Month: June 2012

Little cat, big spirit: Moki the Wobbly Cat touches hearts wherever he goes

Moki_The_Wobbly_Cat

This past weekend, I met a very special cat. I had first heard of Moki when he was on Animal Planet’s Must Love Cats, and the story of this little cat with severe neurological problems touched my heart then. I never thought I’d get to meet Moki in person. And I certainly didn’t expect to meet him at a pet blogging conference.

Moki’s human, Crystal Fogg, first met Moki at a shelter where she was volunteering in 2007. The almost feral kitten was about 3 months old, and needed to be socialized. Crystal agreed to foster him, but since she already had seven cats at the time, she had no intention of keeping him.

A few weeks later, Moki developed a severe upper respiratory condition. Despite intensive care at an emergency veterinary hospital, Moki continued to get worse. He eventually recovered, but the illness had left him with severe neurological damage. The doctors told Crystal that Moki would never be able to sit up, walk, or eat on his own again.Continue Reading

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Book review: Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett

Murder_on_the_Half_ shelf_cover

Murder on the Half Shelf is the sixth in Lorna Barrett’s bestselling Booktown mystery series featuring Tricia Miles, the owner of the Haven’t Got a Clue mystery book store and her cat, Miss Marple.

The small town of Stoneham, New Hampshire may have its share of bookstores, but had been sadly lacking in Bed & Breakfasts. This is about to change when the Sheer Comfort Inn is ready to open its door. But first, they offer a free trial night to some local residents, including Tricia. What should have been a relaxing night quickly turns into a nightmare when Tricia discovers the murdered body of the inn’s owner.

The plot thickens when it turns out Continue Reading

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Harmony House for Cats combines cat-friendly and green design

 Harmony House for Cats New Shelter Press Release Photo

Here on The Conscious Cat, we’re all about conscious living. Conscious living means making choices that are in alignment with our value system, and for me, that also includes “green living:” making decisions that benefit our planet. When green living and cats come together, it’s definitely a reason to celebrate.

When I received the press release about Harmony House for Cats announcing its grand opening of their new eco-friendly shelter, I was intrigued, and asked for more information. The shelter, which will open on July 8, is slated to be Chicago’s first “net zero energy” commercial building. Net zero energy means that the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable energy sources over the course of one year is equal or  greater than the amount of energy used by the building. The building uses cutting edge geothermal wells, solar thermal panels and  solar photovoltaics technology to accomplish this.Continue Reading

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Feline Acne

cat_eating_from_bowl

Feline acne is a common problem in cats. Cat guardians usually notice small, oily black bumps on the cat’s chin, very similar to blackheads in humans. These blackheads may become red and itchy if they get infected.

Causes

The exact cause of feline acne is not known, but it is believed that there are several contributing factors:

  • Overactive sebaceous glands
  • Stress
  • Plastic food bowls
  • Food allergies
  • Poor grooming habits

Symptoms

  • Small black bumps on the chin or lips
  • In advanced stages, red, swollen pustules that may bleedContinue Reading

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Book review: Pet Care in the New Century: Cutting-Edge Medicine for Dogs and Cats by Amy Shojai

Cutting_edge_medicine_for_cats

Advances in veterinary medicine make it possible to diagnose and treat medical conditions in pets that would have been a death sentence a decade ago. From chemotherapy to kidney transplants, pets can now receive the same level of medical care as humans. Cutting-edge veterinary care by board-certified specialists ranging from internists to oncologists to ophtamologists is becoming more widely available than ever before.

In Pet Care in the New Century: Cutting-Edge Medicine for Dogs and Cats, Amy Shojai provides a close up look at the amazing medical options for diagnosis and treatment of disease, as well as the high level of preventive care available to cat guardians.

This comprehensive guide covers

  • the benefits of ultraound, CT scans, MRI’s and more
  • advances in drugs, surgery, and rehabilitationContinue Reading

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New treatment for cats with feline leukemia and FIV

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Guest post by Lorie Huston, DVM

Until very recently, feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline AIDS (FIV) were both considered to be untreatable diseases, fatal once an infected cat started to show signs of disease. Recently, a new product has been introduced that may change that fact. (In all honesty, this is not really a “new” product per se, having been around since at least 2008, but one which seems to be getting a bit more attention lately.)

TCyte: A New Treatment for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline AIDS

TCyte, a new treatment for feline leukemia and feline AIDS is a lymphocyte T-cell immune modulator. In the simplest terms, that means that TCyte works on the infected cat’s immune system to improve the cat’s ability to deal with the feline leukemia or feline AIDS infection.

TCyte is used to treat cats infected with either the feline leukemia or feline  AIDS virus who are experiencing symptoms such as red blood cell or white blood cell abnormalities and/or opportunistic infections.

How Does TCyte Work?Continue Reading

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Top 7 tips for traveling by car with your cat

cat_in_car

Guest post by Kim Salerno

Among pets, dogs are the most frequent travelers. They account for over 85% of pet travelers. Trips to the beach, family vacations, traveling to pet friendly accommodations…no matter what the adventure, most dogs love car rides and can’t wait to hop in and hit the open road. Cats on the other hand – not so much. Most cat’s car travel takes place when they are going back and forth to the vet (no wonder they don’t like the car). However, many cat parents are faced with a big dilemma when they have to move – particularly if the move is a long distance. They are stressed at the thought of putting terrified Fluffy in the car – traveling for hours on end. In addition, a growing number of cat parents would like to include their cat in their daily travels.

We’ve come up with some tips to help make your cat’s car travel experience a better one…for both of you!

1. Pet Carrier Training: Always use a pet travel carrier for your cat when traveling in a car. Continue Reading

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Protect Your Cat from Household Hazards

cat_in_clothes_dryer

When was the last time you crawled around your house on your hands and knees? As strange as that may sound, you may want to give it a try sometime – because this is how your cats experience your home much of the time. Things that seem innocuous to us can present a real danger to your cat.

Protecting your cat from hazards in your home is not all that different from child-proofing a house. The following tips can protect your cat from common household hazards.Continue Reading

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Liberty and Justice: a tale of loss, faith, and kittens

 tortoiseshell_kitten-grey_tabby_kitten

If you’ve read The Conscious Cat for a little while, you may remember reading about Steeler. Steeler was a tortie who belonged to my friend Bernie. Steeler had come into Bernie’s life during a time when she really needed a little angel. Her husband had become severely debilitated by Alzheimer’s, and after Bernie took in the the little stray cat sporting the colors of her favorite football team, she quickly won both of their hearts. Miraculously, Bernie’s husband, who didn’t respond to anyone else at that stage, not even to Bernie, still responded to Steeler’s presence.

After her husband was hospitalized, Steeler became a great comfort to Bernie. Sadly, fate wasn’t done providing challenges for Bernie. Bernie’s husband succumbed to his illness last December. A few weeks later, Bernie’s son Eric lost his battle with lung cancer. And four months after that, Steeler passed away after dealing with multiple health issues.

It takes a strong person to go on after so much loss in such a short period of time. Continue Reading

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Should You Get Pet Insurance For Your Cat?

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Responsible cat guardianship includes ensuring regular health care for your cat throughout his life. All cats should have annual wellness exams, and older cats should see the veterinarian twice a year. Costs for routine exams vary; depending on what part of the country you’re in, they will range anywhere from $45 to $150 (exam only). And that’s only for well cat care. Illnesses and accidents can quickly increase these costs. The average cost for a visit to an emergency vet can easily run between $1000 and $2000, depending on the severity of the problem.

Additionally, advances in veterinary medicine make it possible to treat medical conditions in pets that would have been a death sentence a decade ago. From chemotherapy to kidney transplants, pets can now receive almost the same level of medical care as humans. Of course, all of these treatments come with a price tag.

As a result, pet insurance has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Continue Reading

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Carrageenan: Should It Be In Your Cat’s Food?

white_cat_eating_canned_food

Carrageenan is a common food addivitve both in pet food and human food. It is extracted from seaweed through the use of a chemical solvent. It is used as thickener and binder in canned pet food, as well as in many human foods such as ice cream, yogurt, and soy milk. You would think something that comes from seaweed is natural and healthy, right? Think again.

Two kinds of carrageenan

There are two kinds of carrageenan – degraded and undegraded. According to the Cornucopia Institute, the International Agency for Research on Cancer recognizes degraded carrageenan as a “possible human carcinogen,” based on research showing that it leads to higher rates of colon cancer in lab animals. Carrageenan processors claim that food-grade carrageenan falls entirely in the undegraded category; however, one study showed that not a single sample of food-grade carrageenan could confidently claim to be entirely free of the potential cancer-causing material.

Food-grade or “undegraded” carrageenan is on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) list of items that are “Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)” and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) defines it as an acceptable emulsifier, stablizer, and thickener.

Degraded carrageenan, which occurs at high temperatures and acidity, has been associated with ulcerations in the gastro-intestinal tract and gastro-intestinal cancer in animals.

Should you err on the side of caution?

All of this has me increasingly concerned about feeding food that contains carrageenan. Even though foods without this ingredient may be a little harder to find, I think it’s well worth reading your labels and finding alternatives if your cat’s current food contains it.

Take the time to scan your cat’s food for this ingredient. Unless your cat absolutely refuses to eat the brands that do not contain carrageenan, I would make the switch.

Photo ©Robin Olson, used with permission. See more of Robin’s adorable foster kittens on her blog, Covered in Cat Hair.

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