Month: March 2014

5 Cat Cafes You Will Want to Visit


Cat cafes first started popping up in Japan. In a country where many apartment buildings don’t allow cats, these cafes became very popular as a way for Japanese cat lovers to get their kitty fix in a relaxing environment.

Cat cafes are a win not just for cat lovers, but also for the cats who reside in these establishments. Living at the cafe allows the cats, who usually come from shelters, to live in a cage-free environment with plenty of human attention and interaction. Most cat cafes have rules for visitors that include not disturbing the cats while they’re sleeping, no rough handling by visiting children, no flash photography, and no feeding.Continue Reading

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Canned Cat Food May Not Contain Enough Thiamine


When you buy canned cat food – any brand of canned cat food – you will see a statement on the label that says that the food is “complete and balanced” according to AAFCO standards. This would lead you to assume that the food has all the nutrients your cat needs, right? This is not necessarily true.

What does “complete and balanced” really mean?

AAFCO, the American Association of Feed Control Officials, is the organization which is charged with establishing and enforcing animal feed requirements across all fifty state governments.  Its primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of feed for human food producing livestock.  The AAFCO statement on most pet food labels indicates that the food has been tested and approved as “complete and balanced for the life of a pet.”   This is sadly misleading. Continue Reading

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Animal Medical Center Offers Reiki Treatments

Reiki cat energy healing

Reiki, an energy therapy that originated in Japan, is is based on the idea that all living beings have life energy flowing through them. When life energy is high, you and your cats are healthy and balanced, more relaxed and less likely to get sick. When it is low, you and your cats will often be more easily affected by stress and less resistant to illness. Reiki helps return the body to its natural state of balance and well-being. It is a safe complement to conventional Western medicine, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy and all other forms of healing.

Reiki at Animal Medical Center

Most major human cancer centers and hospitals have been offering ReikiContinue Reading

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Review: Bunnies and Kitties: A Cuddly Collection of Fur and Friendship


Just in time for Easter comes a guilt and calorie-free treat: Bunnies and Kitties: A Cuddly Collection of Fur and Friendship presents more than one hundred adorable photos of cats, kittens and bunnies. All of the photos are paired with sometimes sweet, sometimes silly captions, and you can’t help but smile at some of the unlikely friendships portrayed in this little book. A few of the photos are almost ridiculously cute.Continue Reading

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Living With Cat Allergies


When someone is allergic to cats, the most common advice given by physicians is to get rid of the cat. Allergies are also one of the top five reasons why cats are returned to shelters. However, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, nearly 10 million people choose to share their homes with cats and dogs despite being allergic.Continue Reading

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No Respect: A Kitten Complains


Guest post by Clea Simon

I am not a kitten! I am a fully grown cat. For seven books now, seven entire outings by my primary person Dulcie Schwartz, I have been proving my value as a functional feline, and yet I still do not receive the respect I deserve.

Excuse me for starting off this way, but some things just make my fur stand on end. One of them, as you may have gathered, is when people – my people – do not take me seriously as an adult feline. Not to mention royal.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am both. To you, I may appear a rather, shall we say, roly-poly black and white tuxedo cat of female gender, approximately one year old. (I was rather young when I was adopted, and besides, a lady does not reveal her age.) Once we have been properly introduced, however, you will realize that I am La Principessa Esmeralda. Esmé for short, among those who owe me obeisance. But “Kitten”? Enough of that.

I’ll admit, the lack of respect is only part of the problem. You see, now that Dulcie, my principal human attendant, is helping out with this academic conference, she is also shorting the homage due to me, as her current ruling cat. Yes, of course I understand that Dulcie has a so-called career to deal with. She’s been working on that dissertation of hers for longer than I have been with the household. And, yes, she has explained that academics from all around the world have come to Cambridge and that as the departmental liaison, she has a unique opportunity to meet and mingle with them all. And I know that she didn’t expect them all to behave as badly as they have been – with the backbiting and the jealousy, the clandestine romances and the sabotage that gives “catfighting” a bad name. So, yes, such goings-on will take up some of her time. But still….

And it’s not just me. My other human, Chris, has been noticing how busy Dulcie has been. I believe they make a decent team: one of them usually remembers my treats, and Chris is particularly handy with the belly rubs and the toy mice. But, really, Dulcie should make more time for him, as well. I don’t like the way he’s been disappearing at night. I think there may be more going on than Dulcie is aware of and its not just me who needs a little more attention.

All of which might be forgiven if she would cease that demeaning mode of address. “Oh, Kitten,” she says, ignoring my obvious poise. “My thesis adviser has me running around in circles, and I’m so far behind in my writing and research I’ll never get my dissertation done. What am I going to do?”

Musetta_SimonKitten? Really? I must try to control this humiliating purr, which keeps starting up whenever she strokes my silky black back. It’s bad enough my eyes close and my white front paws begin to knead involuntarily as she rubs the place behind my ears. If I don’t insist on some respect, how will I ever train my humans?

I could defer to Mr Grey, of course. As Dulcie’s previous cat, he does have a store of knowledge that I have yet to gather. And since he has moved onto the spirit realm, I don’t find him too obnoxiously present in our lives. At least, I don’t share my treats with him. Perhaps he would have some advice for me – some words about how to handle Dulcie and Chris. Maybe how to help her, now that the conference seems to be falling apart and – can it be true? – a famous academic has plummeted to his death. Perhaps then she could focus on what is really important.

No, not on her thesis – on me!

Esmé joins Dulcie, Chris, and Mr. Grey in Grey Howl, the seventh Dulcie Schwartz feline mystery (Severn House), out this month.


Look for a review of Grey Howl here on The Conscious Cat soon!

Clea Simon is the author of the Dulcie Schwartz, Pru Marlowe and Theda Krakow mysteries and the nonfiction The Feline Mystique – On the Mysterious Connection Between Cats and Their Women as well as several other nonfiction books. For more information about Clea, please visit her website or her blog.

Photo at top of post Wikimedia Commons, inset ©Clea Simon, showing her cat Musetta as a kitten.

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How To Know When It’s Time to Find a New Vet


During the years I worked in veterinary hospitals, I always had an up close and personal knowledge of the vets who worked on my cats, from their medical skills and proficiency to their dedication and “bedside manner.”  I was fortunate that most of the vets I worked with practiced cutting edge medicine, provided compassionate care for their furry patients and their humans, loved their work, and were always learning and growing in their fields.  And if that hadn’t been the case, I wouldn’t have continued to work with them.

Unfortunately, not all veterinarians live up to those standards – and for what it’s worth, I consider those minimum standards of care. Next to you, your cat’s vet is probably the most important person in your cat’s life. Continue Reading

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Review: Hide and Seek by Amy Shojai


From the time I read the last paragraph in Amy Shojai’s debut thriller, Lost and Found, I could not wait for a sequel. I was thrilled (pun intended) when Amy sent me a review copy of Hide and Seek, and I could not wait to get started – but I also knew from reading the first book that I better set aside a good chunk of uninterrupted time first, because I couldn’t put the first one down once I started.

In this second book, animal behaviorist September Day, her dog Shadow and cat Macy are trying to unravel a mystery involving a mysterious contagious illness that affects both pets and humans, a reality TV show about wild pigs, and September’s dark past.Continue Reading

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Cat Bites: Don’t Take Them Lightly (Info & Treatment)


The information in this post is not a substitute for medical care. If you have been bitten by a cat, see your doctor or visit an urgent care facility. We cannot answer questions about whether your bite needs medical attention in the comments section. 

It can happen even with the most loving, docile cat: an overexcited cat nips her guardian while playing, or accidentally bites her guardian’s finger while accepting a treat. In more extreme cases, redirected aggression can cause a cat to lash out at her guardian and cause severe damage. And of course, most of us will pet stray cats we meet along the way, but not all seemingly friendly cats remain friendly after being approached by strangers. Regardless of how a cat bite happens, it is not something to take lightly.

Why cat bites can be dangerous

Cat bites only account for 10-15% of animal bites reported by emergency rooms, but they pose a much greater risk of infection. Continue Reading

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