A spraying cat: possible warning that another cat is sick.

Recently we heard from a long time customer who told us that one of her cats will spray urine when another furry family member is sick.

Changes in cat behavior around others’ illness have been reported in the press. This link is to an article that talks about how cats can behave when another is sick or dying, and how they sometimes behave quite differently when another cat has cancer.

http://www.petsadviser.com/behaviors/can-cats-tell-when-another-cat-is-dying/

Scientific studies have shown that dogs can detect cancer in people at very early stages using their sense of smell. They can also predict seizures and sense low blood pressure, vitally important for their diabetic human companions. Here’s a link to more information.

http://pets.webmd.com/features/pets-amazing-abilities

It can be quite interesting when a cat sprays or pees out of the box – sometimes it’s our first warning that another animal in the house is sick or is getting sick. It can also happen when an animal comes home from the vet, or crosses the bridge. They can sense it or smell it, and they’ll worry “I might be next!” so they’ll spray or pee out of fear or nerves. These cats are particularly sensitive, almost like those cancer smelling dogs we read about!

Convivial House Cat Spray and Feliway can really help steady the nerves of such a sensitive cat!

Newton’s Purrspective – Sense of Smell and a Cat’s 6th Sense

Here’s guest writer and “one smart cat” Newton to give us the science behind a cat’s sense of smell.

Newton’s Purrspective – Sense of Smell and a Cat’s 6th Sense


Isaac Newton

Cats and humans share the same 5 senses (hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell), but our abilities are far from equal. Despite my obvious bias, I have to say that you can’t argue with science. In a comparison of the two species, overall cats win paws down. Cats have a far greater range of hearing (45-64,000 Hz compared to humans 64-23,000 Hz). (1) Our eyes have six to eight times as many cells for viewing objects in low light as humans. (2) Our whiskers are so sensitive that we can detect the slightest change in air currents around objects (such as furniture). This is one of the reasons blind cats can get around so well. (3) True, we only have 473 taste buds compared to 9,000 in humans (4), and our reputation for being finicky is well deserved. But, we are obligate carnivores and our natural diet is primarily protein. We have no need to taste sugar! (5) If your apple pie mysteriously disappears from the table I suggest that you blame it on Fido.

Perhaps most amazing of all is our sense of smell. Any human who has suffered a cold knows how important smell is to being able to taste food. Cats have 200 million odor sensitive cells in our nostrils, 40 times more than humans. (6) We also have a special structure called the Jacobson’s Organ (vomeronasal organ). This structure is located behind our upper front teeth and connects to the nasal cavity. Inhaled information is transferred directly to special areas of the brain for concentrated processing and analysis. Has your cat ever sniffed you intensely and then made a face suggesting the smell was bad? Kitty is actively breathing in air to utilize the Jacobson’s Organ. The curled lip is called “Flehmen” (German for lip curl) (7) or sometimes “Flehmen’s smile”. This process allows more in depth analysis of scents and, among other things, is used to detect pheromones. We KNOW if a strange cat has been rubbing up against you! For this reason it is sometimes called an auxiliary or extra sense – a Sixth Sense.

Does this mean cats are psychic? I can’t say for sure, but some researchers suggest that a cat’s sense of smell is extra special. Atmospheric air flow through Jacobson’s Organ may reveal small changes in chemical composition. This could enable a cat to sense impending disasters such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and forest fires. Supporters of this view say Jacobson’s Organ is the structural origin of a Sixth Sense. (8)

In conclusion, understanding the sensitivity and importance of smell to cats can help humans to make our environments more pleasant. Remember, smell can attract or repel. I come running when a new box of Cat Faeries Legendary Catnip toys arrives. But please don’t be offended if I don’t enjoy your Chanel No. 5.

Smell influences:

  • the types of food we will eat (we need lots of protein)
  • what areas of the house we prefer (we don’t like most chemical cleaning agents, so I suggest an enzyme based cleaner such as Cat Faeries Anti-Icky Poo in cat box areas)
  • litter box acceptance/avoidance (we prefer unscented litter) (9)

Following these guidelines can foster a more peaceful coexistence for all.

NOTES:

(1) http://www.lsu.edu/deafness/HearingRange.html
(2) http://www.livescience.com/40460-images-cat-versus-human-vision.html
(3) http://animals.howstuffworks.com/pets/question592.htm
(4) http://lovemeow.com/2009/10/5-senses-cats-vs-humans/
(5) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-cats-cannot-taste-sweets/
(6) http://lovemeow.com/2009/10/5-senses-cats-vs-humans/
(7) http://cats.about.com/od/amyshojai/a/Flehmen-Aka-Flehmen-Response.htm
(8) http://www.zooclub.ru/eng/cats/sost/5.shtml
(9) http://www.pet-health-care-gazette.com/2010/02/03/cat-litter-box-problems-what-to-do-when-your-cat-decides-not-to-use-the-litter-box/

New Deadly Dog and Cat Flu Outbreak

You may have heard about the potentially deadly dog flu outbreak that is sweeping through Chicago and surrounding areas.

Now comes the news it has infected cats as well as dogs.

In a press release yesterday from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin (“Tests show Midwestern canine flu outbreak stems from new strain“) it is reported the virus is a new one called H3N2. They say there is no evidence the virus has infected humans but that “H3N2 has caused infection and respiratory illness in felines” as well as dogs. And they report “the infection has been associated with some deaths.”

It’s widespread enough that the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society had to cancel their annual 2015 Bark In The Park fundraiser (“Bark In The Park 2015 Canceled by Dog Flu Outbreak“). Dogster.com reports PetSmart has closed its three Chicago PetsHotel boarding facilities and warning signs have been posted in Chicago-area parks.

Before you panic we recommend that you read this article from Dogs Naturally (“The Dog Flu Epidemic: The Real Truth“). Be aware that their focus is on dogs, but in this case it applies to a dog as it will apply to a cat. We like this magazine because they offer very well researched articles with a wholistic view point. And, yes, what the say about vaccinations is eye opening – a must read for everyone who thinks that vaccines are harmless, and will protect us from anything and everything. Don’t miss the part about the “seeding” pharmaecutical companies do in advance of any product launch.

In the article Karen Becker, DVD recommends giving dogs garlic and essential oils to boost immunity. This could be a dangerous mistake for cats. Both garlic and essentials oils can be very toxic, even a drop of some essential oils can be lethal for a cat. We recommend Colloidal Defense for its virus killing ability and immunity boosting.

Flu symptoms in your cat or dog to watch out for:

  • Labored or rapid breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Cough
  • Nasal discharge

If your cat or dog exhibits any of these symptoms, isolate them, then please call your vet immediately!

Cat Safe & Cat Poisonous Spring Flowers

How many of you cat lovers were given lilies this past weekend? Who among us gave someone with cats lilies or are about to?
Go this article with a short one minute video about the dangers of lilies for cats then throw them into the compost bin!

Paws on Safety: 1 Min Pet Clinic – Lily Toxicity

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are both coming up and that means gifts of pretty spring time flowers – but many of them are poisonous to cats and shouldn’t be anywhere inside the home of a cat. Among them are tulips, daffodils, and crocus. Did you know that baby’s breath is toxic to cats? We think you’ll enjoy this short article.

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/spring/

While we don’t endorse Teleflora (personally, we like to shop locally and put together our own flower arrangements) they do have a very good page on their website with safe Spring time flowers and pretty photos of bouquet ideas.

http://www.teleflora.com/nontoxic-pet-friendly-flowers-plants.asp


Pretty kittens with pretty cat-safe lilacs

At our house about the only flowers you’ll ever see are fair trade roses. You cannot go wrong with a nice bunch of roses! Or Lilacs! We adore lilacs during their all too short season. Other cat-safe flowers include: African violets, Alyssium, Calendula, Bachelor’s Buttons, Begonias, Columbine, Coneflowers, Gerber Daisies, Hollyhocks, Impatiens, Nasturtium, Orchids, Petunias, Snapdragons, Sunflowers, Violets, Zinnias.

If you are like me and love flowering herbs these make very sweet little rustic bouquets, darling in Mason jars: Basil, Bee Balm, Cilantro or Coriander, Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lovage, All of the Mints, Oregan, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme.

Is buying “pet insurance” worth the cost?

Nearly every vet’s office has an application at the front desk for some sort of “pet insurance” health policy. We’ve noticed there are quite a few different companies which offer animal health insurance which has us wondering which might be the best one to buy. A better question, is it even worth it? After all, this is a monthly fee for a service that you may never need, or may never use up what you put into it.

We found this objective article. The author makes a very good point that it’s a good idea to create a savings account to put aside money for the feline health version of “for a rainy day.”

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43916934/ns/business-consumer_news/t/pet-insurance-good-deal-or-rip/

Next we also asked our good friend, Newton who’s one smart feline cookie to give us his purrspective, which we know is always a good one. He did some digging and not in the cat box! Interestingly, Newton tells us that: “I couldn’t find anyone recommending it (except the insurance companies). I tried to find out some background on the industry worldwide – not much out there.”


Newton’s Purrspective – Should you buy “pet insurance” for your cat’s possible health concerns?



Isaac Newton

We all know that keeping your cat healthy requires a certain level of financial commitment. However, most family budgets don’t include the costs for non-routine surgery, hospitalization for life threatening disease, or treatment by a specialist. Is health insurance for Kitty the answer?

Insurance is all about risk management. What are the chances your cat will need expensive veterinary care? Accidents can happen at any age. Senior cats are more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes (treated with insulin) or chronic kidney failure (requiring fluids either at home or during hospitalization). There is no way to predict what might happen or exactly what it will cost.

What is best for you may be a combination of these ways to plan ahead:

1. pet insurance
2. savings or credit options
3. regular veterinary care to detect problems early
4. a cat safe environment

Is pet insurance worth the cost?

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43916934/ns/business-consumer_news/t/pet-insurance-good-deal-or-rip/

Those monthly payments may not seem so bad if Kitty does require expensive surgery. But everybody hopes they will never need the insurance and are often paying for peace of mind.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/august/money/pet-costs/pet-insurance-rarely-worth-the-price-in-our-analysis/index.htm

If you decide to buy pet insurance do the research to find a plan that is right for you. Questions to ask include:

1. What are the deductibles?
2. Are there treatment exclusions?

3. Is there a lifetime cap on benefits?

http://cats.about.com/od/pethealthinsurance/bb/bybpetinsurance.htm

Another option is to have savings set aside for emergencies (i.e. pay yourself the insurance premium). There is also a health care credit card called Care Credit. http://www.carecredit.com/ The online application can be done at home or right in your veterinarian’s office (online or by phone). You choose the amount you need (e.g. estimated cost of procedure) and you get the decision instantly.

Potential costs can be minimized with regular exams for early disease detection. Also make your home as cat safe as possible. Eliminate poisonous plants (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/c?field_toxicity_value[0]=02&&page=2) and dangerous toys (e.g. anything easily broken or small enough to swallow). I love my Legendary Cat Toys (http://www.catfaeries.com/toys.html) because they are large and can take a lot of rough play.

One final caution: Like most cats I can’t resist chasing yarn. It’s lots of fun until I catch it and it gets stuck to the little barbs on my tongue! Should this happen, my staff is always there to make sure I don’t swallow it. Thread is even more dangerous since it is often attached to a sewing needle. Yikes! http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/ask-a-vet-cat-swallows-needle-what-to-do

A cat safe environment is insurance everyone can afford.


On Newton’s advice to keep your cat’s home environment safe: Cat Faeries chimes in with a few favorites of our own. We’re pretty obsessively green around here as you probably have noticed from our articles!

  • Keep your home free of scented/fragranced products – artificial fragrances are carcinogenic, cause respiratory distress, and brain damage in some cases. Also, scent, whether or not it smell good is very subjective – not everyone likes the same smells. People who have chemical intolerance only smell the chemicals which aren’t pretty.
  • Hardwood floors or natural linoleum rather than carpet or laminate. 60 Minutes recently did an expose’ about toxic laminate from China:
    http://wtvr.com/2015/03/02/report-high-formaldehyde-levels-found-in-va-flooring-from-lumber-liquidators/
  • The microwave makes a good cabinet to store things! Don’t nuke your food or your cat’s food.
  • Glass bowls for the cat’s food and water – never plastic. Wash them with a simple soap and water, daily.
  • Filter the water that you drink and that you serve to your cat. Filter your cooking and coffee water too.
  • Take your filtered water to a higher level when you Vitalize the drinking water for everyone in your home with our VitaJuwel gemstone vial/wands!
  • Don’t buy furniture make from particle board. The glues and adhesives off gas and are carcinogenic. It horrifies us to see that particle board is used to build new homes, schools, and cat condos.

Why Sprouts Are Good for Cats: Make healthful Kitty Spaghetti from red clover seeds

We’ve always been fans of wheat grass for cats, having written what could have been the first article ever on the benefits of wheat grass for cats in Tiger Tribe magazine back in 1993.

Yaelle is a Cat Faeries customer and for over 20 years she’s made what she calls Kitty Spaghetti or Cat Salad from sprouted red clover seeds. She has tended to countless cats from her own, as well as ferals and fosters. A true cat whisperer! Here’s what she has to say about red clover sprouts.


Yaelle’s Healthy “Cat Salad” or “Kitty Spaghetti”

This is my simple “cat salad/kitty spaghetti” recipe that I feed my cats, to all my rescues/fosters, too. In over 20 years only 3 cats have refused this delicious and nutritious dish. Kitties gobble this up faster than I’ve seen cats eat any other kind of food.

What you need:

  • red clover seeds
  • A clean 1 quart Mason jar
  • Something mesh like: panty hose, cheese cloth.
  • A rubber band
  • Filtered water
  • Alternatively you could be a special sprouting jar at your local health food store, but truly a Mason jar is just as good and it’s practically free!

HERE’S A BASIC HOW-TO-SPROUT RECIPE:
1: Take red clover seeds and put them in your clean quart-sized jar. For one or two cats: 1 to 2 tablespoons. For more cats and yourself add 4 to 6 tablespoons of seeds.

2: Add purified or filtered water enough that the water is several inches above the seeds. The seeds will expand, so make sure you have enough water covering them.

3: Soak overnight.

4: In the morning pour off water. Then add more water through the pantyhose or cheesecloth and rinse the seeds well. Do this a couple of times. Once you’ve done your final rinse place mouth of jar down at 45 degree angle for drainage and ventilation. There are several ways you can tilt the jars at a 45 degree angle. You can use a dish drainer or prop the jar up at the correct angle with dish towels and something to lean the jar against.

5: Rinse twice a day with fresh cool water.

6: After 4 or 5 days you’ve got mature sprouts. Don’t let them go longer, they’ll get bigger and tough. It’s now time to start using them. Your sprouts are fresh for almost one week stored in a glass jar in the fridge.

Once you get the hang of this you can keep a jar or two in rotation so that you don’t run out of sprouts. It’s a bit tricky at first to get the rhythm down, and for a long time I found that either I had too many sprouts or I was running out. Eventually with practice, you develop a system that works optimally for you, your cats and your schedule. This delicate sprouting process doesn’t have to be a perfect science. Even if the sprouts are not fully grown, as long as they have sprouted, they are a “living food” and what’s essential for this healthful recipe!

I have 3 quart-sized glass jars “going” at all times:

  • One jar has seeds that are soaking. I soak my seeds about every 3 or 4 days.
  • The 2nd jar has sprouts that are in the growing stage.
  • The 3rd jar has the sprouts that are ready to harvest.

Time to add sprouts to your cat’s food!

After your sprouts are ready, you take your preferred moist cat food. I recommend Primal Freeze-Dried Formula for Cats It comes in little “bricks” or nuggets. It’s frozen 100% human-grade raw organic food full of wonderful things such as coconut oil. It’s a bit expensive but worth it if you can afford it.

Here’s where to find this cat food: http://www.primalpetfoods.com/locator/index.php

(Cat Faeries recommends the turkey flavor as we do not trust fish from any source at this time. This is what we feed our own cats, and only the turkey flavor.)

Put the cat’s food in a bowl and add sprouts, mixing with a fork. You might give the sprouts a rough chop first.

In addition you could add a little cod liver oil for skin and fur. It has lots of vitamin A and D and tastes fishy so cats really go for it! Kitties (and humans) really need their healthy fats.

Finally, to “spice” things up, I always sprinkle some spirulina into my cat salad/kitty spaghetti.

I only have known 3 cats who would not eat the “cat salad/kitty spaghetti” from the very first serving. For those cats you could add a few of your kitty’s favorite and healthful kibble just like “meatballs” on top of spaghetti or salad “croutons”!

BON APPETIT

With all my love,
Yaelle


Here’s a picture of Yaelle’s Cassie…