How to De-Skunk a Cat (or You) with Anti Icky Poo

Recently a customer wrote to ask if Anti Icky Poo would remove skunk musk from her cat’s fur. The cat probably wasn’t actually sprayed by the skunk, instead kitty probably rubbed up against a plant or bush that the skunk sprayed during a mating ritual to mark territory (sound familiar?) or to appear sexy. We at Cat Faeries adore skunks, in particular we love Skunkie who lives below ground in our front garden! And as you might expect every night we leave food and water for our gorgeous fluffy friend – did you know they are fond of cat food? Skunks are not particularly fussy eaters (cats, take note and learn from this!) however our dear Skunkie does not like rice but enjoys everything else we set out. We often see Skunkie and an outside cat sitting near each other in complete harmony. More on that below.

Since we are FOS (friends of skunks) we wanted to give our customer and you the best answer and solutions to this smelly problem.

But before we tell you how to de-skunk cat fur, dog fur, or you and you clothes let us tell you a few things about skunks. They are shy and very passive, and like cats, they are curious. They don’t seek to spray anyone and only do so when provoked or frightened – this is truly a last resort and if they fear they might be killed. They are solitary animals who would prefer peacefully keeping your garden free of small rodents, and harmful insects, worms and grub worms which might be in your soil eating away your greens and vegetables. Skunks are a healthy garden’s friend who come out to visit and hunt at dawn and dusk. If you are lucky you might see a mama skunk with babies in Spring. After the baby skunks are grown they leave their mother to strike out on their own, again, as solitary animals. Baby skunks are called kits… baby cats are called kittens… the similarities continue!

So far it seems that skunks and cats are compatible, or least they can co-exist well. We are told that skunks and outside cats will share a food bowl! We’ve observed Skunkie and a lovely pastel tortoiseshell cat sitting about 7 feet apart in the evening. Here’s a video of a cat and skunk caught on surveillance camera with infra-red. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFz7Na_G9Pw

Skunks are most active at dusk and dawn. Is it coincidence that your cat wants to eat at dusk and dawn too and run around like a crazy person?

How do you know if you are about to be “skunked?” Simultaneously the skunk’s back will be towards you and his head turned looking over his shoulder so he can see you (for good aim!) You might see red anal scent glands depending upon how light it is. With excellent aim and propulsion of up to 10 feet – BAM! – you’ve been skunked!

Here is how to de-skunk using Anti Icky Poo:

1) DO NOT PRE RINSE THE CAT! This spreads the oily skunk spray. Tomato juice will not work… you’ll have a cat that smells of tomatoes and skunk spray

2) Soak a large rag with Anti Icky Poo so that it’s very wet. Wipe down the cat (or dog) and allow to dry. Of you could take the cat’s brush which you’ve soaked in Anti Icky Poo then brush it through the fur. With either method you’ll re-apply in 2 hours. This should take care of it, if not, apply a third time. Rinse with another water soaked rag or a fresh brush to finish the treatment. Discard the rags and brushes. Please only use the unscented version as the fragrance can be irritating to skin, lungs, and eyes.

3) If it’s you who got skunked, soak your clothes in the washing machine with ½ cup of Anti Icky Poo and cold or warm water for a few hours or overnight. After you soak and rinse, wash the clothes with clothe soap and ¼ cup more of Anti Icky Poo. You could even wash your hair with Anti Icky Poo if you wish.

Here you can see a mama skunk and her adorable progeny approaching a man who stopped his bicycle to watch and video them. He’s perfectly respectful and quiet therefore there is no spraying of skunk musk proving that skunks would rather not spray. Also, aren’t their squeaks beyond cute? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINFNvPjbG4

 
 
 

The Importance of the Food Bowl to Your Cat

 
 

The above video was intended to be funny. It sort of is (sort of) but for us at Cat Faeries we are all about harmonizing multi cat households and we know that each cat needs their own food bowl to keep fighting and stress levels down. Food bowls should also be as far apart as possible for privacy because most cats need the feeling of safety and knowing that others can’t steal their food.

Carnivores don’t like sharing food. It’s upsetting to them and goes against their nature. Stresses like this in the home can lead cats to fighting, spraying, and peeing outside of the box. And you know how unpleasant that is, for everyone!

If you have a cat or two that are particularly territorial or if you have hissing and swatting in the designated dining area consider feeding a cat separately in a bed room with the door closed. Allow the cats enough time to finish their meal before you collect and wash the bowls – usually 30 minutes is more than enough time.

If you do feed a cat in another room it should not have a litter box present. We’ve all heard the expression that “animals don’t eat where they poop.” Would you like eating by the toilet? I didn’t think so!

A bonus to feeding cats is separate rooms is that this is a great way to help a chubby cat lose a few ounces! No sneaking food from other food bowls! In fact to trick the cat into thinking they are getting extra food – divide the portion into two dishes! The cat will feel special because of the illusion that it’s twice as much!

Lastly, food bowls or dishes should be several things: 1) Wide enough for the cat’s face, 2) Made from a safe material and that means NEVER plastic or lead based ceramic: we like clear Pyrex glass bowls. 3) Washed thoroughly with soapy water or in the dish washer each time the cat has eaten to prevent biofilm from accumulating.

What is biofilm you ask? Here’s an article we wrote about it from last year: Your cat’s water bowl – do you know about biofilm?

 
 

How I Coped With My Cat’s Death

How I Coped With My Cat’s Death

By Trisha Miller

About 10 years ago my cat Loki passed away. Sadly, he ingested some antifreeze and was poisoned. We are still unsure as to how exactly he got into the product, but there was nothing that could be done.

I raised Loki from kittenhood two years prior to the incident. He was a very kind, but independent, cat. He loved to play and hunt outside most days, but would snuggle up to me at a moment’s notice.

One night I noticed that Loki was howling in a strange manner. It sounded like he was calling for me, but not out of pain, more out of confusion or panic. When I found him he was walking jaggedly down the hall, almost as if he was drunk. I comforted him and tried to give him some food and water, which he refused to take.

I stayed up all night doing research online trying to determine exactly what was happening to him. After hours of searching the web I was fairly certain that his symptoms resembled antifreeze poisoning.

The next day I took him to the vet and was devastated by the news I received. The vet explained that there were tests that she could perform, but it was too late at this point. His body was already flooded with the poison and he would either flush it out in a few days or unfortunately he would pass away. She said that even with testing they might not be able to truly ascertain for certain what he had gotten into, which makes any kind of treatment very risky. In the end, she gave Loki a painkiller in hopes that he could remain calm and comfortable in order to hopefully rid himself of the toxin.

A full week later Loki passed away. His body deteriorated due to his inability to eat or drink and tragically he lost his battle with the poison.

I now know that I did the best that I could to comfort him and ease his pain before the eventually passed. However, my recovery and ultimate decision to adopt again took time. The guilt that I felt for years stuck with me and kept me from loving any other animal.

Grieving the loss of a cat or dog is a very difficult thing for any animal lover to go through. Feelings of guilt, loneliness, and desperation are common for anyone experiencing loss.

Your Feelings Are Valid

Just because your feelings of grief are associated with a cat or dog instead of a human, doesn’t mean they are any less real. Many of us see our animals as tiny humans, brothers, sisters, and babies that help us live life to the fullest each day. The bond a furry friend and owner share is truly indescribable and unbreakable.

Don’t ever let yourself feel ashamed for feeling legitimate sadness and loss over your loved one. Whether you’ve had your animal for a short period of time or years, it makes no difference. Animals are there for us in ways that humans just cannot fulfill. It’s okay to feel a little emptiness after they’re gone.

It’s Not Your Fault

It’s very easy to be hard on ourselves when a beloved animal develops an illness or sustains an injury. Unfortunately, these types of scenarios are quite common in most animals. Almost every breed of dog and cat has their own set of genetic characteristics, some of which come with potentially fatal attributes. Often times, there is nothing that you as the owner can do to stop this type of situation from happening.

In addition, animals are inherently curious, sometimes to a lethal fault. As was the case with Loki, there was nothing that could be done. Not to say that you shouldn’t always keep an eye on your animals, but this was a freak accident that no one could have predicted or controlled. These types of things happen and it is absolutely heartbreaking to have to go through. However, no one is to blame for an accident like this. Remember to give yourself some slack. You’re doing the best that you can for yourself and your animal.

Healing Takes Time

It is perfectly normal to feel the loss of your friend for some time. Personally, it took me about 3 years to feel at peace with Loki’s death. Don’t feel the need to rush yourself into accepting the loss until you are ready. It’s okay to go through every step of the grieving process during your time of healing.

What’s more, recovering from an animal’s passing does not also equate to forgetting them altogether. Memorialize your cat or dog in whatever way feels good to you. Some owners choose to keep photos, others may create a small memorial, and some do none of the above. Everyone mourns in a separate way.

Thinking About Future Adoptions

When/if you do feel ready to bring another animal into your life, there are some areas to consider. I strongly suggest doing as much research as possible on the breed and gender you are considering in conjunction with your living situation. For example, some breeds work better in apartments with a large family and others only do well in homes with very little distraction. Finding an animal that fits your lifestyle is essential to ensuring that they will live a happy and healthy life to its fullest.

I would also strongly recommend animal adoption over purchasing a newborn. There are so many lovely cats and dogs out there that still need a forever home. Of course, you should still do research on eat individual animal to assure a blissful transition, but adult and young animals are guaranteed to give you just as much love as a newborn for the rest of their lives.


Trisha Miller


Trisha is a writer from Boise, Idaho. She is a dedicated vegan who promotes an all-around healthy lifestyle. You can find her on twitter @thatdangvegan or read her blog: http://www.thatdangvegan.com/

 
 

Celebrating 20 years of Kidney Kitty, a flower essence formula for cats to support kidneys

One day, shortly before Halloween in 1996 a customer called, in tears, devastated because the veterinarian had just given her cat a few months to live from renal failure. She pleaded with us to try to create something with flower essences to help. At that time we were only formulating flower essences for emotional assistance, not health care. But we took her request very seriously and researched the Kidney Meridian according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. We poured over our collection of flower essences to see which ones would be ideal for a formula.

We sent a bottle of our first attempt to this customer to try. She received it early November 1996. Thanksgiving came and went, Christmas came and went, and we did not hear from her. Assuming it had failed we put the formula away. Shortly after New Year’s she called apologizing for not getting back in touch. We could hear excitement in her every word! Not only had the cat survived but she had grown strong again, her fur was coming back, her appetite was back, and the big shocker – this cat had taken over as alpha cat bossing around the other 4 cats. The cat lived another two years.

Kidney Kitty flower essence formula supports the kidneys of cats – and at any age. It’s not too soon to start a younger cat on the drops which support these organs which are vulnerable to shrinking and not functioning well as a cat ages! Our own cats have lived very long lives and only succumbed to kidney failure at very advanced ages. We wish the same for your cats!

 
 

Targeted efforts to spay/neuter feral cats dramatically reduce euthanasia and cat overpopulation!

An intensive effort to sterilize feral cats reduced the number of felines taken to an animal shelter in Florida and euthanized, a new study reveals.

“We investigated whether we ever could neuter enough cats to slow their intake into animal control,” Dr. Julie Levy, a professor of shelter medicine at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, said in a university news release.

“Neutering a few cats here and there wasn’t making a big impact,” she explained, “so we wanted to pick a focused area and throw all our resources into it.”

The program was conducted in an area of Alachua County with a large population of feral cats. The researchers trapped and sterilized more than 2,300 feral cats, or about 54 percent of the estimated population of feral cats in the targeted area. After neutering, the cats were returned to their original location or adopted.

The number of cats taken to the local animal shelter fell 70 percent after the neutering program—from 13 to 4 cats per 1,000 residents. Euthanasia of cats decreased 95 percent—from 8 to less than 1 per 1,000 residents, the researchers said.

In the rest of the county, the number of cats brought into shelters fell 13 percent (from 16 to 14 per 1,000 residents) and the number of cats euthanized declined 30 percent (from 10 to 7 per 1,000 residents), according to the study recently published in the Veterinary Journal.

“The figures were incredible as were the adoptions,” Levy said. “Adoption wasn’t part of the original plan, but it happened organically as residents offered to take in kittens and the friendlier adults.”

Researchers tell us that this type of targeted sterilization could slow the birth rates, and therefore save the lives of millions of cats, other animals who are euthanized each year in shelters across the United States.

 
 

The Hidden Risks of Stress in Cats – Become a Zen Kitty!

Newton’s Purrspective – The Hidden Risks of Stress – Become a Zen Kitty!

Most cats prefer a predictable routine. We like our meals on time, favorite napping spots available when needed and toys where we can find them. (Yes, I know sometimes we bat toys under the furniture, but then it is a human’s job to retrieve them. That’s not really too much to ask, is it?) Going to the vet is obviously a high stress activity. But stressors can be much more subtle. A partial list includes: addition of a new family member (human or furry), trimming nails at home, new furniture, different food, weather conditions, and the overall emotional environment in the home.


Isaac Newton

 

A cat’s ability to handle stress can be described as a continuum. At one end Zen Cat takes all change in stride. At the opposite end a new pillow on the couch might have Frazzled Feline hiding under the bed for a week. Cats in the middle are affected by stress, but may not show any outward signs – until they get sick with symptoms of an infectious disease.

How can this happen when Kitty lives inside and has not come in contact with sick cats? Many kittens (particularly those from shelters) have at least a mild upper respiratory infection early in life. Once the symptoms are gone, however, they may be carriers of two potentially serious viruses: Calicivirus (http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/feline-calicivirus-infection/4132 ) and Herpesvirus
(http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/feline-herpesvirus-infection-or-feline-viral-rhinotracheitis/4107). Although usually dormant, the symptoms can reappear under stressful conditions such as those listed above or due to the presence of another disease. All lower the immune response resulting in an outbreak. The hallmark symptoms for Calici and Herpes are sores in the mouth and eye inflammation respectively.

Mycoplasma is a bacteria so it does not lurk in the body once a cat has recovered. However, stressed cats are more susceptible to infection to this bacteria in the environment. Some symptoms are similar to Herpes and Calici, so a veterinarian should be consulted to rule out multiple infections which require different treatments. https://www.vetinfo.com/mycoplasma-in-cats.html

  • Coughing, sniffling and sneezing
  • Frequent urination or problems evacuating the bladder
  • Bloody urine
  • Colitis, which causes mucoid or bloody diarrhea
  • Lethargy, weakness, depression and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Lesions or abscesses on the skin

Viral infections typically require support therapy during the illness followed by supplements that can inhibit viral activity (e.g. L-Lysine, an amino acid). Antibiotics are most commonly prescribed for bacterial infections. There is no vaccine for Mycoplasma.

Your cat can become a Zen Kitty! In addition to all the things you do to keep your cat healthy, reducing stress in the environment can help keep Kitty’s immune system strong to fight off infection. Cat Faeries has a number of products to decrease stress e.g. Calm and Serene, Multi Cat Household, Elder Support, Kidney Kitty, and Convivial House Cat.

Music played for cats also provides a soothing environment with pitches and tones known for calming and health enhancing qualities. I enjoy Ball of Twine and am looking forward to the latest CD Forever a Kitten which Cat Faeries stocks.