How to clean Cat Faeries cat toys

Dear Cat Faeries,

My cat’s favorite toys (yours!) are yucky and gross with saliva and other gunk from many months of love. Can I put them in the washing machine?

Love, Diane and the feline fur-kids

Dear Diane and Furry Friends,

Daphne speaking, feline cat toy aficionado and connoisseur…

WHAT?! Wash them? Goodness NO! Do you know long it took to get those beloved toys to smell pretty to a cat? We love to drool on them which makes them extra nice and adds to the heavenly scent of our catnip! But I understand if you feel they are looking a bit ragged.

Don’t put them in the washing machine or even soak them in a bowl of soapy water. You’ll ruin the catnip inside, you could get mold – eww! Dampen a wash cloth and give them a sponge bath. This will remove impacted cat fur, dust, and other ickies. They may still show saliva spots – but don’t worry, to us that’s beautiful!

FIP: new hope for lethal feline disease

The following article on new developments for the dreaded disease Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) was posted to a Siamese cat group online earlier this year. What you’ll learn is that cats can get this disease when their immunity is compromised.

Cat Faeries offers two great products to naturally boost immunity:

New Hope for Lethal Cat Disease

FIP has meant death sentences for many cats. Now there’s hope for this diagnosis.

By Fran Pennock Shaw

If a Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde type of disease in cats ever existed, it’s feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a deadly mutation of the benign feline enteric coronavirus (FECV). FIP is difficult to diagnose, rarely treatable and nearly always fatal.

FIP takes two forms: a fast-progressing wet form, causing fluid accumulation in the abdomen or chest, and a non-effusive dry form in which inflammatory lesions develop on major organs. Dry FIP progresses slower and is especially difficult to diagnose; signs include neurological, eye, kidney and liver disorders. Traditionally, treatment for either form is merely supportive.

But FIP researchers are pressing forward, investigating ways to block FECV from mutating, improve feline immune responses and find genetic clues in cats or in the viruses that will enable earlier diagnosis. One previously experimental medication is now used off-label by veterinarians to treat non-effusive FIP. Other researchers are studying immunosuppressive and antiviral drugs.

“It’s a very emotional disease,” says Alfred Legendre, DVM, professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville. “Affected are young cats, adorable and loving cats. People have a very hard time dealing with the fact that it’s almost 100% fatal.”

The biggest FIP research success comes from Legendre’s study of polyprenyl immunostimulant (PI), a drug that has controlled the dry form of FIP for one year or longer in approximately 30 cats. In his three-year clinical study, Legendre treated 58 cats diagnosed with non-effusive FIP, and, subsequently, he has consulted with veterinarians to treat many more patients. One of the cats in Legendre’s pilot study is still healthy after eight years on PI. (See sidebar.) Once started, PI treatment must continue or the disease will return. Inadequate Immunity Intestinal FECV is common in cats, especially in multi-cat environments, and causes only mild illness. But laboratory studies suggest that in an estimated 20% of infected cats, FECV transforms into its evil alter ego, the malevolent FIP virus (FIPV). Researchers now believe that cats with healthy, strong immune systems can fight off FIPV, but cats with impaired immune responses cannot.

“Even though almost all cats will be exposed to coronavirus [FECV] during their lifetime, most will lose the infection,” says Niels Pedersen, DVM, PhD, who has studied FIP since 1964 and is the director of the Center for Companion Animal Health at University of California-Davis. “FIP is mainly a disease of young cats, with the highest incidence between 4 and 18 months of age,” he says, when immune systems are still developing.

“Those that get sick with FIP are only a fraction of those exposed to the mutant [FIP virus], and they are the ones that fail to mount a sufficient immune response to contain the virus. In effect, by the time they show clinical signs, they have already lost the battle.”

Only some cats have the genetic traits and immune deficiencies that allow FIP virus to develop and spread. In those cats, FIPV hijacks the immune system’s white blood cells, turning them into virus factories and causing deadly inflammatory responses. “Lots of animals have their own coronaviruses, but FIP only affects felines and ferrets,” says Gary Whittaker, PhD, professor of virology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Some cats’ immune systems fight it off, but some cats can’t, especially younger cats or ones who are immune compromised.” Boosting Immunity Legendre says cats with FIP have poor cell-mediated immunity – they lack enough T-lymphocytes, super-killer immune cells that are necessary to fight viruses that invade cells and replicate within them.

“Antibodies can’t attack a virus in cells,” he says. “You need cell-mediated immunity – other cells that recognize and destroy the infected cells.”

PI boosts cell-mediated immunity, increasing the survival time and quality of life of treated cats, he says, although “the more advanced the disease, the less likely PI is to get a response.”

Legendre presented his research at veterinary conferences in 2012 and 2013, and expects to publish a paper this year. His studies report no benefit using PI for wet FIP. But PI also treats viral rhinotracheitis, for which the USDA granted it conditional licensing in October 2012. PI is now available to veterinarians through

Legendre thinks a cat develops the dry or wet form of FIP because of the individual’s immune system. “The cat’s immune system is functioning poorly in cats with the effusive form. In the dry form, the cat’s immune system has a better handle on the disease,” he says. “Cats with effusive FIP are usually dead or euthanized in a couple of weeks after diagnosis. The cats with dry form of FIP tend to live longer.”

Attacking the Virus Enhancing a cat’s cell-mediated immunity is just one strategy in a two-pronged approach, Legendre adds. “To fight FIP, we need to shift the odds in favor of the cat’s body, instead of in favor of the virus. You can never wipe out all the virus, but any approach that reduces virus levels would be helpful.”

UTK researcher Rebecca Wilkes, DVM, PhD, has cut FIPV reproduction by 97 to 98% in laboratory cultures using five specially-designed, small interfering RNA (siRNA). “These are small pieces of RNA that guide the cell’s own machinery to inhibit coronavirus replication,” she says. “We’re trying to find a way to limit viral replication to an amount where the cat’s immune system can take over.”

When cells produce protein, necessary for the growth and functioning of all cells, they copy that protein’s DNA onto a messenger RNA molecule. Not all proteins are needed all the time, however. The body naturally stops protein production with microRNAs, smaller molecules that can target specific messenger RNA for destruction. SiRNAs work like microRNAs.

“We are redirecting the cellular machinery to specifically attack the virus,” Wilkes says. “Normally this machinery is functioning to turn off and on the cell’s own protein production.” Her next goal is to genetically alter blood stem cells so they manufacture siRNAs internally. Someday, she hopes siRNAs will travel the blood system fighting FIPV. A Highly Mutable Virus FIP is not considered transmittable, but FECV is highly contagious and prone to mutation. At Cornell, Whittaker is studying the molecular structure of the FIP virus to uncover genetic differences between FIPV and FECV. He hopes to eventually develop a diagnostic blood test and ultimately, perhaps, an effective FIP vaccine. “Now, because FIP is being diagnosed late, even if you had a good therapy, it wouldn’t have time to work,” he says.

His research focuses on proteases, protein enzymes on cell surfaces, which may allow FIPV to penetrate white blood cells and spread systemic infection. He believes FIPV is constantly changing, related to an individual cat’s genetic and immune traits.

“We now have FIPV [samples] from 69 different cats, and there are 40 unique mutation combinations in these cats,” he says. “It’s almost a different mutation every time in every cat. I’ve been studying viruses for a long time, and this is one of the most complicated viruses around. There’s something unique about this virus in a cat. It’s like the perfect storm.”

Another possibility is that an as-yet unidentified type of FECV might be more prone to mutating into FIPV than others. “That may explain the outbreaks of FIP that we see, but it’s just one idea,” Whittaker says. Identifying Genetic Causes At UC Davis, Pedersen is studying the DNA of cats to identify the multiple genes affecting a cat’s resistance or susceptibility to FIPV. His ongoing research with Birman cats suggests that genes in at least five regions of the genome may influence disease resistance in that breed. But finding the precise, causative genes is a long way off.

“Our study was an initial attempt to push into the area of complex genetic traits,” he says. “What we found for Birmans, even if it can be confirmed, may not apply to other breeds or to random-bred cats.” No one knows how many or which cats exposed to FECV will develop FIP, he adds, because in addition to genetic factors, susceptibility to FIP infection depends on the cat’s age, level of exposure, health, diet and stress, such as living in a shelter environment.

“What we can say is that the FIP mutation is very common – maybe it even occurs in 20% or more of FECV infected cats – but if the cats are normal, very few of them will actually get sick,” he theorizes. In 1971, Pedersen received the first FIP-related research grant given by the Winn Feline Foundation, of Hillsborough, N.J. But today, his work is only one of many FIP studies funded by organizations, corporations and individuals supporting research to prevent and treat this tragic disease. Fran Pennock Shaw is a multi-award winning freelance writer from Lancaster, Pa. She is past president and past treasurer of the international Cat Writers’ Association and author of Gotta Love Cats, published by Barron’s Educational Series Inc.

Bixbi Pet Superfoods – 20% off for newsletter readers and Facebook followers only – 72 hours only!

During Spring and Summer we think about rejuvenating and feeling better for ourselves and for our cats. For the next 72 hours medicinal mushroom based Bixbi Pet Superfoods are on sale at 20% off! Sale ends Thursday June 12th at 7AM Eastern.





So easy to use, just add the powder to your cat’s food.

Use this code when you check out: shrooms

FREE SHIPPING Today June 3rd!

Get your order in today, Tuesday June 3rd and get FREE SHIPPING on your Cat Faeries entire order by using this code when you check out: veryexciting

Get free shipping today on everything we sell – including Comfort Zone with Feliway and Anti Icky Poo urine cleaner – everything!

Spring is here! Home Alone Kitty Flower Essence helps kitties while you travel and it’s 18% off!

Got the travel bug yet? Dreaming of faraway places and adventure? Everyone needs a break to see new things and get a new perspective. But often our cats hate it when we leave. From a cat’s viewpoint our much needed vacation is the end of the world for them.

Many cats barely even notice we are gone! For the rest of them who might stop eating, poop on the floor, cry, fight with the other cats or sulk, Cat Faeries has just the thing! Home Alone Kitty will help calm those cats and assure them that very soon you’ll be home.

On sale right now the flower essence formula: Home Alone Kitty.

No coupon code needed, it’s been marked down 18%.

1 oz. size regularly $24.95 NOW: $20.04

FREE SHIPPING on orders of flower essences or toys only!

Would you like a golden healer crystal with your order? Just ask!

In COMMENTS type: Crystal, please

And we’ll include one!

Dr. Cheryl Schwartz DVM on helping your Diabetic cat

When Dr. Cheryl Schwartz wanted to learn about veterinary acupuncture she found that a book on the subject did not exist – even in China where acupuncture originated. She turned to the text books for human doctors, and took courses in human acupuncture knowing she could transfer what she learned for people to animals. After years of treating patients with 4 feet and a tail she wrote her book “Four Paws, Five Directions, Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs” which is now a text book in China.

Here is a Cat Faeries exclusive Q and A with Dr. Cheryl Schwartz DVM:

1) I know that for my own diabetes (type 2) the ideal diet is very low carb, moderate protein, and high fat. It’s worked wonders. Would you say that a similar diet for cats who have diabetes or for people who don’t want their cat to get diabetes is a good idea? And what about for cats with kidney failure? It seems to me that both ways of feeding a cat is ideal.

Dr. Schwartz: Great ideas and questions! Low carb, moderate protein and high fat are beneficial for cats with diabetes and kidney failure

2) I’m eating a lot of organ meats (also known as offal). In particular, lamb sweetbreads*. Which by the way, my cats love (recipe to follow). How do you feel about organ meats vs muscle meat for cats with diabetes or kidney failure?

Dr Schwartz: I prefer small amounts of organ meat mixed with muscle meat, because higher amounts seem to create constipation and stagnation in cats.

* Cat Faeries Note: See below for two recipies for lamb sweetbreads – one for cats, one for people.

3) My MD has me on 70 grams of protein a day and I’m surprised that I’m liking eating less protein and more fat. What might you recommend for an average sized cat of about 11 pounds? What ratio of meat to fat to vegetable do you like?

Dr. Schwartz: I don’t usually break it down between fat and protein. I use more TCM therapy. I recommend the fatty meats like lamb, chicken, beef. Some cats with diabetes do well on stewed or boiled pork loin or butt. It is important to make sure the cat does not also have pancreatitis where fat metabolism/absorption can create more inflammation, so each cat seems to be unique. Ratio between meat and vegetables would be 2/3 meat to 1/3 veggies, including some sweet potato.

4) I no longer cook my own meats at a high heat because the high heat creates “advanced glycation” which happens inside the body when charred, grilled, or fried meat is consumed. I understand that this means it turns to sugar when it’s eaten and this is one of the reason diabetes is has become practically an epidemic for people, and also our cats and dogs. I steam, stew, boil, simmer, or poach my meats now and eat them pretty rare. Would you recommend those techniques for a cat’s meat? Do you have anything to say about advanced glycation and how to prevent it?

Dr Schwartz: High heat is present in dry food and it does increase the sugar content. I recommend stewing or poaching, or hot pot as best ways to prepare. If the cat can tolerate and like it, I would recommend raw food.

5) There has been a lot of talk lately about resistant starch and safe starches for people – basically steamed potatoes and white rice, severed with something acidic (like lemon juice), fat and served cold. For people it can be healing to the gut and it gives people some carbs which do not jack their blood sugar. Any value in this theory for cats?

Dr. Schwartz: I like steamed sweet potato or pumpkin for cats.

6) Are there safe carbs for a cat? Any safe grains?

Dr. Schwartz: It depends on the cat. I really like the sweet potato, pumpkin. Another alternative is mashed cooked lentils or garbanzo beans with cooked white rice. Adding a small piece of pickle* is sometimes tolerated by some cats. Either the cat likes it or not.

* Cat Faeries Note: Coming up in another newsletter, how to properly lacto ferment vegetables suitable for you and your cats.

7) Which fats are good for cats? For people ideal fats are saturated and those include: coconut oil, MCT oil, lard, grass fed butter.

Dr Schwartz: Cat Faeries fish oil mainly. Grass fed butter*, olive oil, small amounts coconut oil.

* Cat Faeries Note: or are who we buy our grass fed butter or ghee.

8) Which flower essences help cats with either or both conditions?

Dr. Schwartz: Kidney Kitty is good. It would also be helpful for diabetes cats

9) You are big on color therapy. Would you recommend shining a colored light on a cat?

Dr Schwartz: For the kidneys use blue light. Shine the light around the kidney area in lumbar vertebrae. For diabetes use yellow or green light and shine it at the end of the ribs (Thoracic V) and beginning of the lumbar as well as Spleen 6.

10) Any other therapies that a person might employ?

Dr. Schwartz: Other great modalities might be sound therapy with tuning forks.

11) What acupressure points are good for diabetic cats and cats with some form of renal failure?

For diabetes

For renal failure

(Photos from “Four Paws, Five Directions, Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs” used with permission of Dr. Cheryl Schwartz)

Your Cat Faeries’ Lamb Sweetbreads Recipie

Lamb sweetbreads are the pancreas and thymus of young sheep and they are one of the most nutrient dense foods there is. You only want to buy them from organic/pastured sources. To find them in your state:

  • Soak a pound or so of sweet breads in cold water for two hours
  • You might rinse them a few times during their soak
  • Strain in a colander in the sink
  • You want to pull off the big chunky fat pieces – the reason is that this fat isn’t delicious, it can be bitter, and the tough texture clashes with the dumpling like texture of the sweet breads
  • Try to remove some of the membrane without tearing or compromising the shape of the sweet breads
  • Cut them into uniform sizes so that they cook evenly. About 1 and a half inch pieces.
  • Par boil in gently boiling water for 5 minutes and drain

IF SERVING TO CATS – STOP HERE! The seasonings which are good and healthful to us are not good for cats (onion especially)

Continue on only for people…

  • Melt a lot of butter in a pan
  • Add some white wine and stir vigorously to make a slight reduction
  • Seasonings can include salt and pepper, a pinch of cumin powder, onion powder (organic and delicious onion powder can be bought at Azure Farms online)
  • Add the sweet breads
  • Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Interestingly, they do not dry out, yet if they are undercooked the texture isn’t very nice.
    At this point you can remove them and do a thicker white wine and butter deduction sauce by adding more of both, and stirring vigorously
  • You could even put some heavy cream in at this point or a bit of soft goat cheese
  • Put the sweetbreads back in the pan so the flavors marry with the sauce
  • Some people fry up the fat bits and have them separately
  • Leftovers are so good that they are even good cold!
  • You might experiment with adding cooked sausage and mushrooms