Month: April 2013

Guidelines for Responsible Cat Care


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

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Review: Skinny the Cat and the Magic of Kindness by Donna Rawlins


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

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Natura Pet Food Expands Recall To Include All Dry Foods


Note: This article covers a recall that occurred in 2013. For up-to-date information on current pet food recalls, please visit the FDA’s recall website.

In 2013, 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.

Click here for the full recall notice from Natura.

For more information, and to find out how to return affected products, contact Natura at or (800) 224-6123.

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Weruva Cat Food 2023 Review


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

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RenAvast: A Solution for Chronic Renal Failure in Cats


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.

Management of Chronic Renal Failure

Management of chronic renal failure involves managing symptomsContinue Reading

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Review and giveaway: Simon’s Cat in Kitten Chaos by Simon Tofield


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

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Review: Cats and Daughters by Helen Brown


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.

I was excited when Helen Brown’s publisher sent me the just-published sequel, Cats and Daughters: They Don’t Always Come When They’re Called. But you never know with sequels: will they be as good as the first book, or will they disappoint? I should have known that Brown wouldn’t disappoint.

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

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Allergic to Kitty? Don’t Panic!


Written by Sally Bahner

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

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Petfinder Launches “I am a Cat Parent” Campaign


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.


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Bravo! Recalls Three Frozen Raw Products


Note: This article covers a recall that occurred in 2013. For up-to-date information on current pet food recalls, please visit the FDA’s recall website.

In 2013, 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

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The Birth of a Fictional Feline


Guest post by Clea Simon

“Dogs,” said Wallis, her voice dripping scorn. “Dogs have fleas. Dogs lie.”  And with that, a character was born.

Now, some people may question the veracity of the above, and perhaps these people have reason. Wallis is, after all, a cat – the irascible tabby companion of Pru Marlowe, the human protagonist of my “pet noir” mysteries, the most recent of which, Parrots Prove Deadly, was published this week by Poisoned Pen Press. And while Pru has the dubious gift of being able to hear, in her way, what animals are thinking, most of us, myself included, do not. And yet, I swear to you, this is what Wallis said. And this is how Wallis came into the world.

It is a truism of fiction that sometimes characters determine their own stories. We’ve all heard authors say that, and I suspect we have all rolled our eyes. After all, writing – especially the 80,000 words or so that are necessary for a book – takes effort, planning, and discipline. But that doesn’t make the statement any less true, and the more realistic, less glamorous way of putting it is that a good character, the kind who makes a series, has a voice, or a style, or some ineffable characteristic, that sets her or himself apart. Continue Reading

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