Feline Lifestyle

Season of suppers: a petfood drive for pets in need

cat eating

It’s always nice when companies give back to the community, and it’s especially nice when that giving is directed at pets. Banfield Charitable Trust, the charitable arm of Banfield Pet Hospitals, has been running its Season of Suppers™ program since 2006. Since its inception, the program has collected more than 50 tons of food to help feed hungry pets nationwide and helped start or sustain more than 150 pet food distribution programs.

The challenging economy is making it more difficult than ever for vulnerable pet owners to feed the pets they love so much. Banfield reports that they are experiencing a growing number of requests (pleas really) from struggling pet owners – especially seniors—who can’t afford pet food. This is forcing them to share their limited human food supply or consider the heartbreaking option of surrendering their pets.Continue Reading

Is Sullivan the World’s Smartest cat?

Sullivan cat who can read smart cat

I first came across the story of Sullivan and his sister Sarah, two 15-year-old formerly feral Maine Coon cats from Greenwich, NY, in the December 2011 issue of CatFancy. According to the article, these cats have learned to identify shapes, colors, and numbers. They can even grasp abstract concepts such as same or different and bigger or smaller.

Joan Kosby, Sullivan and Sarah’s human, was inspired by psychology professor and animal cognition expert Irene Pepperberg, who worked with Alex, an African Grey Parrot, and taught him many of these same skills. Kosby used repetition and rewarded the cats with food treats and praise.Continue Reading

Is your only cat lonely?

Buckley's Story Chapter Seven - Amber and Buckley

November 19 is National Get a Pal for Your Pet Day, sponsored by Pets Add Life, a campaign designed to spread the word about the benefits and joys of pet ownership

Until Buckley came into my life in 2006, I’d been an “only cat” person.

First, there was Feebee, my first cat, who was the one and only love of my life for almost sixteen years until he passed away in April of 2000. In July of that same year, Amber came home with me as a soon to be “failed foster.” Her gentle, loving, wise presence, not to mention her almost constant purr, brought love and affection into my life for the next six years as my only child, until Buckley came along.Continue Reading

Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth: The Most Effective Way to Prevent Dental Disease

brushing your cat's teeth

Dental disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in cats. Seventy to ninety percent of cats have some level of dental disease. If left untreated, it can lead to health problems for your cat, ranging from bad breath, dental pain and loose teeth to systemic illnesses that can be life-threatening.

The most effective way to prevent dental disease is to brush your cat’s teeth. Ideally, you get your cat used to this when she’s still a kitten, but even older cats can learn to accept having their teeth brushed.

All the cats who came before Allegra and Ruby had dental problems. Feebee, my first cat, needed to have his teeth cleaned once a year. Amber also needed annual dental cleanings, and for the last two years of her life, she had to have her teeth cleaned twice a year. Buckley had stomatitis, a condition in which the affected cat essentially becomes allergic to her own teeth. The outward signs of this condition are red, inflamed, and often ulcerated gums, and this can be very painful for the cat. Buckley eventually had to have all her teeth removed.Continue Reading

Jack the Cat is gone

American Airlines Jack the cat has been found

Jack the cat, who had been missing for eight weeks after escaping his crate in the American Airlines baggage area at JFK Airport at the end of August, and was found on October 26, when he fell through the ceiling of the customs room at the airport, is gone.

Here is the complete announcement from Mary Beth Melchior, Karen Pascoe’s sister, posted on Jack the Cat’s Facebook page earlier this evening:

“Dear Friends of Jack:

It is with tears that I must tell you that Jack has gone over the rainbow bridge.Continue Reading

Meet Wendy Christensen, cat artist, cat writer and consummate cat lover

Wendy Christensen portrait

Wendy Christensen writes and paints at Bobcat Mountain Studios, high on a wooded hillside in rural New Hampshire. She shares her home with her scientist husband, over 10,000 books, and the family of dear feline muses who daily inspire, amuse, mystify and comfort her — and serve as her models. 

Wendy is a cultural ailurologist (student of feline social and cultural life); award-winning writer, artist and illustrator; painter of cat portraits; designer and builder of cat jewelry; cat behavior consultant; and pet columnist.Continue Reading

Healing Stone Cat Collars: Natural Healing from Mother Earth

healing stone cat collars

Precious and semi-precious gemstones have been used for physical, emotional and spiritual healing for thousands of years. Jewelry made from gemstones can have positive healing effects on a variety of conditions. And now, you can harness the healing power of stones for your cat with handmade, one-of-a-kind collars from RockSpirit Designs.

The artist behind RockSpirit Designs is Fern Slack (Fern Crist, DVM). Fern was Buckley’s and Amber’s vet, until she was forced to take a sabbatical from her beloved profession due to family health issues. With RockSpirit Designs, Fern has combined her love for cats and their health with her passion for gemstones and crystals. Continue Reading

Jack the cat has been found!

American Airlines Jack the cat has been found

I just couldn’t wait until our weekly news round up to share this news with you: Jack the cat, who has been missing after escaping his crate in the American Airlines baggage area at JFK Airport eight weeks ago, has been found!

“American Airlines is happy to announce that Jack the Cat has been found safe and well at JFK airport. American’s team of airport employees have been focused on the search effort since Jack escaped on August 25, 2011. Jack was found in the customs room and was immediately taken by team members to a local veterinarian. The vet has advised that Jack is doing well at present,” a statement on the airline’s Facebook page read.Continue Reading

Jack the cat still missing at JFK Airport

Jack the Cat missing at JFK Airport

Whenever I hear about a missing cat, my heart hurts. I can’t imagine the anguish the cat’s humans are going through in these situations. The story of Jack, the cat who went missing when he was lost in the American Airlines baggage check area at JFK Airport in New York on August 25, 2011, was widely reported when Jack first went missing.

It’s been over 7 weeks. Jack is still missing.Continue Reading

National Feral Cat Day

National Feral Cat Day

Today is National Feral Cat Day. This annual event is coordinated by Alley Cat Allies as a way to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them. Each year people in communities across the country hold hundreds of events on National Feral Cat Day to draw attention to the cause and make a difference in the lives of cats. This year there are over 300 events planned in all 50 states.

This year’s motto for National Feral Cat Day is “Compassion for Cats: Coast to Coast.” Continue Reading

Calling all young cat poets

cat writing book

Don’t worry, The Conscious Cat is not turning into a poetry blog, even if we did just run T. S. Eliot’s famous poem, The Naming of Cats, in yesterday’s post.

Today, I’d like to tell you about a contest sponsored by the Pets Add Life campaign and the American Pet Products Association. Poems are now being accepted for the 4th Annual Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest. The contest is open to students in grades 3 through 8.Continue Reading