You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Cat Care’ category.

What do costumes, candy, candles, cords, and commotion have in common? All are potential hazards for your cats during the Halloween season.

Costumes: Dressing your cat as Snow White may be enjoyed more by you than your pal. Keep in mind that the costume should in no way constrict movement, seeing, hearing, breathing, or meowing. Check for dangling pieces that may be chewed off and swallowed. It should be non-toxic and non-flammable. Simple costumes like a t-shirt or hat are best. Consider doing a dress rehearsal. If the cat resists being put in the attire or tries to tear it off, forget it. Your cat should always be supervised if dressed in a costume. Your witch outfit may spook your cat. A dress rehearsal may also help your cat get accustomed to the disguise.

assorted colorful candies

Candy: Halloween candy should be kept in the cupboard or in covered containers. The shiny wrappers are interesting to cats. I have to select a high cupboard out of the reach of Chauncey as he chews through any package left in sight or paw’s reach within minutes. He also knows how to open the pantry door, so that is off-limits for the candy stash. Contact your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4435 if your cat gets into candy that is chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol. Foil wrappers may cause an intestinal obstruction if ingested.

cat-sniffing-candle-190x190

Candles: This time of the year we love the aroma of apple spice and pumpkin harvest candles. Candles light our jack-o’-lanterns. Cats are drawn to candles like moths to a porch light. Curious cats can knock over pumpkins and candles and start a fire or get burned. Cats may get singed when they swish their tail through the flame or get too close with their whiskers. Never leave candles and cats alone–even if you think the candles are out of reach. They probably are not. Since flameless candles are available in a myriad of sizes, shapes, and aromas, I have replaced traditional candles with flameless candles.

Photo Credit Donna Donald

Photo Credit Donna Donald

Cords: Halloween decorations with wires and cords should be kept out of the reach of your cats to avoid cuts and burns or electrocution. Dangling, snake-like, and thin cords attract a cat’s attention. These are just the kind of cords you will find on Halloween lights. Cats can also be strangled if caught up in a jumble of tangled cords. Take time to tape, wind up, or hide cords. Use cord protectors. Unplug lights when not in use. Whenever the routine changes, Chauncey and Grace take notice. Earlier this month when I decorated the Halloween tree, they wanted to be in the middle of the lights and ornaments.

witch in scary halloween concept

Commotion: Ringing door bells, frequent knocking, strange voices, and masquerades can scare cats. Changing the home to accommodate holiday decorations is disturbing. Consider moving your cats to a safe haven during trick-or-treat time or a party. If you have house guests, let them know about the off-limits room or put a sign on it. I take Grace and Chauncey to the master suite a half hour before I expect the first goblins at my door. I set up extra food along with a couple of their favorite toys. They are safe and comfortable giving me peace of mind that they will not bolt out of the house when I hand out KitKats.

Halloween can be fun for the whole family. Please take to heart these simple precautions and have a safe Halloween.

Blessings!

Advertisements

What do costumes, candy, candles, cords, and commotion have in common? All are potential hazards for your cats during the Halloween season.

Costumes: Dressing your cat as Snow White may be enjoyed more by you than your pal. Keep in mind that the costume should in no way constrict movement, seeing, hearing, breathing, or meowing. Check for dangling pieces that may be chewed off and swallowed. It should be non-toxic and non-flammable. Simple costumes like a t-shirt or hat are best. Consider doing a dress rehearsal. If the cat resists being put in the attire or tries to tear it off, forget it. Your cat should always be supervised if dressed in a costume. Your witch outfit may spook your cat. A dress rehearsal may also help your cat get accustomed to the disguise.

assorted colorful candies

Candy: Halloween candy should be kept in the cupboard or in covered containers. The shiny wrappers are interesting to cats. I have to select a high cupboard out of the reach of Chauncey as he chews through any package left in sight or paw’s reach within minutes. He also knows how to open the pantry door, so that is off-limits for the candy stash. Contact your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4435 if your cat gets into candy that is chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol. Foil wrappers may cause an intestinal obstruction if ingested.

cat-sniffing-candle-190x190

Candles: This time of the year we love the aroma of apple spice and pumpkin harvest candles. Candles light our jack-o’-lanterns. Cats are drawn to candles like moths to a porch light. Curious cats can knock over pumpkins and candles and start a fire or get burned. Cats may get singed when they swish their tail through the flame or get too close with their whiskers. Never leave candles and cats alone–even if you think the candles are out of reach. They probably are not. Since flameless candles are available in a myriad of sizes, shapes, and aromas, I have replaced traditional candles with flameless candles.

Photo Credit Donna Donald

Photo Credit Donna Donald

Cords: Halloween decorations with wires and cords should be kept out of the reach of your cats to avoid cuts and burns or electrocution. Dangling, snake-like, and thin cords attract a cat’s attention. These are just the kind of cords you will find on Halloween lights. Cats can also be strangled if caught up in a jumble of tangled cords. Take time to tape, wind up, or hide cords. Use cord protectors. Unplug lights when not in use. Whenever the routine changes, Chauncey and Grace take notice. Earlier this month when I decorated the Halloween tree, they wanted to be in the middle of the lights and ornaments.

witch in scary halloween concept

Commotion: Ringing door bells, frequent knocking, strange voices, and masquerades can scare cats. Changing the home to accommodate holiday decorations is disturbing. Consider moving your cats to a safe haven during trick-or-treat time or a party. If you have house guests, let them know about the off-limits room or put a sign on it. I take Grace and Chauncey to the master suite a half hour before I expect the first goblins at my door. I set up extra food along with a couple of their favorite toys. They are safe and comfortable giving me peace of mind that they will not bolt out of the house when I hand out KitKats.

Halloween can be fun for the whole family. Please take to heart these simple precautions and have a safe Halloween.

Blessings!

Lexie Lee

Lexie Lee

My purrfect life turned icky recently. I have always been a healthy fur baby and only get carted off to this vet once or twice a year. But I have been in three different clinics the past few weeks. First I got sick one weekend and Mom Linda had to take me to an emergency clinic. After lots of tests and strange people hovering around me, I got to go home a few hours later. Then last week I had to go to my regular vet to see how I was doing. I thought I was doing ok except for not liking my food a couple days before the appointment. Turns out Dr. Scorteanu felt something in my tummy that should not be there. I don’t know how it got there and Mom Linda cried when she heard this. Next I had to go to a specialist. I figured out what day I was to be placed in that dreadful carrier and I hid under the bed after breakfast. Mom Linda tried to coax me out with food but I did not fall for that old trick. While hiding under the middle of the king size bed (just out of arm’s reach!), the specialist’s office called to cancel. Mom Linda told me that it was not meant to be today and I was off the hook. The vet was sick.

The next two days were purrfect with hanging out next to Mom Linda and her computer and taking naps on the windowsill that was designed just for me. I should have known paradise would not last forever. I was fooled on Monday afternoon and found myself back in the carrier and seat belted in the car before I could meow in protest. Mom Linda was calm and talked to me. She told me we had a longer drive today. She asked for Tatianna fur baby and the angels to surround us and protect us as we drove on a busy highway in the rain. Once she said that it had stopped raining and traffic was light. She said we had to focus on every little blessing. I tried to throw up and made three loud hacking sounds. That’s been happening recently. It is awful, and I know it scares Mom Linda. It scares me too. My tummy feels funny, and I just can’t help it.

We got lost for a few minutes. I was left in the car while Mom Linda went in a building that had the address she was looking for. I did not like being alone. But she returned to me with another blessing and said a very nice woman gave her the directions. It used to be the vet clinic but had moved down the road. We found the right place and Mom Linda carried me and all my recent records and X-rays inside. She had her hands full even though I have lost weight. We were greeted and soon taken into a small room. It was just the two of us. I moved to the back of the carrier, just in case anyone had any ideas about pulling me out. But Mom Linda did not, and she just kept talking softly to me. “We are here to get you help Lexie Lee. Everything will be fine. I won’t let anyone hurt you.” Usually I shake real bad when I am at the vet’s office, but today I did not.

A nice girl named Laura came in and asked lots of questions. “You are going to love Dr. Lechner,” she said. After she left, Mom Linda walked around the room and looked at pictures of animals. “Oh my gosh! The vet graduated from the University of Missouri vet school. Lexie, that is where I went to school. The appointment last week was with a different vet who got sick. That’s why! We are meant to see Dr. Lechner!”

Well, bring her in. I am tired of this carrier. A breath of fresh air breezes into the room in the form of my specialist vet of internal medicine. Dr. Lechner makes over me and who wouldn’t! I am still beautiful even if I am sick. She asks Mom Linda more questions. She had already looked at the records before coming in. I hear the word lymphoma that I heard Dr. Scorteanu use last week. I don’t like the sounds of it. I think that is what is in my tummy. I am going to have an ultrasound. I’ve never had that before. Before they take me to another room Mom Linda looks in the carrier at me and says words I love to hear: “Linda loves Lexie Lee.” I am going to try real hard to focus on that blessing and be a good kitty today.

And it all worked out. About an hour later I am reunited with Mom Linda. On the way home she tells me all the wonderful things Dr. Lechner said about me. I was so good that I did not have to sleep during the ultrasound. I was awake the whole time wrapped in a snuggly blanket and held by two girls. I liked the dark room. A funny noise ran over my tummy and later I found out I have less hair to groom. I even had a needle stuck inside me once, but it was out fast. Mom Linda told me the needle may tell us what is in my tummy. But we won’t know for a few days. For now, the blessing is that I am back home on the windowsill.

Full White Lily Stem and Flowers

I was in a store this past weekend and struck up a conversation with a mother and daughter who were selecting a potted plant. An Easter lily was among the choices. I found out they had a dog but no cats. Although lilies are one of my favorite flowers this time of the year, I do not have any in my house with Lexie Lee, Chauncey and Grace. Many varieties of lilies can be deadly to cats.

According to Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, Veterinary Toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, “Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), Tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum), Rubrum lily (Lilium speciosum), Japanese show lily (Lilium lancifolium) and some species of the Day lily (Hemerocallis species) can cause kidney failure in cats. Unfortunately, all parts of the lily plant are considered toxic to cats and consuming even small amounts can be life threatening.” Asian and stargazer lilies are also fatal to cats.

If a cat ingests any part of the plant such as biting into a leaf or petal or licking lily pollen from his paws or drinking water from a vase with lilies, the cat is poisoned. Within thirty minutes, the cat may vomit, become lethargic, or have a lack of appetite. These symptoms will worsen without immediate treatment by a veterinarian, and the cat may develop kidney failure in 36 to 72 hours. It is imperative to get your cat to an emergency clinic immediately to have a better chance at saving the cat.

If you receive a lily and have cats in the house, be sure to remove the flower from their access. Keep in mind cats are climbers and setting the lily on a high shelf can be just as dangerous as having the bouquet on the dining room table. The cat will likely get to it—wherever it is. Even placing the flowers in a closed off room may not be safe if you have company in the house and someone leaves a door open unintentionally. An outdoor patio is not recommended either since stray cats may be tempted to munch on the plant. If you are purchasing flowers for an Easter gift for a cat family (dogs are not sensitive to lilies), Easter orchids, Easter cactus, Easter daisies, or violets are safer selections. Then there’s always an Easter basket filled with colored eggs!

Have a safe Easter with your family and cats.

Warm Purrs!

One of my favorite amusements is wandering around pet supply stores and checking out products. To be honest, I go to play with the animals! Every Saturday a cat shelter brings cats for adoption to a store near my house. This weekend they were hosting a cat shower complete with a decorated cat cake and punch. The adoption room was filled with kittens–each one more precious than the next. No, I did not come home with any new brothers or sisters for Lexie Lee, Chauncey or Princess Grace!

But I did purchase a FURminator for them. This time of the year Lexie Lee is shedding her heavy winter coat for summer and suffering from hairballs. The temperature is in mid 90s today, so this miracle deshedding tool better hasten along the process. I’ve known about this product, but just have not taken the time to purchase. The FURminator was designed by a groomer and is guaranteed to reduce shedding better than any brush, rake or comb. It reduces hairballs, helping to keep your cat healthier. The company stands behind the product and offers a full money-back guarantee within thirty days if not completely satisfied. I like companies willing to make that kind of commitment.

I selected the small cat, up to ten pounds product. It was on sale for $34.95, a $5 savings. A deshedder for ten pounds and over is available as well as different sizes for dogs. I combed Lexie Lee for fifteen minutes today and got enough fur off her to cover one of those kittens I saw yesterday. Amazing how much undercoat and loose hair it reached compared to the tools I usually use. Chauncey and Princess Grace watched, and they wanted the same attention. Their hair is shorter, and I was surprised how much hair was removed.

For further information, visit FURminator.

What is your experience with FURminator?

Warm Purrs!


The stores are filled with beautiful Easter lilies this time of the year. Many people are purchasing potted or cut lilies to decorate their homes or to give as hostess gifts on Easter weekend. Although lilies are one of my favorite flowers, I do not have any in my house with Lexie Lee, Chauncey and Grace. Many varieties of lilies can be deadly to cats.

According to Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, Veterinary Toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, “Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), Tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum), Rubrum lily (Lilium speciosum), Japanese show lily (Lilium lancifolium) and some species of the Day lily (Hemerocallis species) can cause kidney failure in cats. Unfortunately, all parts of the lily plant are considered toxic to cats and consuming even small amounts can be life threatening.” Asian and stargazer lilies are also fatal to cats.

If a cat ingests any part of the plant such as biting into a leaf or petal or licking lily pollen from his paws or drinking water from a vase with lilies, the cat is poisoned. Within thirty minutes, the cat may vomit, become lethargic, or have a lack of appetite. These symptoms will worsen without immediate treatment by a veterinarian, and the cat may develop kidney failure in 36 to 72 hours. It is imperative to get your cat to an emergency clinic immediately to have a better chance at saving the cat.

If you receive a lily and have cats in the house, be sure to remove the flower from their access. Keep in mind cats are climbers and setting the lily on a high shelf can be just as dangerous as having the bouquet on the dining room table. The cat will likely get to it—wherever it is. Even placing the flowers in a closed off room may not be safe if you have company in the house and someone leaves a door open unintentionally. An outdoor patio is not recommended either since stray cats may be tempted to munch on the plant. If you are purchasing flowers for an Easter gift for a cat family (dogs are not sensitive to lilies), Easter orchids, Easter cactus, Easter daisies, or violets are safer selections. Then there’s always an Easter basket filled with colored eggs!

Have a safe Easter with your family and cats.

Warm Purrs!

Cats and window screens present a potential summer hazard. We welcome opening up the house and letting refreshing breezes in. But as we do so, it is important to check the condition of each screen. I learned why after a house renovation. My cat Lexie Lee was in the dining room on a window sill that runs around ten windows. I was in the kitchen and suddenly a loud noise followed by meows interrupted a quiet evening. I ran into the dining room, and Lexie Lee had fallen onto the floor with a window screen on top of her. Nothing like this had ever happened before! I quickly closed the wide open window. Lexie Lee was startled, but otherwise fine.

Then I headed outside with the screen and properly set it into the window track. I checked the remaining nine windows in that area followed by other windows the next day. Everything was secure, except for the one screen that had fallen out. I think when the new windows and screens were installed, one of them was not locked into place properly. When Lexie Lee pushed against the screen as she traveled along the sill, it gave way. I was just thankful that Lexie Lee tumbled inside the house rather than outside.

Cats also like to climb screens or scratch screens. I have noticed that movement on the outside causes my cats on the inside to bat at the screen. My one-year-olds, Chauncey and Gracie delight in hanging from screens and getting their claws caught. Tears and holes result creating another problem. Screens should be repaired to keep the insects out and to keep the cats from tearing the holes bigger. Sometimes I use small pieces of tape or clear nail polish for quick fixes. You can also pick up a screen repair kit at your local home improvement store.

But sometimes the screen is beyond repair. Earlier this week I was in Ace Hardware getting a picture glass cut. (No, I broke it, not the cats!) While waiting, I noticed the screen display including pet screening that withstands mischievous cats. The cost is $1.00 an inch compared to $0.40 for regular screens. But the pet screen could well be worth the investment for my piece of mind and my cats’ safety. A few more feline climbing adventures in my household will probably send me back to the store, this time for cat proof screening!

What has been your experience with cats, windows and screens?

Happy Purrs!

I love this warm fuzzy story. A very kind couple recently rescued a kitten in Lincolnton, North Carolina along the busy four-lane Highway 321. They spotted the kitten but were unable to catch her on the first attempt. A few days later she was humanely trapped and now is looking for a forever home.

Her foster parents even set up her own blog and named her Ember. She was checked out by a veterinarian and given a clean bill of health. If you or someone you know in this area of North Carolina are interested in learning more about adopting her, contact embercam@gmail.com
View video and read more about sweet Ember and how well she is doing at her purr-sonal blog.

Bountiful Blessings!

Who doesn’t love a happy ending to a cat story? My guest today is Anna Trusky who has an incredible tale to share about Ginger.

Please tell us about Ginger and how long she lived with you.
Ginger is the second kitty I adopted after Punkin. I wanted to get another cat, and I was sitting at my computer working one November day when I got on PetFinder.com and checked to see who was available at some of the local shelters. I wanted to get a young cat because I’d heard it was easier for them to adjust to a household with multiple pets and dogs. The only shelter that appeared to have kittens was a place called Yesterday’s Kittens in Deep River, Connecticut, about 45 minutes away. I called, and they said I could come right over, so I jumped in the car.

When I was there, this little orange and white furball was racing around, and I fell in love with her immediately. Her name at the time was Lark. She was between three and four months old, but undersized. They told me she probably wouldn’t live very long. She was one of seven kittens who had been rescued in Vernon, Conn. Several of her siblings had died, and she had almost been put down because she had been very ill. The vet thought she had a liver shunt and did not give her a good prognosis. I held her and was totally enchanted by her chubby little cheeks and beautiful green eyes.

I left and tried not to think about her. I went to other shelters and looked at other kitties. But I could not get her out of my mind. I was convinced that I was meant to be her mom. Finally, I went back there and offered to pay for her to have an ultrasound to really get to the bottom of the liver issue. The test was performed, and the vet thought that there was, indeed, a liver shunt. But I was in love, and I took her anyway, deciding that I would give her the best life possible for as long as possible. I brought her home on December 27. When she was a little older kitten, I had my vet order another ultrasound, and this one showed that she did have an unusual vein around her liver, but did not have a liver shunt after all!

When did she disappear?
She disappeared on July 3. Our Sheltie puppy had chewed on the corner of the screen on the sliding glass door so it flipped up, and Ginger apparently got out through the little hole. We NEVER let our cats out, but we definitely should have been more careful on this day. I did not realize she was gone until the next morning. It was very hot, and the kitties often go the basement where it’s cool, so we don’t always see all of them at the same time. (We had four.) We went out for a bite with a friend, and came home and went right to sleep. The heat was unbearable.

The next morning, I fed all the “kids.” Ginger did not show up for breakfast, which was not like her. Suddenly, I panicked. I ran all over the house, calling her. I woke up my husband and we walked all around the yard, the neighbors’ yards, and the neighborhood, calling and calling. For the next several days, I took walks and drives all over, looking and calling. I figured she’d gone into the woods, and was beside myself because there are a lot of coyotes, foxes, and fisher cats around.

How else did you look for Ginger?
I put an ad in the local paper, signs up in the neighborhood, and ads on Craigslist, PetFinder, and another Pets Lost and Found site. I even consulted with three psychics. The first one told me she immediately saw Ginger in spirit form. She said Ginger showed her a fox. She concluded that Ginger had been killed by a fox. The second one said Ginger was near the water, and was confused.(She later said Ginger was being taken care of by someone and was “in good hands.”) The third said she had been taken in by an older woman who lived in a nearby neighborhood, and I should distribute flyers there, which I did.

How were you reunited with Ginger?
It’s amazing — miraculous, really! Six weeks later, on August 15, I was working in my garden when I heard what sounded like a cat meowing. I thought maybe it was my neighbor’s cat, who is an outdoor cat, and that maybe he had gotten stuck in one of the tall trees that border the property behind us and the house next door to us. I walked around the fence and through the adjoining yards, looking all around, but I didn’t see or hear anything, so I went home.

Then I heard it again. I said to my husband, “Do you hear that? And he did.” I said, “I’m going back out there. You never know!” I walked back over to the next-door neighbor’s yard, calling “Kitty kitty kitty,” and this time I was answered with an anguished meowing. I really didn’t expect to find my girl, I thought it was probably the neighbor’s cat or a stray. Finally I traced the sound to a woodpile next to the next-door-neighbor’s house, which is only about 10 feet from our fence. I crouched down, and was astonished to see my Ginger’s little head pop out! I could not believe my eyes. I said “Ginger, let Mommy get you, okay?” and she did. I scooped her up in my arms and ran back to my house, yelling for my husband at the top of my lungs. He ran down the stairs and opened the door, and I got our little girl safely inside. “I just kept saying, ‘Oh, my God! It’s Ginger, It’s Ginger!'” Then I collapsed, sobbing.

What condition was Ginger in when you found her?
She was emaciated and dehydrated, but did not have a scratch or a bug on her.

How did you keep up hope that she would be found?
I just kept reminding myself that miracles happen. But I really thought that with all the predators around, the odds were that we would not see her again.

What was the hardest part for you?
Everything — feeling that I would never see her again, missing her beautiful presence among us, petting and loving her, feeling responsible for her getting out, and fearing that she had suffered and met a terrible fate.

What advice do you have for those who lose a cat?
Do everything you can and don’t lose hope — miracles really do happen!

How is Ginger doing now that she is home?
She’s still weak and traumatized, but gradually building up her strength. She’s eating and drinking, and her body seems to be functioning fine. There is still some hissing going on because the other cats are leery of her right now. Interestingly, she was much happier to see the dogs than the other cats! She greeted the dogs with a rub and her tail straight up! Also, we adopted a kitten from a shelter when we thought we would not see her again, and she’s not real happy about that! But he is a total love, and so wants to be friends with her. I hope the day will come when all the kitties will be playing together and happily coexisting once more!

Ginger’s incredible return brings tears to my eyes. I hope she continues to settle back into her former home life. She is so lucky to have you. You have shown that unwavering diligence in looking for Ginger paid off. Thank you Anna for sharing Ginger with us today.


The article How to find a lost cat includes valuable tips, many of which Anna used to help find Ginger.

Bountiful Blessings!

As we celebrate the 4th of July with parties and fireworks, the festivities can be traumatizing for cats. Many communities have fireworks displays. My neighbors have backyard celebrations–some of them beginning on July 2 and continuing for several days. By keeping in mind the following ideas, the best interest of your cat will be served.

First of all, if you have an indoor-outdoor cat, I recommend you keep the cat inside for a couple of days. The main reason for this is to keep the cat from being harmed accidentally or intentionally. Sadly, I have heard too many malicious stories about firecrackers being tied to a cat’s tail. If your cat is outdoor only, I also recommend you find a way to bring the cat inside.

The next consideration is the affect of the loud noises–they will be scary to most cats. I find when I spend time talking to my cat, Lexie Lee, the extra attention is calming to her during the fireworks. We also play longer than usual with her favorite feather toy, and that activity takes her focus off what is happening outside. Playing music helps to muffle the unusual outdoor sounds. You can also set up a safe sanctuary in a quiet part of the house, equipped with the cat’s bed, toys, food, water and litter box.

Finally, if you are having company, it is a good idea to temporarily confine the cat to a room away from the guests–perhaps the sanctuary. That way you do not have to worry about the cat getting scared from all the added commotion and bolting out an open door.

How do you keep your cat calm and safe?

Bountiful Blessings!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

%d bloggers like this: