Month: September 2013

Declawing Cats: Inhumane and Unneccesary


Declawing is a topic that can elicit strong emotions, with most people coming down on the side of opposing it. Declawing is considered either illegal or inhumane in 25 countries around the world, including England, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Finland and Brazil. The United States lacks sadly behind in establishing legislation to make declawing illegal, but thankfully, more and more cat lovers, cat welfare organizations and veterinarians are speaking out against declawing, calling it inhumane and unnecessary.

Declawing is extremely painful

Declawing is not just nail trimming. The declaw surgery involves amputating the last bone of the cat’s toes. Continue Reading

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Special Friday Comic Strip: Life with Prince Pangur Ban the Fluffy


We have something a little different for you today. The adorable kitty above is Pangur Ban. I recently did a nutritional consultation for him and his human. Pangur Ban was itchy and had a sensitive tummy. Nothing his veterinarian had recommended was working, so his human asked for my advice. I’m happy to say that Pangur Ban is doing much better on a novel protein diet: his itching has improved dramatically, and his stools have normalized as well.

Pangur Ban’s human, Holly Golightly, is a cartoon artist. She created this cartoon for us, and graciously allowed me to share it here. Is this cool or what!Continue Reading

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AAFP Releases New Feline Vaccination Guidelines


The American Association of Feline Practitioners updated its vaccination guidelines, previously issued in 2006.  Previous guidelines divided vaccines into core and non-core vaccines and recommended that vaccination protocols should be tailored to the individual cat’s health and lifestyle. The guidelines also addressed concerns about injection site sarcomas caused by vaccines.

I was happy to see that the new guidelines are even more conservative. They help veterinarians select appropriate vaccination schedules for their feline patients based on risk assessment. The recommendations rely on published data as much as possible, as well as on the consensus of a multidisciplinary panel of experts in immunology, infectious disease, internal medicine and clinical practice.Continue Reading

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The Conscious Cat Awarded Three Certificates of Excellence

Certificate of Excellence Winner

I’m delighted to announce that I was awarded three Certificates of Excellence in the Cat Writers’ Association’s annual contest! The contest showcases the very best in the feline field of professional writers, broadcasters, photographers, and graphic artists.

The certificates were awarded for the following articles:

A Team Approach to Caring for Cats with Cancer

Finding a Cat-Friendly Vet

I also received a Certificate of Excellence for my article Healing Purrs, published in the February 2013 issue of Cat Fancy Magazine.Continue Reading

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Animal Sympathy Cards from Portraits of Animals


“Each time I’ve lost a cat, I’ve gained something in my life—made decisions about my career, begun working in a new medium or style, found new friends. Perhaps the trauma of the loss caused me to see things from a new perspective, or it was a gift of gratitude from the cat I’d lost,” says animal artist and writer Bernadette E. Kazmarski.

She had determined years ago to design animal sympathy cards as most of the cards she’d received for her losses were not animal-specific, but wanted to make sure she had enough experience and perspective so she wouldn’t design something she’d later feel was incomplete or immature. One cat’s passing in 2009 gave her the space to follow through. As a fine artist as well as a commercial artist designing these cards was second nature. Continue Reading

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Excessive Grooming in Cats


Excessive grooming in cats is also called psychogenic alopecia. Alopecia is the partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body, psychogenic means having a psychological rather than a physical cause or origin.

Excessive grooming is one of the most common obsessive compulsive disorders in cats. What cat guardians typically notice is bald patches on a cat’s belly or the inside of her legs, but the areas can also extend to the flanks, tail and other parts of the cat’s body.Continue Reading

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Pet Night on Capitol Hill with Aragon aka Lord Tubbington


Last Wednesday, I attended a very special event on Capitol Hill:  the 17th Annual Pet Night, sponsored by the Animal Health Institute. This year’s celebrity was none other than Aragon, the cat who plays Lord Tubbington on the hit TV show Glee.

I was looking forward to meeting this beautiful Bengal cat. This would be my first real life encounter with a celebrity cat, but I have to admit, I couldn’t decide what was more exciting: meeting Aragon or getting a press pass for an event on Capitol Hill!

The event was held Continue Reading

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Review: KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Paris, France


I don’t often review children’s books, but KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Paris, France, by Shannon Jones, is such an adorable book, I just have to share it with you.

KeeKee is a calico cat who travels the world in a hot air balloon. Her first stop? Paris!

From the publisher:

Join KeeKee as she explores the sights, sounds, and-yum yum!-tastes of this beautiful and historic city. Young readers will share KeeKee’s delight as she makes new friends, discovers exciting places, and immerses herself in the fascinating French culture. And, they’ll have fun with the kid-friendly pronunciation guide and glossary in the back of the book, along with a unique and charmingly illustrated map of Paris. KeeKee’s Big Adventures will spark curiosity and inspire appreciation for our great big wonderful world!Continue Reading

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How Did You Fall In Love With Your Cat?

Ruby_Ingrid_King_The Conscious Cat

A recent study by the ASPCA looked at how people pick a shelter pet. The Wall Street Journal reports that the research, conducted by the animal-advocacy organization from January  through May of 2011, involved five shelters across the country. About 1,500 adopters filled out questionnaires explaining how they knew the cat or dog was “the one.”

According to the study, “physical appearance” is the top reason given for picking a dog. With cats, “behavior with people” was what convinced most adopters to choose a particular adult cat.

You can read more about the study in the Wall Street Journal. Continue Reading

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Food Allergies in Cats


Cats can develop allergies or “intolerances” to ingredients commonly found in commercial cat foods. The most common ingredients that cause allergies are chicken, fish, and corn, as well as grains and dairy products. However, an allergy can develop to any protein to which the cat is repeatedly or constantly exposed, and sometimes, allergies develop over time.

Symptoms of food allergies

Food allergies may manifest as itchy skin, rashes or excessive grooming, or as digestive symptoms, including vomiting or diarrhea. Digestive symptoms often mimic those of inflammatory bowel disease.

Diagnosis of food allergies through a food elimination trialContinue Reading

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Purrs of Wisdom Reviewed in Best Friends Magazine


It’s always a thrill to see your book reviewed in a national magazine, especially when the review is as wonderful as the one Purrs of Wisdom received from Sally Rosenthal, who reviews books for Best Friends Magazine. Best Friends Magazine is published by Best Friends Animal Society, one of the largest animal sanctuaries in the world. Their Angel Canyon sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, houses more than 1,700 animals at any given time.

The fact that my book’s review was featured on the same page as A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen only added to my delight.Continue Reading

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