Rescue Remedy

Review: No More Scaredy Cat by Sara Goldenthal

Scaredy_Cat

If you have a cat that struggles with fear, hides under the bed and won’t come out, or startles easily, you may want to take a look at No More Scaredy Cat: The easy, step-by-step program that puts an end to stress, fear and anxiety for the cats you love

Sara Goldenthal, a practitioner of both TTouch and Bach Flower Essences has more than a dozen years experience working with cats with all kinds of behavioral challenges in private homes, as well as in animal shelters and rescues. In this small volume, she introduces a deceptively simple method of working with timid and traumatized cats that gradually eliminates fear, stress and anxiety.Continue Reading

An Introduction to Spirit Essences

Spirit Essences flower essences holistic remedies for pets

I have previously written about the gentle healing power of flower essences. Flower essences provide vibrational healing for body, mind and spirit. The most widely-known flower essence is probably Rescue Remedy, a blend of several Bach Flower Essences. Rescue Remedy helps with stressful situations, for both pets and people.

I’ve used flower essences for quite some time, both for my cats and for myself, with good success. I’ve found the essences to be particularly helpful with emotional and behavioral issues.

When Allegra first came to me, I used Green Hope Farm Essences to help with her play aggression and her fear of loud noises. I also used traditional behavior modification techniques and play therapy. I don’t believe that we would have made progress as quickly as we did with just the traditional therapies alone.

A couple of months ago, I was introduced to Spirit Essences. Spirit Essences is owned by nationally known feline behaviorist and star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” Jackson Galaxy. The company was founded in 1995 by Dr. Jean Hofve, a holistic veteriarian. Spirit Essences are the only veterinarian-formulated essences in the world.  Dr. Hofve  has more than a dozen years’ experience working with essences in a wide variety of species and settings. Jackson Galaxy has helped develop and refine the remedies based on his experience and the needs of his own clients.

Spirit Essences use only pure Eldorado Natural Spring Water from a cold-water artesian spring in Eldorado Canyon near Boulder, Colorado. This water is then enhanced with Full Color Spectrum Light, Reiki Energy (something that, as a Reiki Master Practitioner, appeals to me), and gem enhanced base water. They continuously review and update all their remedies as they add new essences to their inventory of over 300 essences. They also constantly fine-tune these formulas based on feedback from clients as well as clinical and personal experience.

Spirit Essences for cats Safe Space for Cats

I’ve used two of Spirit Essences’ formulas for Allegra over the past two months, and the results have been far more dramatic than any other essence line I’ve used.

Allegra came to me with a strong fear of outside noises – whether it was a trash truck going by, a neighbor mowing the lawn, heavy rain, or anything unusual and odd sounding outside. These sounds would send her into hiding into either her safe space in the downstairs shower stall, or inside the kitchen cabinets. When I started using Spirit Essences’s Safe Space for Cats for her, she became noticeably more confident. About a week after I started her on the remedy, she no longer ran to one of her hiding places when the trash trucks went by. In fact, she actually ran to the window to watch what! She hasn’t been inside the kitchen cabinets once since I started her on this remedy.

We’re still dealing with her fear of storms, especially those accompanied by heavy rain. For some reason, the sound of the rain hitting the house seems to scare her far more than the sound of thunder. For those times, I use Stress Stopper, Spirit Essences’ equivalent to Rescue Remedy. I’ve found it more effective for her than Rescue Remedy. She still hides during storms, but she comes out much quicker once the storm has passed, and she doesn’t look nearly as terrified as she used to.

Have you used flower essences for your cats? Please share your experience!

For more information about Spirit Essences, and to order, please visit SpiritEssences.com.

FTC full disclosure: I am an affiliate partner of Spirit Essences.

You may also enjoy reading:

Flower power for your cat: gentle healing from flower essences

Book review: The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care by Celeste Yarnall and Jean Hofve, DVM

Up close and purrsonal with Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell”

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.

Allegra’s World: Help from Flower Essences

Allegra The Conscious Cat

I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I last wrote on here! Well, not exactly – Ruby and I told you about our tunnel adventure a week ago. That was really something! I’m happy to report that the evil tunnel has remained calm, and that we enjoy playing with it again.

Everything is good here. I really like having Ruby around and I hardly ever get annoyed with her anymore. I still wish she’d tone it down a little when Mom gets our food ready. You wouldn’t believe the screaming that’s going on then! Like Mom isn’t getting our meals ready as fast as she can. Ruby really needs to cut her a break. But, I guess that’s why I’m the big sister. I’m the patient one. It’s good to be me.

Speaking of food. A pet food company sent Mom some cans of food that Mom says they want her to write a review about. We mostly eat raw food, but about once a week, Mom gives us canned food, too. I like both kinds. I think Ruby does, too, although with her, you’d probably never know, I think she’d eat anything Mom puts in front of her. She’s also very interested in whatever Mom is eating.

But I digress. So these cans of food have been sitting on the counter for a couple of days, but neither Ruby nor I can figure out how to open them. I wish Mom would hurry up already and let us try them. I told Mom I should probably be the one to write the review, but she obviously hasn’t made up her mind about that. But one way or the other, you’ll see a review soon. (Or else, you’ll see a news report titled “Cat Figures Out How to Open Can” because it’s just too tantalizing to have these cans sitting on the kitchen counter, right where we can see them!)

The only thing that’s been happening that I’m not too crazy about is the frequent storms we’ve been having. They haven’t been bad ones, but I hate any kind of storm, even just a rainstorm. The sound of the rain hitting the house really scares me. I run downstairs and hide in the shower stall behind the curtain. It’s dark and quiet in there, and it makes me feel a little safer.

Mom has been giving me magic water twice a day (Ingrid’s note: I give her Safe Space for Cats by Spirit Essences), and when a storm is coming, she gives me even more magic water (Ingrid’s note: I either give her Stress Stopper by Spirit Essences, or a blend of Anxiety and  Animal Emergency Care by Green Hope Farm Flower Essences), and it helps make me less afraid, but during storms, I’m still not comfortable being anywhere else in the house except in my safe shower stall. Mom comes and checks on me frequently to make sure I’m okay and tries to coax me out, but I’d rather stay in my safe space.

What I don’t understand is why Mom can’t just make the bad weather go away. She can do everything else to make my life nice, why not this? I mean, come on, she can even open cans of food! Changing the weather should be a breeze compared to that!

Are you afraid of storms? What does your Mom or Dad do to help you not be afraid?

Helping Your Cat Through a Move

moving with cats

Cats don’t like change, and moving probably ranks high on their list of least desirable activities. If cats had their druthers, they’d stay in the place they’re alredy comfortable in for the rest of their lives.

Moving is stressful for humans, and it’s even more stressful for cats.  Unfortunately, at some point in their lives, most cats will have to make a major move with their humans. Making the transition as stress-free as possible for your cat can go a long way toward avoiding problems associated with moving, such as fear-based house soiling, hiding, and aggression.

There are three phases to helping your cat through a move with as little stress as possible: preparation, the actual move, and settling into the new home.

Preparation

Get your cat used to his carrier. Leave the carrier out where the cat can always see it. Leave a few treats in the carrier every now and then so your cat can discover them on his own. You can also try feeding your cat in his carrier so he will associate it with something pleasant. If your move involves a lengthy drive, start taking your cat on increasingly longer rides in the car so he can get used to it.

Put moving boxes out several days, or even weeks, before you actually start packing so you cat can explore the boxes, and get used to their presence. Most cats consider boxes fun toys, and allowing them to become familiar with the boxes can create a pleasant association. When you actually start packing, watch your cat closely. If she seems to become agitated or nervous watching you pack, you may want to confine her to a quiet room away from all the action.

If your cat is easily stressed in general, this is the time to think about using anti-anxiety medications or natural anti-anxiety products. I highly recommend Stress Stopper,  a holistic remedy developed by feline behaviorist Jackson Galaxy. I also like Composure Calming Treats. Some people also have good success with the Comfort Zone Feliway Diffusers when it comes to managing stress for cats.

Moving Day

Confine your cat to a quiet room or bathroom that the movers do not need to access. Post a sign on the door asking so movers keep out of that room. Make sure your cat has a litter box, fresh water, and comfort items such as a bed and favorite toys in the room with him. If you have multiple cats who get along, place all of them in the same room together. However, if you have cats that don’t get along, make arrangements to keep them in separate rooms.

Some people recommend boarding your cats for moving day, but unless your cat is used to and loves the boarding facility, I don’t recommend this. It adds yet another layer of stress to an already stressful situation.

When it’s time to move your cat, place her in her carrier while she’s still in her safe room. With all the furniture and boxes gone, the rest of your house will no longer be familiar territory, and your cat could get spooked and bolt.

Settling in your new home

Before you even move your cat into your new home, cat proof the entire house. Check window screens and make sure  they’re secure and can’t be pushed out by an excited kitty who’s not used to the new sights and sounds yet. Close off any nooks and crannies where a scared cat could hide. Make sure that any chemicals such as pest control traps or cleaning supplies that may have been left behind by the previous owners are removed.

Set up a quiet room for your cat that includes a litter box, fresh water, and his comfort items. This can be your bedroom if you cat sleeps in the bedroom with you. Scatter some cat treats around the room before you let the cat out of her carrier to explore. For the first few days in the new home, especially while you’re still unpacking boxes, it may be a good idea to confine the cat to her quiet room. Moving in is a busy time, but make sure you spend time with your cat in her safe room to reassure her that some things in life haven’t changed. Play with her, or just sit with her while you’re reading.

When the initial rush of unpacking is done, start giving your cat access to the rest of the house and let him explore gradually. Supervise your cat during these exploration sessions until he’s comfortable. Place litter boxes in their permanent locations in the house during this phase so that you can eventually eliminate the litter box in the safe room. Alternately, you can keep the litter box in the safe room and gradually transfer it to a permanent location.

Let your cat’s temperament be your guide as to how long this initial settling in phase needs to be, and how quickly you can move from one stage to the next. As with new cat introductions, no two cats will react to the stress of moving the same way. Some cats will immediately explore and take over their new house, while others will take weeks to venture out of their safe room.

 

Photo ©Ingrid King

Happy 4th of July 2010

Happy 4th of July from The Conscious Cat!

Independence Day is one of our favorite holidays.  As we mark the day with parades, picnics and fireworks, remember that noisy celebrations can be a scary time for our pets.

An animal’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 pet on your hands.  But celebrations like the 4th of July don’t have to cause such anxiety for your pets.  Here are some tips for helping your pet cope with fireworks, thunderstorms, and other loud noises:

  • Don’t take your pets to outdoor celebrations. The loud noises and colorful skies may be fun for you but they are not enjoyable for your pet. In fact, they can be quite dangerous. A scared dog, running through crowds and/or traffic in the dark is a recipe for disaster.
  • Ideally, leave them at home with a human companion. If you must leave them alone, place them in a secure room or crate. Cover the crate with a blanket to help reduce the noise. 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 they are wearing their identification tags and that the information is current.
  • Exercise them before the festivities begin — tire them out with a rigorous game of fetch or a long walk. Be sure to do this an hour or two before you leave them to give them time to calm down and enter a restful state.
  • Consider a natural calming aid like Rescue Remedy.

Happy 4th of July – Keep Your Pets Safe

cat_fourth_1

Happy 4th of July from The Conscious Cat!

Independence Day is one of our favorite holidays.  As we mark the day with parades, picnics and fireworks, remember that noisy celebrations can be a scary time for our pets.

An animal’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 pet on your hands.  But celebrations like the 4th of July don’t have to cause such anxiety for your pets.  Here are some tips for helping your pet cope with fireworks, thunderstorms, and other loud noises:

  • Don’t take your pets to outdoor celebrations. The loud noises and colorful skies may be fun for you but they are not enjoyable for your pet. In fact, they can be quite dangerous. A scared dog, running through crowds and/or traffic in the dark is a recipe for disaster.
  • Ideally, leave them at home with a human companion. If you must leave them alone, place them in a secure room or crate. Cover the crate with a blanket to help reduce the noise. 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 they are wearing their identification tags and that the information is current.
  • Exercise them before the festivities begin — tire them out with a rigorous game of fetch or a long walk. Be sure to do this an hour or two before you leave them to give them time to calm down and enter a restful state.
  • Consider a natural calming aid like Rescue Remedy.

Amber’s Mewsings: On Thunderstorms

umbrella-004

I love being an indoor cat.  I spent the first year or two of my life outside, and that was plenty for me, thank you very much. I prefer the pleasures of indoor living.   I’m particularly glad that I didn’t have to be outside in all this rain this week.  Enough, I say!  I want my sunny spots back!  Mom took this photo of me the night we had a really bad storm move through.  I hate thunderstorms, the noise scares me and I can feel the vibration of the thunder all through my body, and I don’t like it one bit.  I go to my safe place in the shower in the downstairs bathroom and wait until the storm passes.  Mom gives me Rescue Remedy when she knows storms are coming, and I love her for it because it helps calm me down a little, but I still hate storms.

Aside from the weather, though, this has been a really great week for us.  Mom got exciting news about her book on Monday.  She got something called “Editor’s Choice” for it.  She was so happy she couldn’t stop crying.  I was happy because she was happy.  I think it means that the book is really good.  It’s about my sister Buckley, but I’m in it, too.   This morning, Mom sent the manuscript off to the copy editor.  I don’t really know what that means, but it made Mom happy, so it must be a good thing.  And this afternoon, we got the photos the photographer took of Mom and me a couple of weeks ago.  I look really good in them, and so does Mom.  She says one of them will be used in the book.

I like it when my Mom is so happy.