April Fools Fun!

Let’s have some silly fun on April Fools Day! The first prank comes from cat loving – and very handsome – George Vezilic. In his own words: “ I am a blogger, photographer and cat enthusiast, owner of lifewithcatman.com. Writing about cats and taking photographs of them is something that I am most passionate about. My biggest goal is to show the world what divine creatures the cats are and make them feel appreciated.”

April Fools Prank For your Cat – Create a Maze From Cardboard Boxes, by George Vezilic

Here’s a prank that your cat will actually love because it involves one of their favorite things (besides you of course) and you’ll have fun setting it up! Sequester the cats in another room while you set up your prank Get 10 to 20 cardboard boxes and set them up haphazardly or in a pattern in your living room. Bonus points for putting Cat Faeries toys inside some of them! Once you’ve created your maze let the cats out. Your maze could confuse them at first, but once they figure out that this is a kitty-wonderland of boxes they won’t know which to try first! Perhaps the best of the prank isn’t that you goofed on the cats but when your housemates see your creation they’ll think you’ve gone bonkers and need an intervention!

April Fools Prank for the human cat lover in your home. Yes, Auntie Cat Faerie really did this to Mr. Cat Faerie many years ago!

  • On your best platter serve a sandwich filled with canned cat food. Surround sandwich with cat toys.
  • Quench their thirst: 1 tablespoon of dried Catnip with 1 cup of boiling water poured over it. Let your tea steep 5 minutes. Cool it down then pour it into a wine glass and add some ice. Honey, sugar or vodka are optional.
  • There’s always room for dessert so take two cookies and spread a layer of cat food in between them to create what looks like an ice cream sandwich. Spread a thin layer of more canned cat food and sprinkle kibble on it.
  • Clean the hair out of your hairbrush and wad it up. Dampen with water and leave it on their pillow so they know how much you love them.

 
 
 
 

COVID-19/Coronavirus and Cats. Coronavirus And YOU. We’ve got precautions.

So far cats and other animals are not getting this latest Corona Virus: COVID-19. But as we know, viruses can mutate so we are monitoring this closely and if conditions change and if cats are getting it, we’ll notify you immediately.

But then there is you dear reader, human customers who we care about greatly. After all, you are your cat’s caregiver, Maid or Butler, Litter Box Attendant, and personal Chef so it’s mandatory that you stay healthy to perform these duties! This article was compiled by Jeff Nobbs, a buddy of Auntie Cat Faerie. He’s smart. He’s practical. And he’s got a very cool head which is so refreshing right now. So. with permission from San Francisco blogger and co-owner of Kivava restaurant, Jeff Nobbs we present to you The Coronavirus Diet – supplements, dietary changes, and easy to do precautions that everyone can/should being doing now and in the future which go way beyond washing your hands for 20 seconds. (This is from Jeff’s blog that you can subscribe to.)



The Coronavirus Diet

by Jeff Nobbs

Part of what makes coronavirus so scary for some people is the feeling of helplessness. There’s no vaccine and no cure. We simply have to sit and wait and hope.

Maybe we’re not totally helpless though. Just like hand washing can help lower our chances of getting the virus, a healthy diet may aid us in fighting it off. If you contract COVID-19, you’re relying on your body’s immune system to recognize the enemy and create antibodies to defeat it.

If this were an actual war between humans, and there was an enemy at the gates, wouldn’t we want our army to be strong, well-fed, and ready for battle? The same logic can be used when we’re thinking about our immune system. We want our white blood cells warriors to be capable of swiftly defeating the enemy.

Just as human warriors who are starving, nearsighted, hard of hearing, or disabled would have a harder time defeating an enemy, our immune system has a harder time defeating viruses when it’s handicapped by a lack of nutrients.

You won’t hear this advice from most medical professionals. Nutrition is not well-studied by most doctors. Their continued education is often facilitated by pharmaceutical companies, not the kiwi fruit coalition. As a result, “natural” medical interventions are often used as last resorts, instead of our first line of defense.

Let’s take a look at what we can do to train our army of immune cells and prepare for battle with coronavirus:

Selenium

Eat a couple Brazil nuts every day.

Coronavirus seems to steal from your body’s selenium reserves. In addition, for immune cells to have a high killing capability, they need antioxidants to protect themselves, which are supported partly by selenium.

It would be smart to start eating foods high in selenium, including oysters, liver, and sardines. Shrimp, eggs, and salmon are all good sources of selenium as well. If you’re vegan or looking for the easiest solution, have a couple Brazil nuts every day and you’ll be getting all the selenium your body needs. Don’t overdo it on the Brazil nuts though–ten is not better than two in this case.

Vitamin C

Pop a Vitamin C tablet every day, 500–1,000 mg.

Vitamin C is helpful against many viral infections, but vitamin C deficiency is widespread. 31% of Americans have inadequate intakes of vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed to maintain levels of glutathione, the immune system’s primary antioxidant and a key component of being able to fight off pathogens.

Vitamin C is one of the safest nutrients. While many nutrients are actually toxic at megadoses, vitamin C has been found to be safe at almost any dose. It’s one of the most well-studied supplements, and certainly safe to supplement at doses of a few grams per day. Some doctors have suggested that megadoses of vitamin C are an effective treatment against coronavirus, but the jury is still out on those claims].

It is possible to get enough vitamin C from food, but you’ll have to eat a lot of citrus fruits, bell peppers, kiwis, broccoli, and kale. To be safe, it’s probably best to supplement with 500 mg of vitamin C per day.

Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Water

Get plenty of sunshine, drink enough water, and eat orange foods.

Wherever coronavirus might enter your body–mouth, nose, and eyes–you have compounds that kill pathogenic microbes. Secreting enough of these compounds is dependent on having enough vitamin D, vitamin A, and water.

The best source of vitamin D is the sun. The UV rays in sunlight also happen to kill viruses and give you an attractive tan. Triple win. If you don’t get much sun, consider supplementing with vitamin D3.

Eat foods rich in vitamin A, including liver and egg yolks. While the form of vitamin A found in plant foods is not as bioavailable, it is still helpful. Carotenoids like beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash and lycopene in tomatoes are what give those foods their orange and red colors. Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and chard are also good sources of vitamin A precursors.

For water, you don’t need to overdo it. Just don’t be dehydrated. Listen to your body; if you’re thirsty, drink water.

Iron

If you eat red meat, don’t supplement iron.

Iron is a tricky one. While your body’s immune system needs iron to be most effective against pathogens, too much iron can also feed the pathogens themselves. Iron is an essential mineral for nearly all life, including coronavirus. Not enough iron and your immune system is limited; too much iron and your body can’t starve pathogens of this key mineral.

If you’re eating a real food diet that includes red meat, you’re probably getting enough iron from food. To prevent iron overload, avoid iron supplementation and give blood regularly (for men and post-menopausal women). If you don’t eat meat or shellfish, your risk of having excessive iron levels is low.

Vitamin C also enhances iron absorption, so there’s more for you and less for unwelcome pathogenic visitors.

Zinc and Copper

Enjoy oysters and dark chocolate.

Just like with vitamin C and iron, it’s important to get enough zinc and copper to give your immune cells the best chance of success in battle against coronavirus. Fortunately, the foods highest in zinc and copper are also delicious.

Shellfish and especially oysters are by far the best source of zinc, with a half dozen oysters per week mostly satisfying your zinc requirements. Chocolate is an excellent source of copper, with just a few squares of dark chocolate (85% or above) per day satisfying your copper requirements.

Cashews are also a good source of both zinc and copper.

Iodine

Eat stuff from the sea.

Iodine is an extremely effective mineral employed by our body for immune killing. Like with vitamin C, high dose iodine treatment has been used to cure some infectious conditions.

To keep your immune warriors strong, feed them a few hundred micrograms of iodine daily. You can supplement with iodine, or simply eat foods from the sea. On days you eat seafood, shellfish, or sea vegetables, there is no need to supplement.

My favorite form of iodine “supplementation” is to eat seaweed snacks.

Smoking and Air Pollution

Don’t smoke.

Coronavirus started in Wuhan, China, where air pollution is a major problem and a high percentage of the male population smokes. Whereas only 3% of Chinese women have smoked, 62% of Chinese men have been smokers at some point. The coronavirus death rate among men in China is 2.8% compared to 1.7% for women, and some point the finger at smoking rates to explain the difference [https://fortune.com/2020/02/19/coronavirus-china-smoking-rate-men/].

Coronavirus seems to work by binding to the ACE2 receptor in the lungs. One study found that cigarette smokers have a higher density of ACE2 receptors. If that relationship is causal, lung health may play a major role in fighting the virus, and air quality would play a role as well. While there’s not much you can do if you live in an extremely polluted city, you can certainly refrain from intentionally sucking down smoke in the form of cigarettes.

Summing it up, in order to boost your immune system in preparation for battle with coronavirus, you may want to get more of the following:

Brazil nuts, bell peppers, kale, kiwis, broccoli, liver, egg yolks, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, oysters, dark chocolate, cashews, shellfish, seaweed, clean air, water, and sunshine.

Even if/when coronavirus is no longer a threat, we want our immune systems to be strong, healthy, and able to easily fight off infection.

Our immune system is not just sitting around waiting for the next outbreak; with every breath of outdoor air, we take in 50,000 germs]. While most of these germs do not cause us to get sick, they do keep our immune system busy, regardless of coronavirus.


To Jeff’s great blog piece Auntie Cat Faerie would like to add a few of her favorites:

  • Colloidal Silver – make your own for pennies. All you need is distilled water, a big glass jar to “cook it” in for 4 hours, and glass bottles to store it. Drink it. Wash hands with it. Clean your house with it. Spray it in your mouth and near your nose and eyes. Keep a bottle in your bag to spray your hands. The machine is easy to use and it’s American made: The Silver Edge.
  • Elderberry syrup – apparently it has to ability to bind with flu and cold bugs to purge them from the body. Two that I like: 1) Whitney’s Best which is Elderberry with honey and other herbs – very tasty; and 2) less tasty but powerful is undiluted Elderberry syrup from Western Botanical Medicine. It’s pretty intense and you don’t need much of it. Mix either into bubbly water for a refreshing and healthful mock-tail.
  • Microgreens. Did you read our article from a few weeks ago? If you are now growing your own double the amount you are eating every day. If you normally eat one cup of them, double it to two cups. One that is great for people (but NOT for cats) is leek micro greens which bind to microbes and viruses. You only need a little of this highly powerful and fragrant allium to battle the bugs and feel like Wonder Person.
  • My favorite Vitamin C is a powder from Marcus Rothkranz a well known raw fooder and plant expert. Just mix it with water for a nice tangy flavor. Add some Elderberry syrup to give it an extra boost. You can’t over-dose on this powder Vitamin C because it’s powdered plants – no rushing to the toilet!
  • And BE HAPPY. Really. It’s the best medicine. Laugh in the face of evil to disarm it. Laugh. Smile. Play with your cat. Be kind to others. Don’t shut down.

 
 
 
 

Ways in Which Your Cosmetics Could Harm Your Cat

Matthew Burke is a very talented makeup artist living in Brooklyn. In his first article for us he cautions about common nasties in many, far too many, skin care and make up products. He’s also an animal lover, and very smart and nice guy. Like us, Matthew is all about clean toxic free living and we share a common obsession with products, including make-up, that we insist be scent and toxin free. And it’s easier to do than one might think! If becoming a professional makeup artist is a dream of yours, check out his blog mentioned in his bio at the end of the article. The reason this article is so important to us cat-servants/parents is that some cats are very licky, and love to lick our moisturizers and other body care products, and any topical medicinal products that we might use. Cats can’t read labels, but we can. Being armed with knowledge can be lifesaving or certainly something that can prevent disease later in life.


Ways in Which Your Cosmetics
Could Harm Your Cat

By Matthew Burke

Did you know your cosmetics could potentially harm your cat? These days, most of us are well educated about the chemicals in makeup that can harm human health, or the non-biodegradable and fume-exuding products and packaging that take their toll on the environment. If you’re an animal lover, we’re sure you’re also in the habit of looking for that “cruelty-free” bunny on every cosmetic you buy!

However, the cosmetics that can harm our cats are often different than the ones that can harm humans or the environment! There are a few products you might have lying around that you think are innocuous but could end up making your precious fur baby sick. Keep reading to learn exactly how your cosmetics may harm your cat.

Fumes
Cats have a very powerful sense of smell, so what might seem like a delicate scent to you can be as overwhelming to your poor cat’s nose as a locker room full of Axe-loving teenage boys. This is why you should be careful to avoid scented cosmetics, and we’re not just talking about perfumes — hair sprays, moisturizers, and even certain makeup products can be overladen with fragrance and since they stay on the skin, unlike cleansers, they can irritate your cats when they come over for a cuddle. While they don’t pose a serious health risk unless your cat is asthmatic or has other breathing issues, you don’t want to bug your cat either!

And then there are Phthalates which fragrance is loaded with and which are known carcinogens banned in many countries (except the US) which causes various cancers and diabetes among other diseases which are found in the plastic used to wrap food, bottled water or other beverages, paper including receipts (don’t touch them with wet hands or just refuse them). This article digs deeper into the cesspool that is synthetic fragrance and why for the sake of your health and your cat’s health it must be avoided.

https://www.nontoxicrevolution.org/blog/wtf-fragrance

Ingestion

Chances are your kitty is smart enough not to start lapping up spilled shampoo or facial cleanser, so the real risk of ingestion comes when something spills on your cat’s fur. If a bit of a cosmetic product spills on your cat, it is highly likely that they will end up consuming it when cleaning themselves up. It is also possible for your cat to ingest a bit of the leave-on cosmetics you use after giving you an affectionate lick.

With cosmetics, it’s the dose that makes the poison, even for tiny cats, so keep reading to learn which cosmetic ingredients may pose an ingestion risk to your furry friend and should be dealt with more carefully.

Fur or Skin Contact
If a product gets on your cat, the main risk is that they will lap it up while cleaning themselves, but there is also a minor risk that an ingredient will irritate their skin. Cats have sensitive skin, and there are certain ingredients that are highly likely to irritate them. This is why you should be careful to keep cosmetics (especially cleansers) away from where your cat can play with them, and only ever clean your cat with special shampoos intended for felines.

Common Cosmetics and Ingredients That Could Harm Your Cat

Fragrances

Both synthetic fragrances, which are listed in ingredient lists simply as fragrance or parfum, as well as many essential oils can be quite bad for cats, especially if ingested. When it comes to synthetic fragrances, there’s the additional concern that they’re “proprietary,” which means companies don’t have to disclose what they’re actually comprised of! Because of this, fragrances can often hide phthalates, which are hazardous to both pets and humans.

The most harmful essential oils come from tea tree, mint, citrus oils, ylang ylang, spike lavender (English Lavender tends to be okay), sweet birch, pine, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and clove.

Try to avoid applying anything to your skin that contains a fragrance, especially if you’re going to hang out at home with your cat. Wash-off products like cleansers and moisturizers or makeup with fragrances that fade away within a few minutes after application shouldn’t pose a risk if you use them as intended. While the products are still damp on your face, don’t allow your cat to lick you! Once everything dries down, however, it’s usually okay.

As we’ve already mentioned, be extra careful to avoid fragrances if your cat is asthmatic, and skip the trendy essential oil diffusers.

Detergents

Detergents is the term we use for all kinds of cleansing agents commonly used in shampoos, body washes, facial cleansers, as well as household cleaning products. They pose both an ingestion risk but also a skin contact risk to your pet. If consumed, they can make your cat very sick (although non-cosmetic detergents are the most toxic), while if you wash your cat with a human cleanser or shampoo of some sort you risk seriously irritating their skin since those products are not formulated at the right acidity level for cats.

Alcohol

Even small amounts of alcohol can cause liver and brain damage to cats, so in addition to keeping your liquor bottles locked away, you should also have a second look at your toner, setting spray, and hair spray, which often contain alcohol. Keep ‘em away from your cat anyway, but especially if they list SD alcohol or alcohol denat as one of the ingredients. We have a little secret: alcohol is pretty drying for your skin, so better to skip it altogether in your skincare products.

Hair Dye

There are a ton of ingredients in hair dye that are not safe for cats, from ammonia in lighter hair dyes to henna in natural hair dyes. Permanent hair dye formulas pose the highest risk, and they can also have very strong fumes, so prevent both ingestion and inhalation by keeping your cat away when dyeing your hair. Oh, and definitely don’t dye your cat’s fur!

Deodorant

We suggest staying away from spray deodorants because of the smell and the particles which go in the air which you are breathing and if your cat is nearby, your cat is breathing too. Even stick deodorants can cause GI upset if consumed by your kitty. Recommended are coconut oil based cream deodorants such as the ones made by shmoopys.com (don’t worry, you won’t smell like a coconut!)

Preservatives

There is a wide range of preservatives that are commonly used in cosmetics that have gained a bad reputation for being harmful to human health, but what could their effect be on your cat? The truth is that very little research has been done, so we don’t know what the long term effects of exposure could be.

The preservatives most frequently maligned are parabens and as it turns out, many cats are ingesting parabens from their food! The levels are parabens are the most high in dry/kibble cat foods. When it comes to limiting your cat’s exposure to potentially harmful preservatives, the concern is in both your cosmetics and the cat’s food. Seek out recipes for homemade cat food or natural brands. When in doubt, call the company and demand lab studies.

Parabens

Ideally you already know about the hazards of the (unnecessarily in our view) common preservative in cosmetics and in many pharmaceuticals which are endocrine disruptors as well as being a precursor to many serious diseases for both species. These man-made preservatives can interfere with hormones which may have harmful effects on developmental, reproductive and neurological systems. The 3 most commons parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. If you apply cosmetics which contain any of the parabens to your skin, you are absorbing them and risk them wrecking havoc on your body. If you cat licks you where you applied that product your cat is ingesting them.

https://phys.org/news/2018-03-cats-dogs-consuming-parabens.html

Benzalkonium Chloride

This topical antibacterial agent is often found in handwashes, sanitizing wipes, and acne-products, and while it’s benign for humans it can give cats mouth ulcerations. Don’t let anything with benzalkonium chloride get on your cat’s fur, and don’t let them lick you if you use leave-on products that include it.

Salicylic Acid

Sometimes marketed as BHA, this anti-acne ingredient is closely related to aspirin and if large amounts are ingested it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and even damage to the central nervous system. The main danger comes when cats are fed large amounts of aspirin rather than from salicylic acid in skincare, but it’s still important to be aware.

More Beauty Safety Tips for You and Your Cat

The most dangerous thing your cat can do is get into your cosmetics and eat them. It’s not particularly likely — your cat is more likely to drop a bunch of bottles on the floor or play with a precious brush than they are to start eating something that could hurt them, but it’s better not to take risks. Keep all cosmetics in a place your cat won’t be able to reach them, like in a drawer or in a medicine cabinet with secure doors.

Be extra conscientious when applying cosmetics, especially if you have a curious cat. Shut the bathroom door, and if you’ve used anything that gets in the air like hair spray or perfume, make sure to turn on the fan and wait for the product to dissipate before letting your cat have access to the area.

Finally, if you do suspect your cat may have eaten something they shouldn’t have, don’t pause too long — take them to the emergency vet clinic immediately, along with a sample of whatever it is you think poisoned them!

Matthew Burke is a makeup artist in Brooklyn, NY, who helps makeup artists get started in their careers. As a big proponent of clean cosmetics, he’s stopped by to tell us about how some of the most common beauty products can be downright terrible for our little loved ones! www.makeupartistessentials.com

 
 
 

Cats and Winter – Fast Facts

Cats can get seasonal depression or mood changes similar that that of we humans. Here’s what you can do to help, which will help you too:

  • Run the heater at a temperature you can afford to pay for
  • Place the cat’s bed near a heater vent
  • Move cat beds from anywhere drafty. The window with sunbeams in Summer can be chilly this time of year
  • Take a look at where litter boxes are – is it drafty there? Try to block the breezes with heavy tarps, a drape, or a rolled up “draft dodger”
  • When you are away leave a light on. Even though cats can see very well in the dark a bit of bright LED light will chase away the blues
  • Watch how your older cats walk for signs of arthritis. Note if your cat isn’t jumping on top of the sofa or the bed – another sign of stiff joints.

Believe it or not, cats do not sleep more in the Winter! Healthy cats sleep the same amount of hours year-round which is 15 to 20 hours a day! Cats do not hibernate.

Cats need a few extra calories in Winter so provide an extra bit of food. A nice thing to do for your cat is warm up food in the oven for a few minutes. Even a vegetable steamer for a minute is nice. Food from the fridge is very unpleasant for anyone, including your cat. In Winter even room temperature food is nicer warmed up just a bit. It also mimics the warm body of recently caught prey!

Is the food bowl in a sunny or bright place? Open the curtain and let as much brightness come in as the weather provides.

 
 
 
 

Microgreens to boost your cat’s food bowl! Grow them, it’s easy! They are food of the future, so start NOW!

Since the beginning of Cat Faeries time I’ve always promoted “Healthy and Pretty things for cats and the people who love them.” In so many instances an idea, substance or a practice that’s good for you is also good for your cat. Giving a food to your cat the same meal as yours is a huge time saver which boosts the health of both of you. A few weeks ago, our lead article was about pumpkin seeds as a great de-wormer and anti parasitic which benefit both species. This week we teach you about micro greens which you can grow yourself right on your kitchen countertop or a shelving unit, a bedroom dresser and if you have the space you can devote a room to a mini-microgreens farm! Ours is in the garage.

Why Microgreens? NASA Grows Them in Space Stations!

Microgreens have 9 to 30 times (depends on the report that you read) the nutrients as their fully grown and matured counterparts. How’s that for impressive! If people grew and then ate one cup of microgreens a day and their cats got ¼ cup a day health and vitality would be overflowing and you would not be wrestling with big heads of lettuce or broccoli in your refrigerator. Your food bill will go away down. The desire for plastic bags to store vegetables in will completely go away – you’ll snip as needed.

When you grow your own you know everything detail about your food. You know what kind of water was used, you know that the seeds were organic/GMO-free, you know that the growing medium was clean and pristine, you know that your food did not come in contact with pesticides, herbicides, or other toxins, you know that there were zero labor abuses involved, and you get to have fun! You get to watch them germinate, watch them grow, visit with them every day which they love and respond to!

Iggy the cat taking a snooze under the LED lights and with the microgreens at a small farm. Cats and plants love LED lights!

The Best Microgreens for Cats:

We spoke with our longtime friend and wholistic veterinarian Dr. Cheryl Schwartz about which micro greens are suited for a cat and which are not well suited. She tells us how they benefit the bodies of your cat and you.

Cheryl tells us “Most micro greens are safe and good for cats and are known for immune system balancing. Stay away from cabbages and radishes which are not well suited for cats as they are gassy or the flavor is too spicy and too strong.”

  • Broccoli is helpful to clean the liver and blood, good for lungs
  • Fenugreek is old ancient Ayurvedic herb Diabetes because it stabilizes blood sugar
  • Kale is helpful to clean liver and blood
  • Lettuces of all kinds are cooling to the system
  • Pak Choy is cooling
  • Pea shoots builds muscle in cats of any age or state of health
  • Perilla/Red Shiso is for the lungs
  • Sunflower shoots* builds muscle in cats of any age or state of health

* Sunflower seeds require pre-soaking in water but it’s easy!

Where to Grow:

The indoor possibilities are endless. You need a flat surface where they won’t be disturbed. You need a dark area for the “black out phase” when the seeds are germinating. And you need to install an overhead LED grow light for each shelf.

Growing Mediums and Other Supplies:

Seeds! There are so many and it’s really fun and exciting to experiment. Organic – always! Non-GMO – always!

Growing mediums:

  • Coir (pronounced “core”) is from coconut hulls. You’ll find it in large bags which is the most economical. You’ll find it in discs which you add water to, but they are pricey.
  • Hemp mats – people love them.
  • Potting soil – many love it
  • Backyard dirt – don’t use it – you’ll get weeds and it’s not the most favorable to indoor growing.

All of these mediums are compostable!

You’ll need LED grow lights which you can suspend on a metal baker’s shelving unit (which is the most recommended) or which you can somehow suspend over the tabletop or countertop you are using.

You’ll akso need a spray bottle for your SEA90 mineralized water plus a ceramic scissor or knife, scissors or paring knife with a round tip to harvest your greens.

Sunflower greens outgrowing their humidity dome! The dome is from from Bootstrap.

Kohlrabi microgreens in their self-watering tray from True Leaf. These small trays are perfect for beginners!

Time to Harvest

Use your harvested microgreens right away for best flavor and the most vitality or life force in the greens. If you cut off too much don’t worry – place them between damp paper towels, place that on a plate and pop into the fridge. Try to eat/use that day.

For your cat: Snip just above the soil medium with ceramic scissors or a ceramic knife, or a sharp knife that has a rounded tip to prevent damage to the greens you aren’t cutting off. Rinse, mince and stir them into homemade cat food or canned cat food. Some cats might eat them without mixing them into food. Cats should not graze out of the trays because the roots are not deep and they’ll make a huge mess.

Harvest for you: with the same clean scissors that you use just for your microgreens cut off as much as you like, usually an inch or two per person. There is no need to rinse. We prefer them in their raw state as toppers for pizza, egg-based dishes, baked or roasted potatoes, in salads, on top of cooked or raw vegetable dishes, on top of meats or poultry. They are great in a wrap or in a sandwich. Minced they make a wonderful addition to a chopped nut filling for a pitted date. You could even chop them and put them in bread or cookie batter then bake however we prefer them raw. They look beautiful when not minced and left whole, then artfully placed upon slices of cheese or vegan cheeze, charcuterie, fruit slices. Since they are so colorful you can really let your kitchen-creativity shine!

Toss your spent growing medium pads into the compost bin to begin the cycle of life again!

“Snip, Rinse, Mince”

Once the darlings are grown, and believe me they are darling, which is just a few inches tall (see photos) preparing them is easy. Snip some off. Give them a quick rinse under filtered water, and mince. For cats mincing is ideal for you to incorporate into their food. For you either leave them long/whole or mince which would depend upon how you are going to eat them. Mincing is a sneaky way to get them into a cat, a child, or a vegetable hating grown up. I put them along the outer edges of Uncle Cat Faeries oatmeal (one of those vegetable hating grownups) and I’ve even seen him take his first mouthful loaded with them!

  • Snip – ideally ceramic scissors or a knife are best to prevent oxidation along the line where you cut. If you don’t have one use a sharp paring knife or your kitchen scissors.
  • Rinse – Ours are grown in the garage so we rinse off any dust. If you are growing in the house rinsing may not be necessary
  • Mince – For cats, children and finicky adults mincing is great because the greens can be stirred into many foods, placed in sandwiches. Just keep them raw, don’t stir them into hot food instead place them around the food.

Cats can freely graze on wheat grass / cat grass because the root systems are long and complex. Microgreens have simple humble roots and a cat would create a huge mess if allowed to graze. Snipping and mincing is best.

Supplies

Your local hydroponics store should have everything you need, but if you don’t have one here are some online sources:

  • Bootstrap Farmer: trays, lights, growing mediums and much more
  • True Leaf Market: trays lights, and seeds and much more
  • Boogie Brew (Josh: 707-992-05172): for SEA90 which is indispensable for your growing water. It’s loaded with minerals which will, as Josh the owner says, “Make your plants dance!” Your crops will be very robust!

We HIGHLY recommend that review all websites and then call with questions. It’s a bit confusing in the beginning.

How to videos:
I admit that there is a bit of a learning curve and you need to get your own system down – examples: it’s easy to overwater, hard to figure out how much seed to use, and mold can be a problem. I have found that some seeds don’t do well in my climate and but that others thrive. Experiment! You Tube videos are your friend!

Why are they the food of future?

With our waters being wantonly poisoned, weather crisis with flooding and extreme heat and fires are eroding top soil and destroying farm lands and habitats, soils that are being sprayed with poison killing its life force and its microbes and nutrients, factory farming practices that pollute, poison and abuse the animals raised there, food that is raised only with profit in mind rather than our health or the health of our planet means that growing microgreens at home is a great idea. Too many people are eating food that is dead, processed in laboratories, manipulated to taste good. While you might love these foods, they do not love you back. We should really only trust food that was raised or grown with love, compassion, integrity and with healthful farming practices. This circles back to the benefits we’ve described about YOU growing some of your own food. Growing microgreens allows US to control the quality of the soil/growing medium, the water used, and the seeds we buy, and we can do this indoors in little space. You don’t need land or a garden. I love that it’s vertical on shelves and that I can stand up straight and tall to face my little microgreens farm with no back or knee aches and minimal water usage and maximum nutrition.

Has this idea sparked something within you? A new career awaits!

If this article has sparked something inside of you, and after you work out the bugs and quirks consider is growing microgreens for profit. You’ll find plenty of You Tube videos that talk about how to set up, what the start-up costs are, how and where to sell, and possible profits to be made! I’ve read that a person can make $100,000 to $200,000 annually selling to restaurants and at farmer’s markets! It takes motivation and networking if you are willing. The old article for Tiger Tribe that I wrote about wheat grass/cat grass in 1993 lead to a lot of plagiarizing by thieves (curse you!) but what makes me very happy is that it also led to many start up home businesses of wheat grass/cat grass.
 
 
 
 

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!