Feline Health

‘Tis the season for – shedding!

Every once in a while I come across a product that is so good, I just have to share it with everyone.  I discovered the Furminator Deshedding Tool about a year ago, and it’s pretty amazing.  When I first started using it, I was afraid I’d end up with bald cats – it really works as depicted in the photo:
furminator2
It works equally well on dogs.  Be prepared for this to make a big mess, so if you can, use it outdoors (or plan to vacuum after you finish).  It’s going to reduce shedding considerably, especially this time of year.  An added benefit for cats is that it virtually eliminates hairballs.  I found some of the best prices on the Furminator here.  For videos on the Furminator in action on dogs and cats, click here.

Amber loves to be furminated!

Meditate with your pet

Meditation is usually viewed as a spiritual practice, but research shows that there are innumerable health benefits as well.  Most physical illness is caused by stress, and meditation provides stress relief by calming down the mind and body.  A regular meditation practice is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body.

I often hear people say “I can’t meditate.  I can’t shut down my thoughts.” 

You don’t have to.   Simply making the commitment to sit quietly for fifteen, ten, even five minutes a day can have beneficial effects.  Don’t judge yourself – if you find that you can’t quiet your mind, try and simply acknowledge your thoughts, and then gently let them go.

Your pets can help you meditate.  If you can’t clear your mind, try focusing on the purring cat in your lap or the sleeping dog by your side.  Focus on the love you share with your pet.  While this may not be what some purists consider meditation, I can guarantee you that it will change your state of mind to one of peace and relaxation.

contemplating-007Amber is meditating.

Spring cleaning

We’re getting a taste of spring here today – sunny and feels like it’s in the mid-70s if not warmer!  All the windows are open and Amber is enjoying the spring breeze wafting in through the screens.

I spent some time outside cleaning up the deck, and while I was at it, I cleaned the house.   I no longer use cleaning products that contain chemical ingredients.  I don’t care to have those ingredients around for my own health, but I especially don’t want them around for Amber.  Many ingredients in household cleaners contain hazardous ingredients that are toxic to pets.  Cats are especially susceptible because of the way they lick themselves when they’re grooming.  In the process, they ingest anything that has come in contact with their fur or paws.

Amber hates it when I clean the house.  She hides in the downstairs bathroom when I run the vacuum cleaner, aka “The Monster”.

Amber is on a diet

cat-on-scales

(No, this is not Amber).  Now that Amber is the only cat again, it will hopefully be a little easier to get her to lose some weight, since I can control her food intake better.  During the last weeks of Buckley’s life, when she was eating so poorly, I left food out at all times, even when I wasn’t home.  Obviously, Amber took advantage of that, since she now weighs over 14 pounds.  I’d like to get her back down to a healthier 12 pounds.  She’s currently eating Wellness canned food, and I’m cutting her back to 2/3 of a can a day.  She’s not too terribly thrilled with this turn of events.

A word about feline diet:  cats should eat canned food, preferably grain-free canned food.  A cat’s natural diet is mice, and mice are primarily protein.  Cat’s bodies are not designed to process carbohydrates and grain, and a lot of the degenerative diseases we’re seeing in cats didn’t start to appear until the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, when commercial dry cat foods high in carbohydrates came on the market.  Some veterinarians say cats need dry food to keep their teeth clean, but that’s simply not true.  Most cats don’t chew their dry food long enough to achieve any benefit from the food scraping the tartar off their teeth.

The more natural your cat’s food, the better.