The American Veterinary Medical Association recently issued a set of Guidelines for Responsible Pet Ownership, stating that “owning a pet is a privilege and should result in a mutually beneficial relationship. However, the benefits of pet ownership come with obligations.” I think the AVMA is a bit behind the times with still using the term “owner” when it comes to pets. Most of us consider our cats part of the family, which is why I prefer the term “guardian” or even “pet parent.” But they do raise some interesting points in their guidelines. I won’t list all of them – you can read them for yourself if you’re interested – but I thought I’d highlight the ones I consider most important, especially for cats.
Commit to the relationship for the life of the cat
This one should be obvious, but sadly, it’s not. Cats are creatures of routine, and any change is traumatic for them. If circumstances don’t allow you to commit for the life of the pet, you may want to consider fostering instead.Continue Reading
Cats can teach us a lot of things, including how to make the world a better place. In Skinny the Cat and the Magic of Kindness, Donna Rawlins shares the story of a neighborhood cat who wins her heart.
From the publisher:
When Skinny, a neighbor’s scrawny rescue cat, sets out to win the affection of the author’s own cantankerous kitty, at first the fur flies-but Skinny knows a secret that can change the world: how to love with unwavering persistence. For weeks, Skinny faithfully showed up at the author’s door hoping to get a glimpse of her feline princess-sometimes getting a triple right paw punch for his pains. But her unlovable behavior never stopped him from loving her. Skinny will open your heart, too: he’s the cat who not only refused to give up, but who showed an entire community the miracles that can happen when you practice loving kindness. Skinny reminds us that those who appear to be the least deserving of our compassion and gentleness often need it the most, and that loving those who seem unlovable offers healing for ourselves and for the planet.Continue Reading
Natura Pet Food, the makers of Innova, EVO, California Natural, Healthwise and Karma brands,expanded its previous recall of multiple lots of several of their dry cat food brands due to possible contamination with salmonella.
The recall now includes ALL Natura dry cat, dog and ferret food and treats that have expiration dates on or before March 24, 2014.
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about species-appropriate nutrition for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they need meat not only to survive, but to thrive. The optimal diet for a cat is a properly formulated raw, home-cooked or grain-free canned diet. Cats shouldn’t eat dry food; even the grain-free dry varieties are too high in carbohydrates.
You can find many of the articles I’ve written about this topic in the Feline Nutrition section right here on this site. I also provide one-on-one consultations if you need help with transitioning your cat to a healthier diet.
What I look for in a food I feed and recommend
Protein is listed as the first ingredient on the label, and the meat/poultry used is fit for human consumption. If the meat is organic, that’s even better.
The food is grain-free (no rice, barley, or any other grains. Even though these are considered healthy in human nutrition, cats’ digestive tracts are not designed to digest the unnecessary carbs).
The food does not contain by-products, corn, soy, or any other fillers.Continue Reading
During a recent visit to my vet’s home to do a Reiki session for 17-year-old Fifi, who is in renal failure, my vet mentioned that she is giving Fifi a new supplement called RenAvast™, and that she was really pleased with the results. I wanted to find out more about this supplement. What I learned impressed me enough to introduce you to it.
Physiology of Chronic Renal Failure
Chronic renal failure in cats is a physiological condition in which the kidneys have lost some degree of functional capacity. The kidneys’ ability to filter and remove waste products from the blood, and to regulate electrolytes is compromised. By the time symptoms appear (such as weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and urination, dry haircoat), two-thirds to three-quarters of the total functioning kidney tissue may already be lost.
You know Simon’s Cat from his YouTube videos. It all started with Cat Man Do, which I believe was the original Simon’s Cat video. The hand drawn animated video featuring black and white pencil drawings of a cat trying to wake his guardian has garnered more than 40 million views since it was posted five years ago.
Since then, Simon’s Cat has become an empire, featuring more videos, books, and merchandise ranging from t-shirts to cat beds to fine art prints.
Simon’s Cat in Kitten Chaos is the third installment in Simon Tofield’s book series based on his YouTube cartoon character. In this book, Simon’s Cat meets his match: a new kitten who is half the size of Simon’s Cat, with twice the attitude.
I hadn’t seen any of the previous books before, and I wasn’t sure how the cartoons would translate to print. Turns out they translate well – I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It’s impossible to look through the book without winding up with a big smile on your face.Continue Reading
I love cat memoirs, and I love that we’re seeing more and more of these wonderful stories being published. I absolutely adored Helen Brown’s first book, Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family, about the little black kitten who came into the author’s life after the death of her young son. This sweeping memoir of heartbreak, changes, new beginnings, and ultimately, happiness, touched my heart in a big way.
After Cleo died, the author swore she’d never get another cat, but the universe had different plans when a small Siamese kitten with an intense blue gaze wraps his paws around her hand Continue Reading
When you share your home with cats, accidents happen. Whether it’s the occasional hairball, or litter box issues, most cat guardians are on the quest for the purr-fect stain and odor remover. I thought I’d make things easier for you by recommending a few products that I have tested and use myself, and they really get the job done.
When you choose cleaning products, please don’t use any products that contain chemicals. Many household cleaners contain contain hazardous ingredients such as organic solvents and petroleum based chemicals which can release volatile organic compounds into your indoor air. Some ingredients in household cleaners are known to cause cancer in animals and are suspected human carcinogens. Lysol, Pine-sol and other products containing phenols are deadly to cats as they can cause serious liver damage. Chlorox bleach, especially when concentrated, can cause chemical burns when it comes in contact with sensitive cat paws. Use pet-friendly products instead.Continue Reading
It’s an all-too-common scenario. A cat lover meets the man of her dreams. But he’s allergic to her kitty. A choice must be made between the two, and often the cat ends up losing his home.
It doesn’t have to be like that. Just ask Holly Tse of California. For her and her husband Zunaid, love – and persistence – conquered all, including his allergy to her cat Furball.
Zunaid’s reaction to Furball when they started dating several years ago was immediate, with the characteristic itchy eyes, wheezing and cough. Their early dates took place outside Holly’s apartment, but when the relationship turned serious,giving up Furball was not an option.
The couple moved into a bright, spacious townhouse,where Zunaid attempted without a lot of success to control his allergies using various conventional methods, including air purifiers and allergy medication. What finally worked for him Continue Reading
Petfinder wants your help to prove that everyone can love a cat. Even though cats far outnumber dogs in the United States, they have long been seen as second-class pets by many people. Petfinder’s new campaign, “I am a Cat Parent,” hopes to dispel the stereotypes that are often attached to people who love cats, including the “crazy cat lady” moniker that is one of my pet peeves. The campaign aims to bring cats and cat parents into the spotlight to show us for what we are – real, funny, down-to-earth, inventive and diverse.
To that end, Petfinder offers a number of fun features on their website to help spread the word about the joys of being a cat parent.
Bravo! issued a recall for three frozen raw food diet products for cats and dogs because of possible salmonella contamination.
The affected products are:
• 5 lb. Bravo! Chicken Balance frozen raw diet chubs (tubes) with “best used by” dates of 3_6_15 and 3_12_15 imprinted on the side of the plastic casing. Only 26 cases with the 3_6_15 date were distributed nationally and 36 cases with 3_12_15 date were distributed nationally.
• 2 lb. Bravo! Chicken Blend frozen raw diet chubs (tubes) with the “best used by” date of 3_21_15 imprinted on the side of the plastic casing. Only 67 cases with 3_21_15 date were distributed nationally.
• 5 lb. Bravo! Beef Blend Burgers bags with the “best used by” dates of 3_21_15 and 3_22_15 imprinted on the back panel of the plastic bag. Only 47 cases with the 3_21_15 date were distributed nationally and 55 cases with the 3_22_15 date were distributed nationally.Continue Reading