Month: January 2013

Cats take on their humans’ habits

Allegra close up

We all consider our cats members of the family, and according to a new study from the University of Messina’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, this blending into our lives extends to our cats taking on human habits – both good and bad ones.

The researchers studied two groups of cats. Discovery News reports on the study:

Each group received excellent care, in terms of food, medical attention and grooming. The owners of all the cats worked during the day and returned home in the evenings.

The first group of cats, however, lived in smaller homes and stayed closer to their owners. The second groupContinue Reading

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Why is Veterinary Care so Expensive?

cat_with_money

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me this question, I’d be a wealthy woman! What most people don’t realize is that, relatively speaking, veterinary care, especially when compared to human healthcare, is actually not at all unreasonable. As a former veterinary hospital manager, I can give you some behind the scenes insight into what makes up the cost of veterinary care.

Your cat’s veterinarian is not just your cat’s “family doctor”

Your cat’s vet is also her surgeon, radiologist, dentist, dermatologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, psychiatrist, ears/nose/throat doctor, and pharmacist, all rolled into one. I’ve always felt that a veterinarian’s training and schooling is far more rigorous and complex than that of a physician. Not only can their patients not talk to them and tell them what’s wrong, but they have to study more than one species. During the first years of veterinary school, students also have to study large animal medicine, even if they know they’re never going to practice it. And even within the small animal track, there are multiple anatomies and disease processes to learn for each species, be it cats, dogs, ferrets, rabbits, or even scaly critters.

A veterinary clinic is a business

Just like any other business, Continue Reading

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Review: Feline Friends: Tales from the Heart

Feline_Friends

Feline Friends: Tales from the Heart is a collection of stories sent to the Cat Protection Society of New South Wales in Australia, an independent rescue group that has been caring for cats since 1958.

From the publisher:

A heartwarming tribute to our feline friends, this collection of real-life stories and captivating photographs will delight, amaze and deeply touch anyone who has ever spent time with a cat. From cats who ‘adopted’ their owners to strays who visited with a human just long enough to entrust them with their kittens, from loving companions giving solace in times of grief to little bundles of fur given as a child’s first pet, ‘Feline Friends’ celebrates the beauty, elegance, and incredible capacity for love of that most selective of pets — the cat! Above all, it shows us why cats matter and why our lives are richer when they share the journey with us.

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of stories, but what really makes this book special Continue Reading

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Mind talk and cats: Daisy and the cat carrier caper

long_haired_calico_cat

Guest post by Patricia Fry

Have you ever noticed that the cat who is scheduled for a vet or groomer visit is nowhere to be found when it’s time to go? Most mornings, you’ll find our cats curled up in their cozy beds or hanging out in the lap of an overstuffed chair. I walk into the room often and give them a little hug or ruffle up the fur behind their ears. They love the attention. Except when I approach them with an ulterior motive. Then they scurry for parts unknown and the chase is on. How do they know when a car ride is imminent? Maybe this story will shed some light on the mystery.

It was not on Daisy’s agenda that hot summer day to see the groomer. She, no doubt, planned to loll on the linoleum floor, occasionally sauntering over to the closest window to watch the blue jays feed. She didn’t know I’d arranged for a bath and a flea dip. Or maybe she did.

This was in the 1980s, before spot on flea products, and Daisy was supporting a good number of California’s enormous flea population. This was also the time of year when her long calico winter coat shed and tangled with her summer coat, causing mats.Continue Reading

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Is Homemade Food Good for Your Cat? Healthy, Simple & Economical Ideas

cat-eating-bowl

This post was written by Jodi Ziskin

Over the past few years working with clients and providing public demonstrations and seminars focusing on holistic nutrition for our furry companions, I have discovered that many people are curious about making homemade food for their cats (cooked or raw). However, they are frustrated and confused by conflicting information from a variety of sources.Continue Reading

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Review: Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper

Loev_Saves_the_Day_Gwen_Cooper

From the moment I turned the final page of Gwen Cooper’s New York Times bestseller, Homer’s Odyssey, I was hoping that Gwen would write another cat themed book. When I met Gwen back in September, and heard her read the first chapter of Love Saves the Day, I knew this book was something very special. A book like this doesn’t come along every day.

Love Saves the Day is a novel written from three points of view. The primary narrator is Prudence, a brown tabby rescued from a deserted construction site on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Prudence is a keen observer of humans and knows them better than they know themselves at times. “Humans best understand the truth of things if they come at it indirectly. Like how sometimes the best way to catch a mouse that’s right in front of you is to back up before you pounce.” You’ll find yourself smiling, and sometimes laughing out loud, at Prudence’s insight into human nature and astute descriptions of her world. From the “wonderful heated cat bed” in a place called “Home Office,” to Prudence’s dismissal of a self-cleaning litterbox (“It scared me so much that I started going on the living room rug just to avoid it“) Cooper’s love for cats and understanding of their nature and emotional lives, tempered with a sense of humor, is evident throughout the book.Continue Reading

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A fine furry romance

cat romance

Guest post by Phoebe and Hawkeye Banks, as told to T.J. Banks

(Phoebe and Hawkeye have had their own little office romance going for a few years now.  And, despite a bumpy beginning, they’ve managed to make it work. One morning, they shared their story with me. –TJB)

Hawkeye:  For the longest time, the office here was all mine.  Well, I shared it with the Older Human, of course.  I went over her manuscripts, tended her plants for her (plants have to be cropped back periodically, you know), and studied the birds at the feeders outside the window.   She writes about the oddest stuff sometimes, and I figured she might need to know about birds.  I got a paw on her routine very quickly:  within a few weeks, I was able to set up shop in the mail basket on the table…right next to her desk so that I was available for consulting.  A lot of the papers had been there a long time, and I felt pretty sure that the Older Human had forgotten all about them.  The basket was just the right size for a cat of my inches.Continue Reading

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The joy of cat blogging

cats-computer-keyboard-monitor

Has the internet gone to the cats and dogs? It sure seems that way. An internet cat video festival in Milwaukee drew more than 10,000 spectators. A stunning photo of a man cradling his arthritic dog in his arms went viral and touched so many people that he started a foundation in his dog’s name and raised more than $25,000 to help other dogs in need. And if you need more proof that the internet is a pet-friendly place, look no further than the thousands of pet blogs, covering topics ranging from pet health, nutrition, and behavior to rescue, adoption and entertainment.

Pet blogging is a growing trend. Yvonne DiVita is one of the co-founders of BlogPaws, a company focused on teaching pet enthusiasts how to use social media effectively. BlogPaws’ thriving online community boasts almost 1700 members, and an annual conference draws more than 300 pet bloggers and pet enthusiasts from around the world. “Blogging gives pet people a way to connect that supports the love and affection they feel for their pets,” says DiVita. 

Pet blogs are started for all kinds of different reasons. Continue Reading

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Cooking for your cat: how to make a balanced homemade diet

homemade cat food

The subject of raw vs. cooked cat food is an often hotly debated topic, and recent position statements against raw feeding by several high profile organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Assocation and the ASPCA have only added fuel to the fire. The amount of misinformation about the so-called dangers of raw feeding is staggering and defies common sense.

I don’t think it’s necessary to take an “all or nothing” stand when it comes to feline nutrition. Raw feeding is not for everyone, and if it exceeds a cat guardian’s comfort level, it’s not the right choice for that cat and that family. However, I do believe that it is important to feed our cats a diet that is as minimally processed as possible.

If you’re not comfortable feeding raw, but want to not only feed a minimally processed diet to your cats, but also be in control of exactly what goes into your cat’s food, you may want to consider making your own cat food.  Continue Reading

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Bissell Lift Off Deluxe Pet Deep Cleaner Review

Bissell-Lift-Off-Deluxe-Pet-Deep-Cleaner-review

My entire house is carpeted (with the exception of the kitchen and bathrooms.) The carpet in my living room, hallway, and upstairs bedrooms is off white. And it’s the original carpet, so it’s about 35 years old. It has been through as many years of homeowners with cats. Between the original owners and me, my carpets have dealt with a total of seven cats so far. Nobody who walks into my house believes me that the carpet is that old.

I vacuum weekly, and for the first 20+ years that I’ve lived in this house, I’ve had my carpets professionally cleaned. But for the last few years, I discontinued the professional cleanings. Between Buckley’s heart disease, and Amber getting older, I didn’t want to stress them out by having to lock them into a bathroom for the time it would take to get the whole house cleaned. When Allegra and Ruby joined me, I thought that the time was right to have the carpet cleaned professionally again, but Allegra hates being locked up so much that she actually starts trying to dig her way out from under the door. And Ruby is terrified of the sound of the vacuum cleaner.

My solution: get a steam carpet cleaner, and do it myself.Continue Reading

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Are Dehydrated and Freeze-dried Foods a Healthy Option for Your Cat?

cat-eating

Guest post by Jodi Ziskin
This post contains affiliate links*

Raw food may seem like a new trend for cats (and dogs), but don’t tell them that; it is what they and their ancestors have eaten for hundreds of thousands of years.

In today’s world of highly processed kibble and canned foods being recalled for a variety of reasons, many cat lovers are discovering the myriad of benefits associated with feeding a raw diet. These include easier and better digestion and assimilation of nutrients, reversal of allergies, disease prevention, better oral health and cleaner teeth, less stool and an improvement in overall health.

Still, some people are freaked out by the idea of preparing raw meat at home. There are many wonderful commercially prepared frozen raw foodsContinue Reading

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