How to Prevent Feline Calicivirus (FCV) Infection

Here’s an article from our resident smart kitty Issac Newton about Feline Calicivirus (FCV). It’s a particularly nasty virus that is one of the leading causes of feline upper respiratory infections and can cause painful ulcers on the nose, eyes and mouth.


We’ve seen Colloidal Defense help cats get through a bout of Calicivirus much more quickly. If your cats have ever had Calicivirus it’s a good idea to put Colloidal Defense in either their food or water daily as a prevention.


To see just how nasty the painful oowies that accompany this disease can be, one of the links below has photos which show what can happen to a cat’s nose, mouth and eyes (there is a warning with the link). These are graphic and not suitable for children or sensitive adults. Fortunately, not every outbreak of Calicivirus is as dramatic as shown in these photos.


Newton’s Purrspective – Calicivirus

Because their immune systems are not well developed kittens everywhere are at high risk for the most common feline viral diseases (upper respiratory disease and distemper). The stress of living in a shelter makes them even more susceptible and the proximity of other cats almost guarantees that they will get sick. The most common causes of upper respiratory infections in cats and kittens are herpesvirus and calicivirus. I was once a shelter kitten and I am a calicivirus survivor.


Isaac Newton

Calicivirus is highly contagious and can be spread through direct contact with infectious secretions (did you know a cat sneeze can travel 9 feet?) or by exposure to objects that have been contaminated (dishes, bedding etc.). The virus can survive a week or more in the environment so a person can spread the virus simply by touching these objects before handling a cat. (http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/feline-calicivirus-infection/4132)

Typically the incubation period is 2-6 days. However, a cat may infect others even before the disease is apparent! Symptoms are variable and depend on the age of the cat as well as the presence of other viruses, such as herpesvirus or distemper. These include:

  • Limping due to tenderness in the joints or muscles (most common in kittens)
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sneezing and Discharge from the eyes and nose
  • Ulcerations (pus-filled sores) inside the mouth or on the lips, or tip of the nose
  • Ulcerations on the toes and bottom of the feet

(http://www.healthcommunities.com/calicivirus/symptoms.shtml)

The ulcers are very painful so drooling or pawing at the mouth may indicate their presence before they are readily visible.

Vaccination against calicivirus does not provide immunity, but it can decrease the severity of symptoms. (http://www.sheltermedicine.com/node/38#vacswarning – graphic pictures on this page of nose, eye and mouth ulcers – not suitable for children or sensitive adults) Since upper respiratory diseases are viral support therapy is used until the body can fight off the illness. Cats are typically treated with antibiotics to prevent pneumonia and other secondary bacterial infections. In severe cases fluids may be required. Fortunately, my symptoms were not severe and I had a foster mom to take care of me away from the shelter.

Calicivirus can be very serious, especially in kittens. It is important to get veterinary help as soon as possible. Traditional vets will use oral antibiotics and fluid therapy for rehydration if needed. Antibiotic eye ointment may also be prescribed to prevent ulceration and possible blindness.

Homeopathic vets will offer different treatment options. These include vitamins, herbs and nutraceuticals (http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Nutraceuticals.aspx) to help support the immune system. “Colloidal Defense”, in particular, can stimulate the immune system and speed healing. A vaporizer may ease breathing difficulties and appetite stimulants can help if the patient is reluctant to eat. (http://allnaturalpetcare.com/blog/2014/03/21/natural-treatment-feline-upper-respiratory-tract-infection/). A nosode (homeopathic vaccine) may also be recommended. (http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/veterinary-nosodes/)

In all cases good nursing (e.g. cleaning discharge from eyes and nose, providing fresh food/water and a warm safe place to sleep) is essential.

Although calicivirus outbreaks are most common in crowded situations, such as shelters or catteries, an indoor cat at home can still get the disease. Hand washing is an important precaution both for humans and their kitties! In the case of known infections it is best not to visit homes with sick cats for at least 2-3 weeks after they have recovered. Caretakers of sick cats should not visit other homes with cats.

After I finished my antibiotics I went in for my final exam at the shelter. I felt pretty good, but the veterinarian said I was unadoptable! Why?!? Some cats become carriers after recovering from the disease. (http://www.sheltermedicine.com/node/38#disinfectwarning – graphic pictures on this page of nose, eye and mouth ulcers – not suitable for children or sensitive adults) This means they could still potentially infect others. The virus is most likely to become active under stressful situations. Fortunately for me, my foster mom was willing to take the risk. At home we have minimal stress thanks to “Multi Cat Household Harmony Flower Essences” and “Convivial House Cat” spray. We have all remained healthy since my adoption over 7 years ago.

You can see why my mom fell in love with me.


Baby Newton Jan 2008

Anti Icky Poo Spring Cleaning Tips!

Here are some creative Spring Cleaning methods you can use Anti Icky Poo for:


Dump the litter in the litter boxes, pour in ¼ to ½ cup of Anti Icky Poo and enough cool water to cover the bottom. Let the enzymes and specially bred bacteria gobble up the icky crud at the bottom of the box and in its corners. Spray Anti Icky Poo on the sides of the box and the floor beneath it. You might also spray some on the walls around the litter box to remove dust and powders and any “back splash.” Your cats will be ecstatic with everything so sparkling clean.


If you have soiled gym clothes, play or work clothes that you thought might be past the point of no return, Anti Icky Poo renews their life by getting the funky stains and odors out. Put ¼ to 1/2 cup of Anti Icky Poo in a washing machine half way full of cold water (remember to test for color safety in a small unseen spot first). For small pieces (like a dress) you might want to soak overnight in a tub. Soaking your clothes for 12 hours or overnight will work miracles!


Recently Madam Cat Faerie spilled melted butter and pan drippings all down a fragile cotton dress. There were countless spots and the oils saturated the dress to the point where she thought it was hopeless. Soaking it in a tub over night with Anti Icky Poo and enough water to spread the cleaner enough to penetrate the fibers took every last trace of it out. Not one brown or yellow spot can be found!


Even if your cat has never peed on a pillow our evening sweat and body odors can make a pillow not so pleasant. First thing in a morning when you’ll be home all day remove and wash the pillow case. Hang up the pillow on a clothes rack or line with clothes pins. Give the pillow a light misting of Anti Icky Poo on all sides. Repeat this every hour for about 6 hours. Then allow to dry.


You can also do this with your mattress and sofa cushions. Remove the mattress and cushions, then tilt them against a wall. Spray it on all sides lightly once an hour for 6 hours. Then allow it to dry before replacing it to the bed.


Is the carpet feeling and smelling a bit funky? Anti Icky Poo works great in a carpet cleaning machine (which you can rent if you don’t own one). You can also give the give your rugs a light misting, hourly, over the course of a few hours.


Take a fresh quart of Anti Icky Poo and go to every room with a drain. Pour ¼ to ½ cup down each drain. Let it be for at least one hour. The enzymes are going to eat up the soap scum and grease! Chomp Chomp! It can’t eat through hair, but the other crud will be gone and that will save you oodles of money on plumbers! We don’t even remember the last time we needed to call in a plumber because of Anti Icky Poo’s safe, nontoxic, non-corrosive, and totally natural drain cleaning abilities!

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!

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.