Pumpkin seeds – your cat’s new friend and a tapeworm’s worst enemy!

 

Pumpkins are in season right now and their seasonal yumminess has me not only eating them but thinking about their miraculous seeds and how they benefit both your cat and you!

Pumpkin seeds are a good friend to any animal – such as your cat or you – who might have parasites! Yes, face it, we all have them to some degree and they lead to many big health problems. Regular eating of ground pumpkin seeds will paralyze them so that they will lose their grip on the intestine wall. Once these uninvited residents have been loosened, they will be pooped out! Keep eating those seeds because there will be unhatched eggs which will grow up and we want to keep the flow of parasite removal going!

Parasites that cats can get:
Tapeworms
Roundworms
Hookworms
Flukes

How do pumpkin seeds work to kill parasites?

Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin which is an amino acid that paralyzes leeching worms which causes them to lose their grip on the walls of your or your cat’s intestines. When they lose their grip, they are easily pooped out with no further intervention of your part. People can chew the seeds. Grind them for your cat’s food or to toss in your salad or sprinkle on other foods that you like.

How much ground pumpkin seeds is needed?
Cats – 1 teaspoon per day
You – ½ to 1 cup per day

Most cats do not mind the flavor of ground pumpkin seeds.
Always tell your veterinarian that you are giving your cat pumpkin seed powder.

Pumpkin seed pesto in your blender – your cat’s and yours:
Put in the blender…
½ cup of raw pumpkin seeds
1/8 cup good olive oil or coconut oil
BLEND AND STOP – Put a teaspoon in your cat’s food

Continuing for your meal add this…
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Lemon juice
Fresh US grown organic garlic
Greens such as parsley, cilantro, kale, spinach
Blend and eat

There are a few products for cats and dogs on the market which are pumpkin seed based. We checked and learned that the pumpkin seeds were grown in China. Do we, yet again, need say how bad it is getting food items from China? Aside from buying your own pumpkins right now (the edible kind, not jack-a-lanterns), scooping out the seeds, soaking them, dehydrating them, and then using a Vita Mix or other high powered blender to create powder) you can buy certified organic, grown in Oregon, pumpkin seeds. Our source of choice for US grown pumpkin seeds is Living Tree Community (https://www.livingtreecommunityfoods.com/product/pumpkin-seeds-american-family-farmers-grown-alive-organic/) who have dried them at 95* thus keeping them in a raw state, rich with enzymes and nutrients!

All you need is a coffee grinder and you can grind up enough to last your cat and you several days. We recommend that you do not use the same grinder to grind up coffee or hot spices. Many people have 2 or 3 grinders reserved for specific types foods to grind. Coffee grinders are easy to use and generally cost around $20.

Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Good fiber – helps regularity
  • Loaded with nutrients including magnesium,
  • Prevents certain cancers including stomach, lung and colon cancers
  • Good for the heart
  • Contains antioxidants which reduces inflammation
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Omega 3 fats
  • Anti parasitic
  • Tasty!

 
 
 
 

Why October is a great time to take your cat for a checkup! 13 Things You Can Do to Make Veterinary Visits Better for Everyone With 13 Great Tips!

With the holidays rapidly approaching, a busy time for everyone, we thought that we might urge you to take your cats to the see the veterinarian now for a checkup before holiday animal (and human family) emergencies might crop up creating additional stresses. Statistics tell us the emergency room trips increase on holidays for a variety of reasons! Here’s an older newsletter/blog posting of ours with a check list of what to do to make trips to the vet easier for you and for your cat! It will help you organize and plan before you get there. And once you are there double check and question everything – we’ve seen where a doctor mis-prescribed a medication or got the dosage wrong – you have the right to go over every detail without getting push back.

  1. Accustom your cat to a carrier and to traveling in the car.
  2. If your veterinarian doesn’t already have your cat’s medical record on file, bring it with you or have your previous veterinary hospital send or fax the records. Also bring your own notes on your cat’s health and medical history. Don’t send your cat with a person who doesn’t have the information the vet will need to help your cat – or if you must do this, thoroughly document your cat’s current condition on paper and make sure you’re available by phone to answer questions that may come up.
  3. Arrive on time or a few minutes early for your appointment.
  4. Unless children can sit quietly without distracting you or interfering with your veterinary team’s ability to examine or treat your cat or talk to you about your cat, consider leaving your children with a babysitter while you take your cat to the veterinarian.
  5. Turn your cell phone off while you are in the exam room.
  6. Know what medications your cat is receiving (including supplements), as well as how much, how often and how long it is given. Better yet, bring them with you.
  7. Don’t be shy about sharing your observations and concerns with your veterinarian – after all, you know your cat better than anyone else does.
  8. Ask questions. Ask until you understand the answers. Often vets forget that we don’t have a medical degree.
  9. Take notes! Don’t expect to remember everything. While you are taking your notes, you may think of additional questions which you should write down and ask before you leave.
  10. Ask for handouts and brochures. Ask if there are reputable online sources of information about your cat’s condition.
  11. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations. They’re given for one very important reason – to keep your cat healthy.
  12. Arrange for a follow phone call to review how the cat is doing.
  13. And our Lucky 13 thing to do: Check the name or names of medication. Check the dosage and instructions on the bottle/s of medication and compare them to what the veterinarian wrote down. Show it to the office manager to verify. Mistakes can happen and in the case of drugs – they can be fatal. Never take anything for granted, a cat-parent cannot be too fussy!

How to Keep Your Cat From Biting

Every now and then we hear from people who ask what products we might have for cats who bite. They often bite during play or while being petted. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a dime on a product BUT you do need to change behavior, yours, not the cat’s!

There are many cats who get “overly stimulated” and it can happen fast. Even a few brisk strokes on a cat’s fur can be too overly stimulating and trigger than same excitement of an outside cat when prey is in sight – attack and bite! This harkens back to their early primitive years in forests and jungles when survival depended upon great hunting skills.

If you have such a cat here’s what you should do. Beginning right now No More Petting! Give this a few weeks to a few months. I know – it’s hard! Really hard, but you must. Don’t think about how soft and plush your cat is, resisting isn’t easy! But resist you must. Even if the cat begs for it, rubs on your legs or body, don’t do it. Play hard to get! If you can’t resist some fur-contact do a few strokes, soft strokes on the tippy tips of fur, then stop. Walk away if you need to.

The other thing you must stop doing right is no more playing finger-mice with your hands. You must restrict play by allowing the cat to only play with floor toys (like our Catnip toys) rather than interactive toys. We want to give the cat some time to disassociate you with play, chasing and hunting that your cat might be more genetically prone to than other house cats

You can make this stop and allow your cat to be calmer and less likely to channel their hunter ancestors!

One last thought. Sometimes a cat will bite because of a tooth ache so have your vet check out your cat’s mouth to see if this is the root cause.
 
 
 
 

A better way to get a “difficult” cat into a carrier!

Here’s a better way to get a “difficult” cat into a carrier with less stress for the cat and less chance of scratched up arms and hands for you!

Is your cat one of those who when you need to place your furry friend into a carrier, their legs flare out and it’s a battle to get the cat inside without them panicking and you becoming a bloody mess of scratches? Our brainy veterinarian, Dr. Debra Scheenstra, showed us a trick and now we share that with you!

  • Place a hard plastic carrier on the floor with the door open and the opening facing up to the ceiling. Dr. Scheenstra recommends using a carrier with at least a 8″ x 7″ door opening (a bigger door is even easier).
  • Place a dish towel over the opening. We recommend a large potato sack-like towel – a bath towel is too thick and won’t work.
  • The carrier is now at an angle that the cat won’t recognize and the potato sack towel makes the opening invisible to the cat.
  • QUICKLY pick up the cat and drop the cat on top of the towel where it and the cat will drop down into the carrier before they know what’s happening!
  • Quickly shut the door and lock it!

Mr. Cat Faerie recommends you also wear thick leather gauntlet-style gloves when handling difficult cats to protect against scratches and bites. Animal professionals use “animal handling gloves.” Some can be quite expensive, but some are in the $20-$30 range. Other similar gloves are sold as welding gloves, BBQ/fireplace gloves or rose pruning gloves. One more tip – put aside a pair of gloves just for handling your cat. You don’t want to smudge up your kitty with a used pair of fireplace gloves.

 
 
 
 

“The Cat Rescuers” documentary film

The Cat Rescuers is a new documentary film about the volunteer heroes in New York City who are trying to make a dent in the 500,000+ population of New York’s street cats, because as we know, the humane societies nationwide cannot do it all themselves.

See the 2 minute trailer!

http://catrescuersfilm.com/

Meet some of the city’s rescuers:

http://catrescuersfilm.com/the-rescuers/

Schedule of upcoming screenings:

http://catrescuersfilm.com/screenings/

Learn how you can host a screening in your community:

http://catrescuersfilm.com/host-a-screening/

The film isn’t available on DVD yet, but it will be available for purchase later this year! We’ll put a notice in our newsletter when it’s available (if you aren’t signed up for our newsletter, you can sign up here).

 
 
 
 

Newton’s Purrspective – Cats and Sleep

Sir Isaac Newton is our Feline Editor At Large (just how large, he’s not saying) who writes very brainy and very well researched articles for us. Newton lives in the North East and is fond of storms, our catnip toys, a soft bed, sunbeams, and naps. He has an ongoing email flirtation with our Daphne. This is his current, and as always, very well done article.


Cats have a reputation for preferring sleep over almost anything else. Perhaps you’ve seen the cartoon showing a group of “business cats” sitting around a table. The head cat is calling for a vote. Should they explore, invent things, do research etc. or keep napping? All answer “nap”. You may laugh, but I don’t think that is such a bad idea considering the decisions far too many humans make without taking adequate time to think about it, consider the consequences, or gather information and read about, or “sleep on it”.




Isaac Newton

Cats need approximately 12-16 hours of sleep daily. I really don’t understand why we should get a bad rap for that. Dogs need 12-14 hours of sleep and nobody jokes about them! But seriously, if you’re going to take an afternoon nap wouldn’t it be better for a snooze with a cat? Of course, we felines enjoy helping you read, type on the computer, text on your phone, knit – almost any activity. But naps are our specialty and you could learn a lot from us! Lying down is an invitation for a snuggle. We are soft and super flexible for cuddling – especially in cold weather. We also make the most delightful music while “making biscuits” on your stomach. Irresistible!

In fact, we cats have perfected the art of napping. We can fall asleep quickly and awake refreshed in a flash! Surprisingly, some people (who may have been cats in another life) have even learned the joys and benefits and they call it, appropriately, a “cat nap”.

Even if you aren’t feeling tired you probably enjoy watching Kitty sleep. What could be more relaxing, meditative even? You may wonder if cats dream. Of course we do! Sometimes our legs kick or our toes twitch like we are running in hot pursuit of a toy or something to eat. We can look like we are chewing, dreaming of a delicious morsel. What are we dreaming of? Perhaps we are dreaming of what we love, like chasing butterflies, hunting for a snack, or a platter of fresh meat. Or maybe we are indulging a more sinister side – catching and crunching unwary birdies.

Regardless, we are never as uncouth as dogs. Have you seen them dreaming? Barks and whines and enough leg movement to generate electricity! Cats are refined and elegant even in our dreams.

Can a cat sleep too much? I think a more important question would be “Have Kitty’s sleeping habits changed?” Kittens and senior cats do tend to sleep for longer periods. But lethargy in a normally active cat is a concern. Other considerations include poor diet or a health problem such as changes in Kidney function. A veterinarian should definitely be consulted if there are symptoms of disease (vomiting, changes in water consumption, flinching with pain when touched or picked up, etc.). Keep in mind that we cats are experts at hiding sickness as to not appear to be weak and vulnerable. Extra sleep could be a “self healing” technique handed down via DNA from our wild ancestors. If Kitty is sleeping much more than usual a health check is in order. If the veterinarian gives Kitty a clean bill of health it may mean that Fluffy may be bored and in need of environmental enrichment – perhaps a CATio, extra attention from you, or fresh Cat Faeries toys.

Now some people complain that cats race around in the middle of the night for “no reason at all”. Of course there is a reason! Wild cats are normally crepuscular. They are most active at dawn and dusk when prey is most available. Housecats don’t have to catch their own meals, but we retain some of that genetically programmed timetable. We have just modified the timetable a bit to suit ourselves. Why not? We (in the sense of the “royal we”) were once worshipped in Egypt and have never forgotten that.

Who doesn’t like to have fun and get a little exercise? How fun it is to scuff up the area rugs and knock things off tables! Considering that our night time vision is six times better than that of humans why shouldn’t we take advantage of the extra room to run when the rest of the household is asleep? We have all day to nap.

Sir Isaac Newton, Feline Boy Genius and Cat Faeries Editor At Large