Win a personalized reading with animal communicator Sonya Fitzpatrick

Sonya Fitzpatrick with cat Temptations contest

No matter how much you are in tune with your cats, don’t you sometimes wonder what they’re really thinking? An animal communicator may be able to help, and here’s your chance to win a reading with one of the best in the business, Sonya Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick and Temptations® Treats for Cats have teamed up for the “What Do Cats Really Think Contest.” All you need to do is “Like”  Temptations on Facebook between July 7, 2011 and August 3, 2011 and upload a photograph of your cat. 250 winners will be selected to receive results from a personalized reading of that photograph by Fitzpatrick, who is widely regarded as the most experienced and trusted animal communicator in the world. One lucky entrant and their cat will also win the Grand Prize: An opportunity to speak directly with Fitzpatrick via a 30 minute private phone reading. 

Plus, if you’re a winner, you could be part of history. The results from Fitzpatrick’s readings of the 250 winning photographs will be compiled to form what will be a first-of-its kind cat survey that will finally provide insight into what cats really think about topics, including their favorite things to do around the house and with their human companions.
 
People often think of animal communicators as “Dr. Dolittle,” or worse, a sort of psychic who sits in a dark room with a crystal ball. The reality of how animal communicators work is actually based in science. While viewed as controversial by some, research by scientists such as biologist and author Rupert Sheldrake has suggested evidence of telepathic communication. If we accept that animals are thinking, feeling, sentient beings, it is not much of a leap to accept the concept of interspecies communication.
 
Communicating with species other than human is not a new idea. It is an integral part of the culture of many of the worlds’ tribal communities. Individuals such as St. Francis ofAssisi and Jane Goodall have demonstrated animal communication in various ways. We all have this telepathic ability, especially as children. It is often expressed through imaginary friends or by reporting what the family pet “said.” Sadly, as we grow up and are told by our parents and society that these abilities are not normal, we tend to block out this natural way of being. Animal communicators have either never lost this natural ability or have trained themselves to recover it. They connect with the animal’s unique energy and may receive information in pictures or simply as a sense of intuitive knowing. They can then “translate” what they receive into words the animal’s owner can understand.
 
For more information and to enter the sweepstakes, visit http://www.Facebook.com/Temptations. You can learn more about Sonya Fitzpatrick by visiting her website.
 

 

2011 Petties Best Cat Blog Best Overall Pet Blog

Thank you for nominating us for two Petties.
We need your help to win – please vote every day!

Click here to vote

 

 
You may also enjoy reading:
 
 
 

Coping with Unexpected Loss: A Personal Journey

Amber The Conscious Cat

When I had to let Amber go after a brief, sudden illness last May, I wasn’t prepared for the depth of my grief. It hadn’t even been a year and a half after I lost Buckley. Here I was, faced with grieving yet again.

It’s not like I hadn’t experienced loss in my life before. Most of us who’ve reached the age I’m at have had to deal with loss. I lost my mother in 1994 after a brief illness. I lost my soul mate cat Feebee in 2000 after a valiant seven-month battle with lymphoma. I lost my office cat Virginia in 2002 after a brief decline following a fourteen-year-long life with FIV. I lost my father in 2004 to heart disease and cancer. And as those of you who’ve read Buckley’s Story know, I lost Buckley after she was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy and given a very poor prognosis that she outlived by a considerable amount of time.

I had lots of experience with grief, and I survived all of these losses more or less gracefully. I learned that there is only one way to deal with grief, and that’s to go through it. There is no way around it. You can’t run from it.  I learned about the stages of grief. I learned that you don’t go through them step by step, but rather, that you sometimes cycle through them over and over, until, at some point, mercifully, you may find that you’ve reached the final stage, acceptance. But even reaching acceptance doesn’t mean that you ever really get “over” a loss.

So you’d think that with all this personal experience in grieving, I would have been better prepared to handle losing Amber. The force of my grief over losing her caught me completely off guard. And I realized, in the middle of the shock, the tears, and the pain, that I had never lost a loved one as unexpectedly and suddenly as I lost her. Twelve short days, from the time that she was mildly ill to the time that I had to let her go. I never expected her to not get better when I agreed to hospitalize her. I always expected her to come home.  Come home she did, but not in the way I would have wanted her to. Because of her poor prognosis, after four days of intensive care, I made the agonizing decision to stop treatment, bring her home, and spend the afternoon with her before my vet came to the house that evening to help her with a peaceful transition.

As with all my losses, there were commonalities. Despite the incredible outpouring of love and support from not only my ”real life” friends, but also my online friends,  there were times when I felt alone in my grief, disconnected from the world around me and normal everyday activities. I was physically exhausted most of the time – grief takes a toll not just emotionally,  but physically. I tried to take care of myself as best as I could, by trying to eat regular meals, getting some exercise, and staying connected with friends.  But it was hard.  Going out into the world was challenging – how could life be going on when my world had changed irrevocably?

In The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood, author Nadine M. Rosin, after losing her nineteen-year-old dog Buttons, writes:  “…being out in public felt totally bizarre, as if the world had come to an end because of some horrible disaster, life as we’d known it on the planet was over, but I seemed to be the only person who knew about it.” I’ve rarely heard this particular emotion of feeling out of synch with the rest of the world expressed better. I limited social engagements to activities with friends who understood my grief, and I’m fortunate that most of the people in my life are animal people, and they do understand. I simply didn’t have it in me to make polite chit-chat with those who didn’t.

I knew I’d make it through, just like I made it through all my other losses. But one year later, I also realize that this loss left me forever changed in ways the others didn’t. And perhaps it had to do with the suddenness of the loss.

With all my other losses, I’ve always had time to prepare for loss. While anticipatory grieving is difficult, I believe that it does help in the end – you have time to get used to the idea of eventually having to go on without your loved one. But Amber was a healthy, happy cat who had rarely been sick in her life. There was nothing that could have prepared me for this.   It was much harder, much more painful, and much more complicated than my other losses. With the others, I rarely second-guessed myself. I didn’t rail at the universe for having my loved one taken from me so quickly. I didn’t blame myself for decisions I made during Amber’s last two weeks.  I just grieved.

A year later, I can finally say that I’ve found peace. And I learned this, yet again: grief is a process. It requires being gentle with yourself as you go through it. It requires allowing those who understand to support you, and staying away from those who don’t. It requires courage to face the pain, rather than run from it.

Grief can be a transformational experience.  It rips your heart wide open, and you’ll never be the same. It’s up to each individual whether they’ll choose to let grief destroy them, or whether they’ll do the challenging and difficult work that will ultimately allow it to be transformed into personal growth and expansion.

To honor Amber, her love, and all she has brought into my life, I didn’t have any other choice except to let something good come from this devastating loss.

Conscious Cat Sunday: make time for play

Make Time for Play

Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable.
Without it, life just doesn’t taste good. –  Lucia Capocchione

Cats need to play to thrive. This is especially important for indoor cats. Playing allows them to indulge their natural instinct to hunt. Feline play mimics stalking and chasing prey in the wild, and toys that will encourage this are the best kinds of toys.

Play is important for humans, too. The National Institute of Play (who knew there was such a thing!) believes that play can dramatically transform our personal health, our relationships, the education we provide our children and the capacity of our corporations to innovate.  Play is a vital ingredient for a happy life.

What better way to get play into your life than playing with your cat? Even just one 15 minute play session a day will keep your cat happy and healthy. Interactive toys are a great way for both of you to get in on the fun. Toys such as the Da Bird feather teaser or any number of fishing pole type toys can provide hours of fun for you and for kitty. Playing with your cat is not only fun, it also increases the bond between the two of you.

Odin doesn’t have to be told that he should be playing more – the only decision he has to make is which toy to pick out of the basket.

Do you make time for play – for yourself, and your cat? What is your cat’s favorite game?

You may also enjoy reading:

Keeping your single cat happy

Safe toys for your cat

How to keep your indoor cat happy

Are two cats better than one?

cats looking out the window

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

I didn’t get my first cat until I was in my twenties. Feebee was a grey tabby cat who was born in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to a cat named Blue, who belonged to a childhood friend of my former husband. We were living in Germany at the time, but knew we would be moving back to the Washington, DC area shortly, so Walt’s friend saved one of the kittens in Blue’s litter for us. Meeting Feebee was love at first sight for me. We took him home as soon as we had moved into our new house in Northern Virginia, and for the next fifteen and a half years, Feebee was the one and only feline love of my life.

After Feebee passed away following a lengthy battle with lymphoma, Amber came into my life. She was a stray who was brought to the animal hospital I worked at with her five kittens. I did not think I was ready for another cat yet. The wound from Feebee’s passing was still very fresh and raw, but coming home to an empty house was becoming increasingly difficult, so I took Amber home, “just for the weekend.” I really liked having her quiet, gentle energy around, and decided I was going to foster her. She became the classic “failed foster,” and for almost ten years, her gentle, loving, wise presence, not to mention her almost constant purr, brought love and affection into my life until she passed away after a sudden illness last May.

With both Feebee and Amber, I had occasionally thought about bringing another cat home with me. I worked at various animal hospitals, so there were always a cats that needed homes, and some touched my heart more than others. But I held off. I intuitively knew Feebee was the classic “only cat.”

And then Buckley came into my life in the spring of 2005. Those of you who’ve read Buckley’s Story already know this story, but for those of you who haven’t, here’s the abbreviated version. She was brought to the animal hospital I managed after being rescued from a farm in Southwestern Virginia. I took one look at her and fell in love. Hard. And fast. She became my office cat at the animal hospital. In 2006, I left the animal hospital to start my own business, and the thought of leaving Buckley behind was more than I could bear.

Everybody said I was crazy to try to introduce two adult tortoiseshell cats to each other. If you know anything about torties, you know about “tortitude.” They’re known to have some pretty distinct personality traits, and they’re not always known for getting along with other cats. I won’t go into the details of what I went through to introduce Buckley to Amber, but I also won’t spoil the book for you if you haven’t read it yet, because it’s no secret that they ended up getting along beautifully.

For the first time in my life, I had more than one cat – and I really loved it. A year and a half after Buckley died in November of 2008, I adopted Allegra to join Amber and me. Sadly, Amber passed away suddenly only five short weeks after Allegra joined our family, and it took another year before I had worked through my grief and was ready to add another cat to our family. Ruby joined us in April of this year.

I’ve been lucky. Amber and Buckley got along very quickly. Amber initially wasn’t too thrilled when Allegra joined us. She was twelve years old at the time, Allegra was seven months old. On paper, that’s not a great match. It’s usually better to match up cats who are close in age and temperament. Amber and Allegra were neither. But Amber was laid back and mellow enough to accept the rambunctious newcomer after just a few days.

Allegra and Ruby were a perfect match. They were well matched on paper, they’re about a year apart in age and have similar temperaments. I knew all along that Allegra needed a companion – she came to me with some behavior issues, and even though I worked with her successfully on my own, we would probably have made faster progress if I had added another kitten to our family sooner.

Even when the match sounds good in theory, you still never know until you get the two cats together whether things will work out. With Allegra and Ruby, it was magic. I went on gut instinct and against all the traditional recommendations of how to introduce two cats to each other, and within a few hours, the two of them were comfortably hanging out in the living room together. They bonded incredibly fast. They love to play with each other, chase each other around the house, and they both sleep with me at night.

The biggest benefit of having two cats, in the case of Allegra and Ruby, has been for Allegra. She has blossomed since Ruby’s arrival. She’s become more confident, her behavioral problems have all but disappeared, and while she certainly wasn’t an unhappy cat before, now she’s far more relaxed and content.

As for me, I can no longer imagine not having two cats. It’s been such a joy to watch Allegra come into her own, and to watch Ruby and Allegra together. Do I regret not getting another cat sooner? Sometimes I do. But if I hadn’t waited, I wouldn’t have Ruby, and if the past two months are any indication, Allegra and Ruby are truly a match made in heaven.

So are two cats better than one? When they get along, absolutely. But like so many things with cats, it’s an individual decision. What may be right for one cat or one person may not be right for the next one. By doing your homework, knowing your existing cat, and learning as much as you can about the cat you’re thinking about adding to your family, you’ll make sure that you get the best possible match. And if that’s the case, then two cats are, indeed, better than one.

This post is sponsored by the Pets Add Life campaign and the American Pet Products Association. The Pets Add Live campaign spreads the word about the benefits and joys of pet ownership. Visit PAL’s Facebook Page, post pictures of your pets, and join the conversation!

 

2011 Petties Best Cat Blog Best Overall Pet Blog

Thank you for nominating us for two Petties.
We need your help to win – please vote every day!

Click here to vote

You may also enjoy reading:

New cat introductions: breaking all the rules

Keeping your single cat happy

The joys of adopting an older cat

Book review: Derv & Co: A Life Among Felines by T.J. Banks

“Basically, the cats have our number. And our address. And a map.”

So begins Derv & Co., a collection of stories and poems about some of the cats who’ve come into the hearts and home of T.J. Banks. We meet Derv (short for Dervish), the orange and white patriarch of the clan, and Star, the Siamese whose introduction into the household is described by Banks as “General Sherman marching through Georgia during the Civil War. ” In addition to many others, we also get introduced to Zorro the Reiki cat, who taught the author about healing and energy, and Phoebe, the office cat, who will guest blog right here on The Conscious Cat next week.

T.J. Banks knows and understands cats, and her appreciation and love for each individual cat shines through in  her sensitive and beautiful prose. You may recognize some of your own cats in the stories, and you’ll find yourself nodding your head in recognition of a particular feline trait, or laughing as something in one of the stories will awaken a long-forgotten memory of one of your own long lost cats.

Cat lovers, especially those who live with multiple cats, will probably recognize their own homes in the chapter titled “Feline Chic.” We’ve all made decorating compromises to accommodate our feline family members, from flooring to furniture to wall color choices (Banks suggests butter yellow if  you have cats who spray!) Sticky Paws tape may just be a cat lover’s best friend when it comes to home decor.

All the stories touched my heart, but it was the poems that moved me deeply. “Storm’s Passing,” written after her cat Stormy died one June morning when his heart stopped unexpectedly, beautifully captures the grief we all feel after losing a beloved cat. “For Solstice” conveys the experience of a spirit visit by a beloved cat that is so magical and lyrical, it filled my heart with joy. “Dawnstar” is an enchanting ode to a soulmate cat.

This is a jewel of a book. It’s the kind of book you don’t read just once.  And it’s the kind of book you’re going to want to give to every cat lover in your life.

Derv & Co. is available directly from the author – if you’d like to purchase, please e-mail T.J. Banks.

T. J. Banks is the author of A Time for Shadows, Catsong, Souleiado, and Houdini, a novel for young adults which the late writer and activist Cleveland Amory enthusiastically branded “a winner.” Catsong, a collection of her best cat stories, was the winner of the 2007 Merial Human-Animal Bond Award. A Contributing Editor to laJoie, she has received writing awards from the Cat Writers’ Association (CWA), ByLine, and The Writing Self. Her writing has been widely anthologized, and she has worked as a columnist, a stringer for the Associated Press, and an instructor for the Writer’s Digest School. She is currently writing a blog called “Sketch People,” a  series of interviews with people who have stories worth telling. You can learn more about T.J. Banks on her blog, and through this interview.

I purchased this book.

You may also enjoy reading:

Book review: Catsong by T.J. Banks

Book review: Houdini by T.J. Banks

Feline casting call: your cat could be on TV!

My Cat from Hell Animal Planet Jackson Galaxy

The news cat lovers have been waiting for broke yesterday afternoon: Animal Planet has renewed “My Cat from Hell” for a second season! The show features cat behaviorist extraordinaire Jackson Galaxy, who’s tough on the outside but sensitive on the inside – especially when it comes to cats and their owners. Jackson helps frustrated cat owners improve their relationships with their behaviorally challenged cat.

Cat behaviorist by day and musician by night, Jackson comes to the the rescue with a guitar case filled with cat toys and training aides. Jackson trains the humans as much as he trains the cats, since the majority of feline behavior problems are caused by humans not understanding cats’ natural behaviors. What may seem a problem to humans is perfectly natural and instinctual behavior for a cat. Jackson helps cat guardians understand the reasons why these cats are causing their owners headaches, and then works with the owners and their cats to find solutions.

Animal Planet is currently looking for “behaviorally challenged” cats to be featured in the six episodes for the 2nd season, which will begin shooting in August. If your cat’s behavior is driving you or others crazy, if you need help getting your cat to behave, or if your spouse or boyfriend has threatened that it’s him or the cat, you and your cat might have a chance to be on the show.

For more information, please visit Jackson’s website. You must live in or around Los Angeles to be considered.

For more information, please read my exclusive interview with Jackson for The Conscious Cat.

2011 Petties Best Cat Blog Best Overall Pet Blog

Thank you for nominating us for two Petties.
We need your help to win – please vote every day!

Click here to vote

 

The Petties Part Two: Please vote for The Conscious Cat!

The Petties 2011 DogTime Media

You did it! We are thrilled to have been nominated for not just one, but two categories in Dogtime Media’s 2011 Pettie Awards: Best Cat Blog and Best Overall Pet Blog! Thank you so much for your support – it means so much to know we have so many loyal readers and fans!

And now we need to ask for your support again: we need your votes! Please take a moment to vote for us. And when you’re done, please ask all your cat loving friends to vote for us, too!

Click here to vote

You can vote once or twice a day – voting closes July 29.

Voting more than once or twice a day is not allowed. According to DogTime’s Christina Kwan, “we aren’t capturing email like we were in the nominations phase.  However, my tech team has assured me that there is something in place to prevent someone from sitting at the computer all day long submitting votes. Telling readers to go and vote once or twice a day is fine, but not excessive voting.”

The Petties will be presented at an awards ceremony on August 26 at BlogPaws in Tysons Corner, Virginia. BlogPaws is the largest pet blogging conference in the country.

Please help make my dream of hearing the words
“And the winner is….The Conscious Cat!”
come true!

The Conscious Cat - Allegra and Ruby cats in front of computer

Allegra, Ruby and I thank you for your support!

I would also like to congratulate all the other wonderful bloggers who were nominated for awards! I encourage you visit all of the blogs, and vote in the other categories, too. Since many of these bloggers are good friends, I couldn’t possibly recommend who to vote for. I want everyone to win!

Pettie winners will receive a $1000 donation to a shelter or rescue group of their choice. Deciding which shelter to choose was tough – there are so many deserving groups out there. After careful consideration, I decided to split the prize money between two rescue groups if I win.

Casey's House cat rescue TNR

Casey’s House is a small private rescue group in Bluemont, VA, and is home to many elderly and hard to adopt cats.  They are also dedicated to the promotion of Trap-Neuter-Return to help end the plight of feral and other abandoned cats. My connection to Casey’s House is very personal: Cindy Ingram, the founder of Casey’s House, rescued my precious little Buckley from a farm in southwestern Virginia, where she and about twenty other cats were kept in marginal living conditions.  Since it all started with Buckley – the book, this blog, and so much more – it just feels right to donate a portion of the prize money to Casey’s House. You can find out more about Casey’s House on their website, and you can also read about my visit to this very special cat sanctuary here.

Kitten Associates is a Connecticut based group founded by Robin Olson of Covered in Cat Hair fame, whose blog was also nominated for Best Cat Blog and Best Social Integration Blog. I am in such awe of Robin’s huge heart and exceptional dedication to the welfare of all cats, which makes Kitten Associates a perfect choice to receive the other half of the prize money. Kitten Associates is dedicated to saving the lives of cats (and dogs, too!), supporting animal rescue organizations with powerful online marketing tools, and championing legislation for spay/neuter programs to end pet overpopulation. You can learn more about Kitten Associates here.

Ruby’s Reflections: Fireworks and Vacuum Cleaners

kitten cat on window perch

It’s about time that I get to write on here again. Just because I’m little doesn’t mean I don’t have lots to say!

You’ll be happy to hear that I’ve refined my wake up tactics. I’m quite pleased with myself! In addition to bouncing all over the bed, I’ve now added chasing my tail to my repertoire. I dance and whirl around like a feline dervish (I have no idea what a dervish is, but it sounds cool), but I can never catch it! It’s a little frustrating, but quite entertaining! And evidently, it adds to Mom’s morning pleasure, because her groans get even louder than when I just jump up and down on top of her. Sometimes, she even participates in the game by giving me a gentle kick from under the covers. I love that! It makes me slide off the bed, and I jump right back on, and for good measure, I bite Mom’s toes through the covers! Wee!!! Sometimes, I get distracted because Allegra wants to get in on the game and starts to chase me out of the bedroom, so Mom gets a few extra minutes of sleep. Suck up! I think she just does it to earn brownie points with Mom.

We had some excitement the other night. All of a sudden, there were all these weird noises coming from outside. It didn’t sound like thunder, I already know what that sounds like, and unlike Allegra, who’s afraid of storms, that doesn’t bother me at all. But this was different – kind of a popping noise, followed by some swishy sounds, and then it sounded like sssssssss, weeeeee, ppppoooowww! I had to go see what that was! I ran to all the windows and looked out, but couldn’t see anything.  Mom said it’s called fireworks, and that it was coming from some neighboring yards.  Allegra, of course, was afraid of the noises and hidden away in her safe spot behind the downstairs shower curtain. Mom gave her her magic water (Ingrid’s note: Spirit Essences Stress Stopper has worked really well for Allegra’s fears of storms and loud noises, it’s actually been far more effective than Rescue Remedy), but she still wouldn’t come out.

I’m not afraid of anything! I’m a brave kitten! Bring it on! What? What did you say, Mom? Oh. Alright. There is one thing I’m afraid of, and that’s the monster Mom brings out once a week. She says it’s called a vacuum cleaner, but that’s far too kind a word for something that roars and eats small things that are on the floor. I mean, what if it eats me? I’m small! Oddly, Allegra isn’t afraid of the monster at all, she just sits a few feet away and watches Mom push it all through the house. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because she’s bigger than me, and the monster can’t eat her. Thankfully, I found a place where the monster can’t get me: right on the very top of our big cat tree in the living room. I can keep an eye on things from up there, and keep a safe distance. So far, the monster hasn’t figured out how to climb.

And just so you can see what I have to put up with, here’s a video of me taking a leisurely bath (aren’t I just too cute!). And then – well, you’ll have to watch to see what happened!

httpv://youtu.be/2zNu74QRIxc

Urinary Blockage: A Serious Problem in Cats

orange and white male cat

Guest post by Lorie Huston, DVM

If your male cat is unable to urinate, he needs veterinary care immediately.

Feline urinary blockages are a true emergency and cats, particularly male cats, that are unable to urinate require emergency veterinary care in order to save their life.

What Is Feline Urinary Blockage?

More accurately termed feline urethral blockage, a urinary blockage occurs when the urethra of the cat (the tube that runs from the urinary bladder through the penis and to the outside of the body) becomes obstructed with stones, crystals or sludge. This blockage results in your cat being unable to urinate.

A Blocked Cat Represents an Emergency Situation

A urinary blockage will quickly become a life-threatening problem for your cat. Without immediate veterinary intervention to relieve the blockage, your cat will likely die from this disease.

Essentially, in a normal healthy cat that is urinating, waste products that are produced by the body are eliminated through the urine. When your cat is unable to urinate, he is also unable to rid his body of these waste products. In effect, a blocked cat ends up poisoning himself on his own waste.

Which Cats Are Likely to Become Blocked?

Cats that develop urinary blockages are almost always male. In the male cat, the urethra narrows as it passes through the penis. This is where most obstructions occur. Female cats are anatomically different than males and do not have this narrowing in the urethra. As a result, female cats rarely become obstructed.

Any male cat has the potential to become obstructed. I see more obstructions in neutered male cats than un-neutered males. This may be due to the fact that the vast majority of my male feline patients are neutered though. I also see more overweight cats experiencing urinary blockages. But I have seen un-neutered male cats in perfect body condition become obstructed as well.

Symptoms of Feline Urinary Blockage

Cats that are blocked will cry in pain and will make frequent attempts to urinate either in the litter box or outside of the litter box. Vomiting is common as toxicity develops. As your cat becomes more ill, he will stop eating and become lethargic. Eventually, your cat may even reach a comatose state. Urinary blockages are frequently fatal for cats and the course of events can happen relatively quickly. Cats that are blocked can go from being healthy in the morning to being in serious condition by later that same day.

Treatment for Urinary Blockage

Treatment involves relieving the obstruction, most often by passing a catheter through the urethra and into the bladder. The catheter may need to be left in place for a time after its placement to give the inflammation in the urethra time to resolve. During this time, your cat will actually be urinating through the catheter. Sedation is necessary in most instances in order to pass the catheter.

Supportive care in the form of intravenous fluids and other treatment as necessary to restore normal kidney function will be necessary also. Your veterinarian may want to monitor your cat’s blood values, particularly the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine, to make certain that your cat’s kidneys are stabilizing. BUN and creatinine both provide measures of the amount of nitrogenous waste products present in the blood stream and are frequently used to check to check kidney function.

If stones are present in the urinary bladder, surgical removal may be recommended. Your veterinarian may recommend radiographs (x-rays) of your cat’s bladder to see if there are stones present. A urinalysis and culture/sensitivity of the urine will also likely be performed.

Your veterinarian may recommend placing your cat on a special diet once his recovery has begun. There are commercial diets that can help dissolve crystals and stones in the bladder and, depending on your cat’s individual situation, your veterinarian may recommend one of these diets. A canned diet may also be recommended to increase the amount of moisture consumed by your cat.

Encouraging your cat to drink water through the use of dripping faucets or water fountains is a good idea. Some people also add water to their cat’s food to increase water consumption.

Lorie Huston practiced veterinary medicine for over 20 years. Besides a successful career in a busy small animal hospital in Providence, RI, Lorie was also a successful freelance writer specializing in pet care and pet health topics. She was the president of the Cat Writers Association. Lorie Huston passed away in October of 2014 after becoming critically ill. 

Related reading:

How to prevent litter box problems

Chronic renal disease in cats

Happy 4th of July 2011

Allegra and Ruby 4th of July

Happy 4th of July
from Allegra, Ruby and Ingrid

While Independence Day may be a favorite holiday for many of us, it is probably also the most traumatic day of the year for most cats.  Even though many municipalities don’t allow private fireworks, people still seem to find a way to have their own. Unless you live far away from civilization, chances are, your cat will most likely have to deal with the noise from fireworks.

A cat’s sense of hearing is much more acute than ours, and so the noises are much more intent for them.  Add to that the lack of understanding of what is going on and you can have a very scared cat on your hands.  But celebrations like the 4th of July don’t have to cause such anxiety for your cat.  Here are some tips for helping your cat cope with fireworks, thunderstorms, and other loud noises:

  • Create a safe space for your cat. If you’re having a party, unless your cat is very social and doesn’t mind a  lot of commotion, keep her confined to a quiet bedroom. Put her favorite blanket, bed or toys in with her, along with a litter box and fresh water. Shut the curtains and drapes and turn on lights to lessen the flash of the fireworks.
  • Leave on a TV or music to drown out the noise from the fireworks. (This works during thunderstorm season as well.)
  • Make sure that your cats are wearing their identification tags and that the information is current.
  • Consider a natural calming aid like Rescue Remedy, Stress Stopper, or Composure calming treats.

Conscious Cat Sunday: Creating balance

Creating Balance

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance,
order, rhythm and harmony. – Thomas Merton

Do you struggle to find balance in your life?  Many of us lead lives that are anything but balanced. In fact, at times, we often feel like a cat trying to balance on a tree branch, ready to tumble off at any moment. Some of us will manage to right ourselves, others will try to balance by flailing about, and the rest of us will fall off and try to get back on again. But eventually, no matter how hard we try, we’ll all fall off if we don’t create balance in our lives.

Balance is an essential ingredient for a happy life. When your life is in balance, your body, mind and spirit are in harmony. Everything just feels right.

But how do you achieve that balance in these hectic times we live in?

The definition of balance will vary from person to person, but the following tips can help create balance in anyone’s life:

  • Make time for yourself. You can’t be there for everyone else unless you take care of yourself.
  • Exercise regularly and eat healthy. This goes right along with taking care of yourself.
  • Integrate your passion with your work. Most of us spend up to a third of our lives at work. Doing work you’re passionate about rather than work that’s “just a job” will go a long way toward creating balance in your life. If you haven’t found a way yet to combine the two, leave your work at the office. Nobody ever looks back on their life and wishes they had spent more time at the office!
  • Spend time with family and friends.
  • Live within your means. Stress over finances is one of the biggest obstacles to creating balance in your life.
  • Don’t multi-task. You may think you’re getting more done that way, but you’re really not. By putting your full focus and energy on one task at a time, you will work more efficiently and you won’t feel like you’re just spinning your wheels.
  • Spend time with your cats! Spending time with cats is one of the best ways I know to come back into balance instantly.

What one thing will you do this week to create more balance in your life?

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