Month: December 2011

Cat safe cleaning tips

cat-washing-tongue

Cats are self-cleaning, as Allegra demonstrates in this photo. Unfortunately, our houses aren’t, so we have to use cleaning products to get the job done. Many commercial cleaning products are not safe to use around cats.  The chemicals in these products can be extremely toxic, and even deadly. Cats are especially susceptible since they groom themselves by licking and as a result ingest anything that comes in contact with their feet or fur.

Thankfully, there are many options for cat-safe, chemical-free and green cleaning products available. I particularly like the Method and Seventh Generation lines of products.

Some of my favorite cleaners, and also the safest and least expensive, are baking soda and white distilled vinegar.  Some suggestions for use are:Continue Reading

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Book review and giveaway: The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts

The-Nine-Lives-of-Christmas

Every once in a while, I like to read a romance novel. I also enjoy reading Christmas themed books. And I really love it when there’s a cat in a Christmas romance novel, which is why I was delighted to discover The Nine Lives of Christmas.

Of course, the cover had me hooked right away. I was somewhat familiar with the author. I read Sheila Roberts’ On Strike for Christmas a few years ago. I bought that book because it, too, had a cat on the cover, and I enjoyed it, even though there wasn’t a cat in the actual story. Apparently, publishers have caught on that people will buy books with cats on the cover – or else, they just have my number.

Rest assured, there is a cat in this book.Continue Reading

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Mood music for cats

soothing-music-for-cats

Playing soft music has been shown to reduce stress in humans and animals alike. Some feline behaviorists say that playing relaxing music can keep cats calm and even stop them from fighting with other cats in the same household. A recent study at Colorado State University is looking at how classical music can help make a veterinary visit less stressful and thus lead to better veterinary care for cats.

I recently came across a cd made especially for cats. Mood Music For Cats (And Cat Lovers) –  A Ball of Twine… Your Cat’s First CD is a collection of soothing tunes blending piano, harp and strings, with title tracks such as Tuna Sonata, Vet Visit Blues, and Catatonia.

The music is truly beautiful. Continue Reading

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Animals can teach us the value of vulnerability

cats-in-window

Today’s post resonated deeply with me when I first read it on the New England Pet Hospice Blog. It reflects much of what I experienced with Buckley toward the end of her life. She, like no other cat  in my life (or human, for that matter), taught me about opening my heart. As a result, my life expanded in ways I never could have imagined. I am honored to share this very special guest post with you today.

Written by Heather Merrill

Sharing our lives with animals is a huge lesson in vulnerability. We know from the outset that we will almost certainly outlive them. That they will become sick, old, challenged, and that it will be us who must care for them and advocate for their welfare making excruciatingly difficult choices along the way.

And yet they bring us the most pure form of joy, contentment, and happiness. They inspire us and our creativity in countless ways.Continue Reading

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Book review: Urban Tigers by Kathy Chisholm

Urban-tigers-tales-of-a-cat-vet

I first heard about Urban Tigers: Tales of a Cat Vet when a friend forwarded me an e-mail about the book. She had received her e-mail from a cat vet friend, and it included endorsements by two of the premiere feline veterinarians in North America, Dr. Susan Little and Dr. Margie Scherk. Dr. Little called it a “must-read for all vets, vets-to-be & cat lovers”. Dr. Scherk called it “a delightful read.” I had to know more. When my copy arrived, I could hardly wait to get started.

I wasn’t disappointed. Urban Tigers is the story of Dr. Emily McBride’s first year at the Ocean View Cat Hospital in Nova Scotia, Canada. Under the guidance of the flamboyant Dr. Hughie Doucette, Emily encounters a wide variety of cat loving clients, ranging from the retired history professor whose cherished felines only drink bottled water to the self-proclaimed cat psychic whose cat has a lot to say about just how he’d like things to be. At first, Emily is treated as the “new kid on the block” by Dr. Doucette’s clients, but she quickly earns the trust and respect of the colorful and entertaining residents of the small town the clinic is located in.Continue Reading

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Could your cat benefit from Omega-3 DHA supplements?

tuxedo cat and kitten

Guest post by Dr. Serge Martinod

Sometimes it seems like your cute little kitten is growing up in the blink of an eye. In order to ensure that your kitten grows into a happy and healthy mature cat, it is important to understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle so your cat can get the most purring, toy chasing and ear scratches out of life.

Aging is a complex biological process that predisposes cats to chronic diseases including behavior changes, limited mobility or kidney malfunction. To help them develop properly as kittens and age gracefully into senior cats, added Omega-3 DHA is a major dietary need for all cats.

Benefits for kittens

DHA is an important building block of the brain and, kittens will experience a sharper nervous system and visual abilities when supplemented as pre-natal kittens and up until the first nine months of life. Daily supplementation of DHA is recommended for pregnant and lactating cats for proper brain and nervous system development of their offspring. Improvement in neurological development will not only better your kitten’s life, but play a significant role in enhancing the bond between the two of you.Continue Reading

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Book review: Moo Kitty Finds a Home by Valerie Lee Veltre

Moo Kitty Finds a Home

Moo Kitty Finds a Home is a heartwarming story about the benefits of adopting an older cat. The charmingly illustrated book introduces young children to the concepts of abandoned animals, rescue and adoption.

A sad turn of events leaves Moo Kitty alone, grieving and frightened of the world beyond his rose garden. Accompanied by three feline guardian angels, Moo Kitty finds himself in a shelter. While life is better again than it was when he was all alone out on the street, he watches all his young kitten friends being adopted, and he has a hard time keeping his spirits up. Then, one day, his new family finds him. Love, compassion and friendship are just some of the life lessons that Moo Kitty learns on his journey to find a new home.Continue Reading

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This Trendy Dental Procedure May Do Your Cat More Harm Than Good

cat-chewing-on-wood

By Dr. Karen Becker

Nonprofessional dental scaling (NPDS), also known as anesthesia-free dentistry, is gaining popularity with an increasing number of pet owners. These are well-meaning pet guardians who may be fearful of anesthesia or may not be able to afford professional veterinary dental care. They want to provide some form of oral care for their pets, so they opt for NPDS.

However, anesthesia-free dentistry is essentially a cosmetic procedure that addresses only the parts of your pet’s teeth you can see. The question many pet healthcare professionals are asking is whether NPDS procedures are doing more harm than good. One of the biggest concerns many veterinarians have with just scraping teeth is that the mouth is full of blood vessels, which can launch oral bacteria into the bloodstream. Once the bacteria is in the bloodstream it can infect other organs like the valves of the heart, resulting in a disease known as vegetative valvular endocarditis. (Read the American Veterinary Dental College’s (AVDC) position statement on dental scaling without anesthesia.)Continue Reading

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Forever Paws by Christine Davis: Book Review (2022 Update)

Forever Paws cover

I first came across Christine Davis’ books when a friend gave me a copy of For Every Cat an Angel after Virginia, my first office cat at the animal hospital I ran for eight years, passed away. That was ten years ago. To this day, the little book lies on an end table in my living room, a lovely reminder of a cat who took a little piece of my heart when she left, the way they all do. I have since given a copy of this little book, and of For Every Dog an Angel, to friends who lost beloved pets. Both books celebrate the love we have for our special pets.

And now, there’s a new book by Christine Davis, Forever Paws, a book that will help heal the heart after saying goodbye to a special friend. Just before Christmas last year, the author unexpectedly lost her beloved cat Dickens to a cancer no one even knew he had until a few hours before his passing. Chris had barely caught her breath when she learned that Dickens’ brother, her forever cat Pippin, also had cancer. He died a few days after Dickens.

The last thing Chris wanted to do after suffering so much loss so close together was to write another book.Continue Reading

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