being busy I ignored her. After she had enough of being ignored she jumped up on my lap and had a pee on me. What a valuable lesson. She didn’t go pee under the desk or in the corner, she told me to listen to her cries. I apologized and took her to the house. I changed and came back to work.

It is important to listen when one of our pets speak. This happens when we spend time with them and learn their moods and needs. I listen a lot closer now. My other office cat, Soxs goes to the door and cries when he wants to go to the house. When your pets trust you they talk to you. It’s important that we listen.

Last night when my wife was making supper Soxs went to her and head butted her several times and asked for some meat. It was so nice to watch him be so polite. We have seven felines all with their own personality.

Spend time with your pets. They will communicate with you.

Black Cats

That’s Phil in the picture. A rescue from the early winter of 2017 living in his new home.

There have been several news stories lately about how hard it is to get black cat’s adopted. These articles reveal to me that superstition and lack of compassion leaves these cat’s stranded in shelters. There is nothing wrong with BLACK CATS.

People are concerned that black cat’s don’t make for good selfies. This is incorrect. Black cat’s make for great photos. Please don’t ignore these wonderful cat’s just for the color of their fur. Any superstition regarding black cat’s is wrong and should be ignored.

When you go to the shelter don’t overlook a kitty that could be a wonderful family member. This includes senior or handicapped cats. Cats with feline FIV are very adoptable.

The Werewolf Cat

 

 

The Werewolf cat has been named a new breed of cat and has been accepted by The International Cat Association. The Lykoi cat was founded in 2011 when a natural mutation of a domestic short appeared. This cat has black and golden-rimmed eyes and a black and gray sparse fur. It’s a lean cat and is considered a sweet and warm cat. The photo above is from Steptacular  and displayed with permission.

I saw a news article recently stating that there is a terrifying breed of Werewolf cat. This headline make me wonder if this cat will be persecuted due to its unique looks. I certainly hope that this wonderful feline ends up in the hands of responsible owners. They should be  expensive enough so that they end up with cat loving owners. Check this Wikipedia link for more information.

Hint Of The Day

Today’s hint is about grooming. Brushing is an important part of cat care. Even short haired cat’s shed and can get hair balls. When grooming long haired cat’s be sure to brush under the legs and tail. If the hair get to long around the bum it should be shaved for several reasons. It prevents feces from collecting in the fur. When a cat has to push a bowl movement through matted hair you might find blood in the stool. Another good reason is that if the vet has to take the cat’s temperature you can see where to put the thermometer. A shaved back end does not mean shaved to the skin. I take my two cats Ariel and Tenzin to the groomer for this. The fur should be nicely shaped and you should be able to see the anus when you are done.

One last thing is if you have trouble putting kitty into the carrier just gently place a large towel over the kitties head and wrap the feet and place them in the carrier. Getting them out might be tricky but you will have help from the groomer or vet. Be careful not to catch their legs in the door on the way out.

That’s my story for today. Hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. If you have any questions or comments please do so below.

Trevor

 

 

 

 

Rescue Cat Adoption

Todays great story about rescue cat adoption is that the kitty in the picture got adopted last night. Charlie has gone to a happy home with responsible owners. Janet captured Charlie on a viciously cold night just after Christmas and looked after him until his adoption. Janet is careful about who adopts her cats and does an interview with new owners. She also has an agreement to take the cat back if things don’t work out.

Buying Cats From Breeders

I am a big believer in Adopt don’t Shop. Shelters are full of wonderful cats and dogs that need a home. Some shelters put a timer on these precious lives as soon as they walk in the door. Twitter reminds me of this every day.

This does not mean that buying from a breeder is wrong. I love Maine Coons or American Bobtails. In fact I love all cats. The problem is buying from unscrupulous sellers. I have heard of people shaving cats and selling them as hairless cats or kitties with health issues. Another story is purebred cats without documentation. If I had purchased one of these cats I could not give it back. I would call it a rescue and learn a lesson from it.

The answer to this is to be careful and ask lots of questions. There should be veterinarian documentation or certificates of breeding. I got my big ginger girl from Kijiji. Alexis was a free cat. We had a phone conversation and an interview. I did my own physical inspection, checked her teeth and we came home. She then went to the vet to bring her vaccinations up-to-date. Two years later and all is well. Kijiji is full of free cats, please be careful.

Buying cats from breeders is not wrong. Research your contact. Ask lots of questions about health care and purebred documentation. If you can visit the facility that will give you good insight to the credibility of the breeder. If you decide to buy you will probably have to fill out registry forms and sign a contract. This is good. One last comment is to watch the shelters for the breed of cat you are looking for. They get surrendered or are captured as strays. If you can get a cat out of the shelter you have saved a life.

Hint Of The Day

Hair Dye for people is inappropriate for animals.  A tragic story I read last week is someone dyed their little dog with human hair dye. The dog had to be shaved and suffered burnt skin. The puppy needed medical care and antibiotics for three months. Apparently the dog eyes were swollen shut. Not only is skin burning a problem, but ingestion from licking this poison is a problem. Don’t put hair dye on your pets.

One last thought on poisons. Be careful about the type of floor cleaner you use. Some of these quick wipe cleaners are very toxic. Read the labels and use with caution. Cats being meticulous groomers will ingest these products.

That’s my story for today. Hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Rescue a kitty or puppy from the shelter. Don’t forget the seniors.

If you have a question or comment please do so at the bottom.

Trevor

Cat Care – Cats and Cold Weather

Cats and Cold Weather

This is Charlie. He was rescued in late December 2017 from low minus 30 c weather with even lower wind chills. Charlie is a timid cat and required to be caught in a live trap. So the question is, When is it to cold for cats outside. The answer is simple – If it is to cold for you to be outside its to cold for cats.

Cold weather is hard on felines and sometimes deadly. It’s even harder on kittens. Ears and feet get frozen. I have seen cats with frost bitten ears. Imagine if your ears froze. I froze mine once and it hurt like crazy.

This picture is of Charlie’s paw and you can see the cold damage on the pads. This picture was taken about two weeks after capture. Charlie is an adult unaltered male. When the amazing Janet captured him he was as I mentioned quite timid.  Even though he didn’t trust right away he used the litter box and didn’t mind being fed. Within two weeks he allowed Janet to handle him and is becoming more socialized all the time. The local humane society has a 50 % discount for cats that are fostered for rehoming. This includes neutering, vaccines and a FIV blood test. So for those of you who rescue cats be sure to check for assistance from the local humane societies. I want to remind everyone that a FIV cat is not a threat to you or your other cats. FIV cats will live normal lives. Charlie will be getting all the necessary medical attention plus neutering and be ready for adoption.

Capturing feral cats is not always easy. When live trapping be sure to check the trap regularly to prevent freezing the poor kitty. As with any feral cat an isolation time is necessary to prevent bringing parasites and disease into your house. A veterinarian visit is a necessity. I isolated Roxanne for three days and after her vet visit I introduced her to the clowder. Have a plan in place handle your new rescue. It might be necessary to go straight to the humane society. If you are going to foster your capture the socialization time might vary from quick to months.  Read Raymond’s story for how long it took him to trust people. Now he loves to be cuddled.

If you can’t capture your feral cat it possible to put up temporary shelters so they can get out of the cold. On my Find a Veterinarian page  I have a great picture of a outside shelter from Amazon. Shelters can be made from bales of straw. I have seen pictures of shelters made from plastic storage bins with a smaller one inside a larger one with insulation in-between the tubs and a door cut in the side.  Shelters need blankets or mats on the floor. It is possible to purchase heated pet mats to put inside these shelters. There are also various heated bowls for cold weather shelters. The double bowl illustrated here may not be necessary if you feed dry food to your rescue.

It’s great when people go out of their way to rescue these wonderful creatures. If you can’t rescue please call someone to help these cats. I always recommend finding no-kill shelters for your rescues if you don’t find a home on you own. Remember if it’s to cold for you outside its to cold for the kitty, Same goes for dogs.

That’s my story for today. Please hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. If you have a comment please do so below. Have a wonderful day.

Trevor

 

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Cat Care – Why Spay and Neuter Your Pets

Why Spay and Neuter Your Pets

I have touched on this topic in other posts and while I discussed the events of the procedure I never really talked about the WHY.

The picture above is the Amazing Rufus. He was found on a cold night in town as an unaltered adult male. He was an amazingly wonderful cat. I had him neutered as part of his rescue. He died three months later from an unknown medical  issue. It was a sad day. He was those one in a million cats that you might not see again for a long time. The point of this discussion is while 99.9 % of spay and neuters happen with no adverse events, sometimes it might be best to leave things alone. Rufus never sprayed and always used the litter box. There was no one to get pregnant. At his age it might of been best just to leave him alone. This a rare case and if you find your self in this situation a consultation with a veterinarian is necessary plus some personal best guess judgement.  Now to the topic at hand.

Why should we spay and neuter our cats? I think the primary reason is to prevent unwanted kittens. It appears that the world is overrun with feral cats. Responsible reproductive management is necessary.

The spaying of females is an invasive surgery and should be done prior to the first heat or within the first year after birth. I have read where it can be done as early as eight weeks. That seems a bit young to me. Consult your vet. Spaying will prevent your cat from going into heat and you wont have to listen to howling all night. Female cats that are spayed are saved from uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous. After your cat is spayed it will be necessary to monitor the surgery. Roxanne developed an infection and was still weeping after the first week. A shot of antibiotics was required and she recuperated just fine. Esther went through her surgery with no complications. After three weeks I was confident that the surgery was healed up properly.

The neutering of males is a straight forward surgery. All of my males recovered quickly with only minor licking of the wound. The surgery is not stitched to help with draining so it is open and it might be necessary for the cat to wear a cone for a while. We have not had to use this device. When Ariel was neutered he bounced back like nothing happened. Neutering males will prevent unwanted kittens, prevents testicular cancer and prostate problems.  It will also prevent spraying urine as an adult. This might be a little known fact, but unaltered adult males will kill kittens to keep females in heat. I have seen this with my own eyes. My adult neutered males never hurt the kittens and I was never worried to leave them alone.  

After surgery monitoring is necessary. I don’t let my cats run free so the are house bound anyway. Watch for swelling and infection and don’t be afraid to go back to the vet.

Hint for the Day

On my Maintaining Your Cat Page I have two great articles on Cat Food. Be sure to read the Review.com article on what goes into your cat food. The other article will help you read food labels.

That’s my story for today. Please hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. If you enjoyed this article please leave a comment below.

Trevor

 

Shugar’s Story

Todays Guest Cat is from the south of Spain. This is a wonderful and must read story. The narrative here is as Michael wrote it.

Here is Shugar’s Story

Hello,
Please let me introduce you to Shugar.

She was born in the spring of 2004, most likely in March.  I say most likely because she was born feral and her mother gave birth to the littler under an empty mobile home.  My mother lived next door and always watched out for the cats in the neighborhood.  They had a tendency to keep down the mice and other rodents so it was a benefit.  When this one was born, it was a bit of a surprise because as you can see, she was almost pure white.  When she was just a kitten, she had a yellow patch on her head.  All the rest was pure white.  Mother did not adopt her but only watched them from a distance making sure they were ok and occasionally throwing some dry cat food on the lawn (weeds) next door so the kittens could search for food.

When she was about 4 months old, Mother heard this little white kitten scream for dear life.  Mother raced out and found a large male had this little one by the head and was attempting to kill her.  Mother screamed at the large male and he released his hold.  In the split second he released his bite, the little one raced for the wire fence between him and my mother and jumped to the top of the fence and into my mothers arms.  So, the little one had adopted my mother.  For her safety and for my mothers comfort.

On a visit later that year, we talked about what her name should be.  I opined that she should be named Princes Luneria, thinking she was pale and white as the moon and I liked the idea of having
a princess in the family.  After all, I already had Queen Sheba, and Prince Vlad, why not a Princess.  Well this did not go over very well and when asked, Mother said “you will shorten it to Lunatic”.  I said “but she is”!  So Mother named her Shuger, figuring to shorten it to Shug.  (Notice the spelling difference between how Mother named her and her name now.)

Well, life was good for this little one.  She was always given a bag or box to play in and lived inside safe from any nasty old Toms.

Mother had a heck of a time getting her to eat right and to answer any kind of call.  She seemed to be completely independent and would not obey any commands.  She would always climb on the desk when Mother wanted to write a note and push anything in her way off the desk so she could lay down undisturbed.  She was always a source of amusement to my mother even when my mother was suffering with Cancer.

In 2010, my mother was diagnosed with Brain Cancer and had surgery.  I came, for obvious reasons, and while Mother was convalescing after the surgery, I took Shuge(a)r home with me.  I told the doctor that my mother needs to have someone tell her that she cannot drive anymore.  Surprising to me, Mother said it as well.  So after her recovery, I moved my mother in with me, a trip of about 700 miles, from her beloved Colorado, to the western side of Idaho.  While in my care, I found out that Shugar was profoundly deaf.  This is a trait common among albinos so I summarized that Shugar was albino since she had the tell tale signs of pink skin, pink eyelids and nose and pure white fur.  It is when I was visiting a vet in Idaho that I accidently misspelled her name on an official document and her name was changed to Shugar.  Sorry mother.

Before long, my mother passed, but Shugar stayed on.  She did have a friend in another cat of mine, Prince Vlad, who was almost pure Black.  This is the famous photo that my dear Taetske found and absolutely loved.

Now, Shugar is a world traveler, having managed to accompany me to the South of Spain.  She still has not quite taken to the country side because it is all a bit wild to her.  Back in Idaho, she had a secure back yard with very few intruders.  Here, she does not know what is around the bend.

She is going to celebrate her second Christmas this year and in March she will be 14 years old.  She has been diagnosed with diabetes so I give her insulin every meal but she is still a beautiful and loving friend

Michael

That’s our story for today. Hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. I would like to thank everyone for reading Cat Care. If you have any questions please leave a comment at the bottom

Trevor