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Help bring Christmas joy to shelter animals

Guest post by Dorian Wagner

Our pets at home are lucky. They get showered with gifts, love and attention for the holidays. We wrap their gifts, unwrap them with them and watch how happy they are to play with a new toy. Yes, they have it good, and they know it.

But what about shelter animals? They deserve a little holiday joy, too! They deserve catnip mice and squeaky toys and tuna-flavored treats and pull toys! They deserve to know someone cares about them. And that’s where Santa Paws Drive comes in.

Santa Paws Drive started as just an idea by myself to create a program similar to the U.S. Marines’ “Toys for Tots” program, but for animals. They collect toys and distribute them to needy children – and I wanted to do the same, but for needy cats and dogs in shelters. But I didn’t want to just donate a few toys to my local shelter, I wanted to make a bigger difference for more animals… all over the world.

And so I reached out to a few good friends who are well-known in the pet-blogging and Twitter world: Salina Gannon of NipandBones.com (her expertise helped create the “store” and donation process, Lynn Haigh of Pawpawty.com (her dog tweets as @frugaldougal and has raised thousands of dollars through Pawpawties!) and Kerri Schlack of TheKittenCrew.com (who raises foster kittens and, she and her husband are web design experts).

And somehow, what seemed like a crazy idea became a reality! We created SantaPawsDrive.com and the first-ever “virtual toy drive” was officially set into motion! Last year, we raised over $7,000 in cash and toy donations, and now, for our second year, our goal is to raise even more!

To pick our six Santa Paws Drive shelters, we took nominations and made our choices based on need, location and nomination note. All the shelters are no-kill, non-profit organizations. We also tried to choose smaller shelters who don’t have much opportunity for larger-scale funding. Three are located in the U.S., one is in Canada, one is in the UK and the other is on the island of Tenerife, off the coast of Africa.

We truly wish each of these shelter animals could find their forever homes for Christmas, but if they can’t, we at least want to make their holiday and merry as can be. If you can spare a few dollars to help put a smile on a dog or cat’s face, we’d truly appreciate your donation!

To help support Santa Paws Drive, you can simply visit SantaPawsDrive.com and choose to donate either money or toys and treats. Every single dollar helps! You can also place the widget or a badge on your blog to help spread the word (and please do!).

Help us make this Christmas as happy as can be for shelter animals!

Dorian Wagner is the creator of Your Daily Cute.

Caring for Your Cat After Surgery

The only surgery for most cats, if they’re lucky, will be their spay or neuter surgery.  But as cats get better care, and potential problems are diagnosed earlier, they may also need surgery for other conditions.  According to Dr. Arnold Plotnick, a feline veterinarian who owns and operates Manhattan Cat Specialists in New York City, “the most common surgeries we perform, after spays and neuters, would be removal of skin lumps or masses. Bladder stone removal would also be high on our list.”

Regardless of the type of surgery, caring for your cat after surgery can be a challenge.  Cats may be uncomfortable, experience pain, and their ability to move around freely may need to be temporarily restricted.  Knowing what to expect, and what to watch out for, can make caring for your cat after surgery less stressful for you and help your cat recover faster.

Talk to your veterinarian before and after the surgery  

Make sure you understand the type of surgery your pet needs, as well as any pre-surgical requirements such as withholding food the night before.  Find out what the expectations for recovery are.  This will depend on the type of surgery, and your cat’s age and health status.   Will your cat need to spend the night at the veterinary hospital, or will you be able to bring her home the same day?  Dr. Plotnick sends most  of his surgical patients home the same day, only about a third may need to spend the night.

Ask your veterinarian about post-surgical care instructions.  If your cat requires medication such as antibiotics or pain medication, make sure that you know how, and how frequently to give the medication, and what to do if you miss a dose.  Ask whether the medication has any side effects so you know what to expect.

Discuss financial arrangements prior to the surgery so that you don’t experience “sticker shock” when you pick up your cat.  Most veterinarians will provide you with an estimate for their services.

Provide a safe and quiet place for your cat

Cats may still be a little groggy after anesthesia, and they’ll need a quiet place to rest.  You may need to keep them away from other pets or small children.  You may want to set aside a bedroom or bathroom, instead of giving the cat full run of the house right away.  Put soft blankets or your cat’s favorite bed in the room, and make sure your cat has easy access to a litter box and to water.

Keep an eye on the incision site

Most cats will try to lick the area, and in the process, may chew or rip out their stitches or staples.  While licking and biting at the incision site is a natural healing process for cats, if you notice that the stitches are coming loose, you will need to put an E-collar (Elizabethan collar) on your cat.  Traditionally, these collars were made out of hard, cone-shaped plastic, which made simple actions such as eating, drinking, sleeping and even walking up and down stairs difficult and uncomfortable for cats.  Thankfully, there is now an alternative to these collars.  The Trimline Veterinary Recovery Collar is a soft, lightweight and flexible Elizabethan-style collar that provides a barrier to the treatment area from licking and biting, while still allowing pets to move around comfortably and easily.

Not all surgical patients will need E-collars.  Dr. Plotnick only sends E-collars with cats whose  sutures are placed in a location where they could be chewed out or traumatized by a paw.  “For example,” says Dr. Plotnick, “when doing a delicate eyelid surgery, you don’t want the cat to rub hereye and damage the incision, so an Elizabethan collar is often placed on these cats.”  Dr. Plotnick likes the Trimline collars “because they’re softer and more comfortable. I like that, in some instances, you can fold them down, so that they point toward the body (rather than up as a cone around the head). When they’re directed down, toward the body, cats can eat more comfortably and they still have their full peripheral vision.”

Watch for any redness, swelling or discharge from the incision.  Call your veterinarian if any of these are present.

Watch for any signs of pain

Cats are masters at hiding pain.  The instinct to hide pain is a legacy of cats’ wild origins. In the wild, an animal that appears to be sick or disabled is vulnerable to attack from predators, and survival instinct dictates to act as if nothing is wrong, even when something most definitely is.

A good rule of thumb is that a procedure that is painful for humans will also be painful for cats.  Some signs to look for that may indicate that your cat is in pain are behavior changes (quieter than normal, hiding, pacing, aggression), decreased or no appetite, increased respiratory rate, or vocalization.

Pain control is important – not just because you don’t want your cat to hurt, but because pain causes stress in the body and stress slows down the healing process.  Pain management should never be optional, but rather, an integral part of managing a surgical patient.

It’s always upsetting when your cat is facing surgery, but knowing what to expect, and how to care for your cat after the surgery can make it a less stressful experience for cat and guardian.

Trimline Recovery Collars are available from Amazon.

Photo provided by Trimline Recovery Collars, used with permission.

The information shared in this post, and on this website,
is not a substitute for veterinary care.

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Book Review and Giveaway: Complete Care for Your Aging Cat by Amy Shojai

Cats are living longer than ever before. More cats are being kept exclusively indoors, thus avoiding many of the health risks encountered by outdoor cats. More and more cat owners are understanding the importance of a healthy, species-appropriate diet as a foundation for good health. Advances in veterinary medicine now allow cat owners to pursue sophisticated treatments for diseases that would have been a death sentence in the past. But older cats (most commonly defined as cats age seven and older) have special needs when it comes to maintaining their health.

Amy Shojai’s Complete Care for Your Aging Cat was first published in 2003 and quickly became the “old cat bible.” However, seven years is a long time when you’re talking about health related topics. This newly released edition has been updated to reflect changes in veterinary medicine and includes a wealth of resources about treatment options, products and research, complete with links to websites when appropriate. The e-book version of the book includes hotlinks to relevant information.

This book is an invaluable resource for cat owners. Shojai covers basic information on how age affects your cat’s body in great detail. She explains how to look for changes that might signal health problems in older cats (for an excerpt, read Amy’s guest post Caring for Your Older Cat).  She discusses home nursing care to help older cats through various health issues, and presents advanced care options and how to make informed choices, including a section on making end of life decisions which is presented with great sensitivity, yet covers all the facts a cat owner needs to know when faced with this difficult choice.

The most valuable section of the book is the extensive and comprehensive listing of feline health conditions, ranging from arthritis to heart disease to kidney failures. Each section provides information on symptoms, reducing risk, and treatment options. I read a lot of cat health books,and I have yet to find another one that is as well organized and easy to use as a reference guide as this one.

But it’s not all hard facts and information. Each section of the book contains a “Golden Moments” segment, which contains heartwarming stories of real cat owners who share their lives with older cats and are continuing to enjoy life while dealing with typical issues common for senior cats. These touching, and often inspirational stories make this book more than just a reference guide.

I loved almost everything about this book. The one area that didn’t resonate with me was the author’s take on nutrition.  Pet nutrition is a controversial subject.  While the material is as well-researched and well-documented as the rest of the book, Shojai’s recommendations focus on senior diets and prescription diets.  I’ve written extensively about feline nutrition and won’t belabor the issue here.  You can read more about why I don’t believe these diets are the best choice for cats of any age here.

Even though I disagree with the author’s recommendations in this one area, I nevetheless highly recommend this book to all  cat owners, regardless of how old your cat may be.   This is a must read for anyone who wants to keep their cats happy and healthy well into their golden years.

Amy Shojai has generously offered to give away one copy of this book to one lucky winner.  If you’d like a chance to win the book, please share your story of your senior cat, or a friend’s senior cat in a comment.  The contest will run until Friday, December 10.  Share the contest on Facebook and Twitter and include the link in a separate comment for an extra chance to win.  Winners will be able to choose between an autographed hard copy of the book, or an e-book.

Amy Shojai is a nationally known authority on pet care and behavior, and the award-winning author of nearly two dozen nonfiction pet books, including Complete Kitten Care and Complete Care for Your Aging Dog.  She can be reached at her website http://www.shojai.com

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Allegra’s World: When Mom Goes Away

I’m back already!  Remember that big black box I was telling you about that showed up in our bedroom, and Mom was putting her clothes in it?  Well, it turned out that the big black box is not a good thing.   The morning after the big black box showed up, Mom left the house and took it with her.  At first, I didn’t think anything of it – after all, she’s left the house before and took things with her.  She always takes a purple bag with her when she goes, even though I sometimes try to lay right in front of it so she can’t get to it!  Anyway, I thought maybe she’d just gotten bored with her purple bag and took the big black box instead.

But when Mom’s friend Renee came to visit around lunchtime, I knew something wasn’t right.  Any other time Renee comes over, Mom is here, too.   But Renee is really fun, she loves kitties, and she played with me and gave me treats and hung out with me, so that was cool.  After Renee left,  I took a nice long nap and didn’t wake up again until it got dark.  Mom still hadn’t come home.  I was just starting to get a little worried when Ronnie came to visit.  Ronnie is Mom’s friend and Mom said she’s also a petsitter.  I don’t know what that means, and it sounded a little scary.  Does she sit on pets?  Mom said she comes to take care of people’s cats when the people can’t be there to do it themselves.  I don’t really understand that – why can’t the people just stay home?  But Ronnie is a nice person and she, too, loves kitties, so I was glad to see her.  And best of all, she served me dinner as soon as she got there, and I was pretty hungry, so that got the visit off to a good start.  Ronnie played with me after I ate, she brushed me, and she gave me treats.  Okay, this was good.

But then, after Ronnie left, I got a little scared.  Mom still wasn’t home, and even though I can’t tell time, I knew it was way past when we usually go to bed together.  I finally went to bed by myself and eventually went to sleep, but it wasn’t the same without Mom there.  When I woke up, it was light out again, and Mom still wasn’t home!  Where was she?

Thankfully, just as I was starting to get really worried, Ronnie came by again and served me breakfast.  Whew!  At least I wasn’t going to starve!  She played with me again, and that was nice, but where was my Mom?  Anyway – I don’t want to bore you, but this went on for three more days.  I had a good time with Ronnie and Renee, who came by to visit a few more times, too, but I was getting pretty lonely.  I’m used to having my Mom around a lot!

When I heard a key in the door again on Sunday night, I figured it was going to be Ronnie again, but it was Mom!  She was back!!!  I was so happy!!! I rolled around on the floor for her and I even let her pick me up and hug me and kiss me, I was so relieved!  My Mom was home!!!  I followed her everywhere while she took stuff out of the big black box and put it away where it belongs.  I hissed at the big black box a couple of times for good measure.  By the time Mom sat down to have dinner, I had exhausted myself and I knew I needed a nap, but I was so worried that Mom would leave me again, I laid down on her feet and went to sleep there.  That way, I could be sure she couldn’t even get up without me knowing about it.

Turns out she went to something called a cat writers conference.  I don’t understand why I couldn’t go with her.  After all, I’m a cat writer, too!  She did bring back some fun new toys.  My favorite is this pole thing with a dragonfly attached to it – I love playing with it, it’s so fun. Wee!!!  It’s my favorite toy yet!  You can see me playing with it in the video below.

She also brought a bunch of other toys, she thinks I didn’t see her sneak them into the extra bedroom I’m not allowed in.  I heard her say something to someone on the phone about “rationing the toys and breaking them out gradually” – no doubt this is some fancy human speak for spoiling my fun!

Now things are back to normal again, and I hope the big black box stays hidden in the closet for a long, long time.  I don’t like it when Mom goes away.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t2f0Bxl6lM

The biggest dangers to pets on Thanksgiving

Guest Post by Diana Guerrero

Do you give in to cute pesky pets at the dinner table? This Thanksgiving holiday pet lovers are urged to resist the intense gazes and vocal demands of pleading pets to keep them safe. Learn about the seven biggest risks to pets on Thanksgiving.

There can be deadly consequences for animals during the holidays. Holiday threats to animals can include seasonal decorations, ornamental lighting, ingestion of inappropriate or toxic items, excessive consumption of rich foods or harmful food, candle flames, and many other hazards.

Before you sit down to feast, take away temptation–from both guests and pets. If you feed pets before the guests arrive you reduce the temptation for begging and stealing. You can also use a pet gate or play pen to house the pet nearby, but provide a safety barrier.

One of the easiest ways to avoid trouble is to make sure your guests know the pet rules and discourage them from feeding critters scraps from the table. The best approach is to make sure any animal is occupied with a chewy or playmates in another room. Once the table is cleared, make sure pets cannot get to scraps or bones.

The biggest hazards to pets on Thanksgiving include:

  • Rich, fatty foods (turkey skins, gravy, etc,) can contribute to pancreatitis. This gland inflammation is painful and can be serious-requiring emergency veterinary assistance.
  • Cooked bones can splinter and cause tears or obstruction in a pet’s digestive tract.
  • Baking strings, if ingested, can create trouble if ingested by your pet.
  • Onions in holiday stuffing can lead to canine anemia if consumed by your dog.
  • Grapes and raisin toxins can cause kidney failure in pets.
  • Ingesting chocolate can cause seizures or kill your pet.
  • Caffeine and alcohol are also toxic for pets.

The solution? Keep all goodies out of reach!

Preventative safety measures are the best strategies so store leftover food out of reach and in tightly closed containers.  Next, make sure garbage cans are secured to keep critters out.

What can you do instead?

Pet households should consider providing appropriate chew toys or food occupation devices for pets during the holiday activities.  The Kong Company produces great products and there is a goodie dispenser that keeps dogs occupied which is purr-fect.  Look for great bird and cat toys that provide similar activity as most pet stores carry these products.

The investment and preparation can insure that you and your pets have a happy and healthy holiday.  Finally, just in case you have a problem, it never hurts to keep your emergency vet clinic or veterinary hospital number handy.  You never know when you will encounter a disaster during holiday festivities.

Diana L Guerrero is an animal expert with over 30 years of experience with both wild and domestic animals. Based in California, the Ark Lady runs multiple websites and works as a pet parenting coach, freelance writer, and professional speaker. Guerrero is often featured in the media as a pet expert and is the author of What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality: Inspiring Lessons of Wild & Tame Creatures and Blessing of the Animals: Prayers & Other Ceremonies Celebrating Pets & Other Creatures.

Book Review: Natural Nutrition for Cats by Kymythy R. Schultze

Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health by Kymythy R. Schultze, C.N., C.N.C, is a comprehensive guide to species appropriate nutrition for cats.  Schultze, a Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Nutritional Consultant, shares her extensive knowledge of proper nutrition and points out why most commercial pet foods may not be the best way to feed our cats.

The book covers the basics of cats’ nutritional needs in great detail.  Cats are obligate carnivores and need protein to thrive, but they also need fat, minerals, vitamins and water.  What they don’t need is carbohydrates, and Schultze explains why grains in a feline diet can cause many of the degnerative diseases we see in cats, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and even cancer.   She looks at how commercial pet foods are formulated and manufactured – information that is not for the faint of heart.  It may be quite surprising to many what actually goes into these foods. 

Schultze is a raw-food proponent; like many others, she believes that cooking, and especially the high heat used to produce commercial pet foods, destroys vital nutrients.  She cites the Pottenger’s Cats study as one example of how cats on a raw diet tend to thrive when compared to cats who are fed processed foods.  She provides step-by-step instructions on how to transition cats to a raw diet, and offers a variety of recipes for those inclined to make their own food.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in improving their cats’ health through nutrition.  Even if you don’t think raw feeding is for you, the book still provides valuable insight into what makes our feline friends tick when it comes to nutrition. 

For a thought-provoking extract from the book, read Feline Nutrition – Who Bears the Responsibilty

You may also enjoy reading Feeding Raw Food  – Separating Myth from Fact, and The Truth About Dry Cat Food.

Allegra’s World: Scaring Mom

It’s about time I get to write something again!  Life has been very good here.  Remember that lap thing I told you about last time?  I did it again one more time, and I really liked it again that time.  I know it made Mom happy.  I like making Mom happy.  I know it also makes her happy that I started sleeping snuggled up very close against her at night.  I’m guessing she thinks it’s because I just want to be close to her, and I do, but honestly, it’s also because it’s been kind of cold at night, and Mom makes a really nice heater!

I’m getting smarter every day, if I do say so myself.  That’s because I’m not a a kitten anymore, I’m all grown up now!  A couple of weeks ago, I learned something really cool:  I figured out how to open the kitchen cabinet under the sink.  I managed to stick my paw in, and make it open a little ways before it banged shut again.  It made a very interesting noise.  I especially like doing this when I get bored with sleeping with Mom in the middle of the night, or really really early in the morning.  It’s so fun!

And then, the other day, I figured out something even cooler!  Mom was off on what she calls errands – I have no idea what that means, all I know is that when she does it, she leaves the house.  I managed to get one of the cabinets all the way open, and I climbed inside.  There wasn’t much that looked interesting in there, though, but I liked the feeling of being in a cave, so I decided to take a nap in there.  I really liked it in there!

I heard Mom come home, and I heard her call my name, but I was so comfy in my little cave, I decided to stay in there a bit longer.  Mom kept calling my name, and her voice got louder and louder, and started to sound a little bit funny, kind of shaky and not like anything I’ve ever heard from her.  I figured the best thing to do was keep a low profile and just stay in my cave.  Eventually, Mom stopped hollering, and finally she opened the cabinet door.  I smiled at her – she found me!  My Mom is smart, too!  I got up and walked out of the cabinet, only to be swooped up by Mom and nearly being squished to death!  She was crying and saying things like “oh my goodness, kitten, I thought I had lost you!”  What???  Lost?  I knew I wasn’t lost.  I knew exactly where I was!  Humans are so silly.

Mom says I took twenty years off her life that morning.  And ever since then, I haven’t been able to get into the cabinets.  Drats.  I liked my little cave.  And I’ll tell you something Mom doesn’t know, so don’t tell her:  I had been inside that cabinet before…

Today, some strange things are happening here.  Mom brought a big black box into the bedroom, and she’s putting some of her clothes in it.  I don’t understand why, usually, she just wears the clothes, or else, they hang in the closet, which, by the way, is another place I like to explore that Mom doesn’t like me to be in.  Anyway, this putting clothes in the box thing is a bit puzzling.  But the big box looks like it might make a good napping spot, especially with all the clothes in there.  I think I’ll give it a try.

Caring for your aging cat

Guest Post by Amy Shojai

Older cats that become ill typically try to hide how they feel. They also tend to become more seriously ill more quickly, and take longer to recover. “The earlier we see these animals, the more we can do something for them,” says Sheila McCullough, DVM, an internist at the University of Illinois. It is vital to pay attention to your cat as she ages, to catch problems before they turn serious.

A good way to keep in mind the special needs of your aging cat is simply to use the acronym L.O.V.E.  That stands for Listen With Your Heart; Observe for Changes; Visit the Veterinarian; and Enrich the Environment.

Listen With Your Heart

Never discount that odd “feeling” that something’s different, not right. Listen with your heart and your cat will shout louder than words how she feels. That’s when you make the extra visit to the veterinarian and explain your concerns. “It’s more of an intuitive thing,” says Susan G. Wynn, DVM, a holistic veterinarian in private practice in Atlanta. Because of the love and close relationship you share, you have an advantage when it comes to “knowing” when something’s wrong.

A change in behavior is the number one way your cat tells you she’s feeling bad from either a physical problem or an emotional upset. Changes in behavior may be sudden and obvious, or may develop slowly and subtly over time.

Think of these changes as a feline cry for help. You need to have a good grasp of what’s normal for your cat in order to be able to recognize this shift in the status quo. That includes regularly observing your cat for changes.

Regular veterinary visits are a must. Any time you have an intuitive feeling or a more concrete observation that something’s not quite right, validate your concerns with a veterinary visit.

Finally, the environment your cat lives in impacts everything about her. When she begins to age, you have to make appropriate enrichments to her nutrition, exercise, grooming needs, and home life. Don’t forget to enrich her mind as well as her body. Follow the L.O.V.E. plan to keep her healthy and happy throughout her golden years.

Observe for Changes: Home Health Alerts

 Healthy aging cats see the veterinarian only a couple of times a year. You live with her every day, and you know your cat best. In almost all cases, you will be the first to notice when something is wrong.

Close proximity to your pet allows you to immediately notice any changes that can point to a potential health problem. The major disadvantage to this closeness is that you may overlook subtle changes, or those that have a slow, gradual onset. Veterinarians call sudden problems “acute” and those are the easiest for owners to spot. But conditions that develop slowly over a long period of time, called chronic problems, are more insidious. Changes of a chronic nature creep up on you, day by day, in such small increments that you aren’t likely to notice anything’s wrong. By the time a problem becomes obvious, the disease may have been simmering for months or even years, and the damage may be permanent.

The classic emergency I see is the 12-year-old cat that is feeling badly, and deteriorated over the last 24-48 hours,” says Steven L. Marks, BVSc, an internist and surgeon at North Carolina State University. “The assumption is that the pet has become sick in the last two days when in fact, chronic renal failure has been going on for months and maybe years. Now the body can’t compensate anymore and the pet’s suddenly sick and it’s an emergency.”

One of the best ways to stay on top of things is to create a log of your cat’s normal behaviors. A home health report card provides you with baseline measures against which to compare even the subtle changes in your cat’s health. For example, monitor how much your cat weighs. “Even a small amount of weight loss, an ounce or two, will really catch my attention in an elderly cat,” says Susan Little, DVM, a feline specialist in Ottawa, Canada. Should your cat at some point in the future be diagnosed with a particular condition, a home health report card also can help you measure how well the treatment works. That in turn helps the veterinarian make informed decisions if adjustments to the therapy are needed.

Once you have your list and a benchmark description of “normal,” review the home health report card on a monthly basis to check for any behavior or physical changes. If your cat has been diagnosed with a disease for which she’s receiving treatment, a weekly or even daily check to monitor changes may be better. 

Behavior Cues

Generate a list of as many of your cat’s normal behaviors as possible. The categories will vary somewhat from cat to cat. Be as specific as possible. Examples of categories follow, but don’t limit yourself to my suggestions. If your cat gets in the sink every day, for example, or enjoys chasing the dog, include that as a category and describe her routine. Any changes to routine might indicate a health concern that needs attention. For instance, if she wakes you every single day at five and then suddenly lets you oversleep, perhaps her joints hurt too much from arthritis to jump onto the bed.

  • Favorite Activity (games, how often, duration)
  • Vocabulary (reaction to known words)
  • Vocalization (increase/decrease)
  • Interactions/Personality
  • Sleep Cycles
  • Habits/Routines

Body Warnings

Generate a list of your cat’s normal body functions. Be as specific as possible. Examples of categories follow, but don’t limit yourself to my suggestions. “I’d rather see a case that doesn’t need to be seen as an emergency than not see one that needed to be,” says Dr. Marks.

  • Appetite
  • Weight Loss/Gain
  • Water Intake
  • Urination and Defecation (color, increase/decrease, “accidents”)
  • Skin, Fur And Claws (dandruff, sores, shiny fur, mats, etc.)
  • Eyes (clear, watery, squinting)
  • Ears (clean, smell, scratching)
  • Nose
  • Respiration
  • Gait/Movement 

This post is an excerpt from Amy Shojai’s Complete Cate for Your Aging Cat, winner of the Cat Writers’ Association HARTZ Award (for best entry on aging cats) and MERIAL Human-Animal Bond Award. The updated, revised 2010 edition is now available in paperback, and Amazon Kindle Edition with “hot links” to the experts cited in the book.

Amy Shojai, CABC is the award-winning author of 23 dog and cat care and behavior books, and can be reached at her website http://www.shojai.com

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A chance to win an autographed copy or e-book version of
Complete Care for Your Aging Cat
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Three delightful books for pet lovers – and a giveaway

Today I’m featuring three delightful books for both cat and dog lovers.  Every one of these books will make a wonderful holiday gift for the pet lovers on your list. 

Life with Maxie by celebrated radio host Diane Rehm is a sweet little book that will warm the heart of any pet lover. Maxie, a long-haired Chihuahua, hit the jackpot when Diane Rehm took the then 12-week-old pup home. Maxie’s life with Rehm is a dog’s version of paradise, but little did the author know that her life would also be forever changed by this delightful, albeit sometimes stubborn dog with some behavior challenges.   Rehm sums up the transformative power of her little dog in a final chapter that brought tears to my eyes. A delightful read, and a wonderful gift, for all animal lovers.

A Golfer’s Tail:  The Quest for the Double Slam by Roscoe Watkins is a fanciful and fun tale for cat lovers and golf lovers alike.  From the publisher:  Feline golf aficionados have long known of the exploits of Roscoe Watkins, widely considered to be the greatest all-species golfer of them all. This recently discovered lost manuscript chronicles Roscoe’s most memorable year, 1998, and is now available for the human servant audience. In that fabled year, Roscoe accepted the challenge of a brash young rival, Ichiro Nakamura, and began his quest for the Double Slam. The Double Slam would require winning all of the major championships on both the regular and senior feline golf tours. In making the Quest, Roscoe, with his faithful caddie and sister Maggie at his side, had to deal not only with the formidable challenge of Nakamura, but other champions, including Cyril (“Lord Sandtrap”) Bunker, Bruno Mauser, Murph McFurrson, and senior legends Scratch McNabb and Old Tom Norris. Follow Roscoe’s Quest and also learn the true secret of the game.

Dog Sayings:  Wit and Wisdom from Man’s Best Friend by Bradford G. Wheler is a collection of dog art and quotes celebrating dogs in all of their glory.  And despite the title, the book also has a chapter dedicated to cats, which speaks to the generous nature of the author, since most of the cat quotations refer to cats’ innate superiority to their lesser dog friends (which should not come as a surprise to readers of this site).  The wide variety of different illustrations ranging from photographs to watercolors to drawings to oil paintings make this book a visual delight for pet lovers.

I’m offering each of the three books as a giveaway for one lucky winner.   Leave a comment letting me know which book you’d like to win, and why.  Share the giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and leave the link in a separate comment for an extra chance to win.  This giveaway ends Friday, November 26.

I received A Golfer’s Tail from the author, and Dog Sayings from the publisher.