Catnip, it’s not just for cats! It’s easy to grow your own too!

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a perennial herb of the mint family native to Europe, Africa and Asia. Legend has it that Captain John Mason introduced catnip to Newfoundland around 1620 as an essential plant for settlers’ gardens. https://www.motherearthliving.com/plant-profile/catnip-and-cousins Catnip enjoys a long history worldwide as an important herb with both culinary and medicinal uses. Although undocumented, the Egyptians, known for their love of cats, may have been the first to discover catnip’s recreational aspect by providing the herb to felines in their care. http://catniptoy.co.uk/the-history-of-catnip/




Isaac Newton

Have you ever wondered who put the “cat” in catnip? Catnip has long been a mainstay of herbal medicine, but it is taken orally for its calming effect and to soothe digestive upsets. The ingredient that makes kitties leap for joy is nepetalactone, a volatile oil. Although many cats enjoy nibbling on catnip, the euphoria (and downright silly behavior, if I do say so myself) comes from sniffing the nepetalactone. Due to our special nasal receptors cats (as well as our wild cousins: leopards, lynxes, lions and tigers) are the only mammals who can enjoy the delightful sensations. http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/nepetalactone/nepetalactoneh.htm

Do all cats love catnip? As a matter of fact, no. Sensitivity is genetically controlled so not every cat will feel the effects. It is commonly thought that 10-30% show no interest at all as they did not get the “catnip gene.” In general, kittens are not affected until they are three months old.

Fresh catnip is the best (especially just before flowering), but it is hard to grow if you can’t keep the local cats away from your garden. If you must buy the dried variety consider quality. The active ingredient is highest in flower buds and leaves, but inferior commercial blends may be 80% stems. https://www.motherearthliving.com/plant-profile/catnip-and-cousins

Wanting to grow your own? The seeds have a rather poor germination rate, so plant lots! Also plant them away from your house or every cat in town will be loitering and rolling around crushing the plants! Some parts of the US produce very good catnip and other parts produce catnip that’s not so potent – it’s all about soil and weather.

All of the cats at my house enjoy catnip to varying degrees. I have to admit that I am a bit of a “nip head” and am a little down if I don’t get my daily dose. I positively adore it! Fortunately it is nontoxic and non-habit forming. We cats know when we’ve had enough. Some people don’t want to give catnip to their cats because the crazy behavior makes them uncomfortable. However, a little catnip can encourage play (especially in older cats), elevate moods and ultimately act as a mild sedative facilitating the all-important ritual of cat napping. A little loose catnip on the scratching post can also encourage proper manners around furniture.

Cat Faeries Legendary Catnip Toys are my favorite way to enjoy catnip. The catnip is wildcrafted from catnip which grows in a secret place in the US where, due to soil and weather conditions, the level of nepetalactone is the highest on the planet! The smell is irresistible right through the box and the toys are adorable and are very durable. I know mine get a lot of use. Of course, if you’re not a cat you may prefer a soothing cup of catnip tea while you watch Kitty enjoys her new toys. Just keep in mind that a big cup of catnip tea can cause you to doze off to slumberland!

Catnip has some surprising health benefits for people including: sleep aid, menstrual cramp killer, hot flash cool down, and upset tummy settler! For cats it’s great for their immune system.
 
 
 
 

Cats and Water

We often think about the interesting relationship between cats and water. They seem to be blissed out when lapping it up out of their water bowl, but usually, but not always hate getting wet. Then there are the cats who sneak into the shower after we’ve used it to sit in the water remaining on the tile or who practically want to join us! We thought we’d ask Newton, our feline editor at large to cat-chat about cats and water.


Newton’s Purrspective – Cats and Water

Cats have a reputation for hating water. I’ve always wondered if this is deserved or just urban legend. True, domestic felines did evolve from desert dwelling ancestors conditioned to an arid environment. Early cats probably didn’t encounter much water, and the fact that they do not need to drink a lot is no surprise. Cats today drink what they need to maintain health if the water is clean and free of distasteful chemicals or minerals (hard water).

However, when it comes to other encounters with water… we have a real game changer!




Isaac Newton

Imagine yourself in a restaurant anticipating your favorite refreshing beverage. The waiter approaches, but instead of handing you the glass he dumps the contents on your head! Or worse, he picks you up and submerges you in a large container of your now former favorite drink. I’m sure you get the idea. If humans would not tolerate this situation what would you expect of creatures who were once worshipped as gods? Cats prefer (some say demand) everything on our own terms. I’m sure that few cats even pretend to enjoy squirt bottles and baths, but more on that later.

Instinctively we seek out the freshest, cleanest water possible. This explains why many of us balk at having food and water dishes side by side. Uneaten food transferred to the water increases bacterial growth and just tastes bad. Food and water bowls should be separated by at least 10 feet to prevent cross contamination. Running water is the cleanest in Nature, so in the absence of a ceramic cat water fountain we may insist on drinking from the kitchen or bathroom faucet.

In the wild felines get a substantial part of the water they need from their prey. However, when they share a home with a human what they eat is very different. Dry food has become popular because it is convenient and can safely be left out while Kitty is home alone during the day. However, dry food has a very low moisture content (10%), much less than canned (70 – 80 %). Cats who are fed only dry food must drink more water to compensate. Veterinarians often feel that excess thirst and unnatural water drinking from salty kibble might lead to kidney disease.

Blood has to be processed through the kidneys to remove toxins and waste products of metabolism. The more water a cat drinks the harder the kidneys must work. Extra stress on these vital organs can lead to serious problems, including kidney failure. For that reason, foods with high salt content should be avoided. One way you can tell is if you feed a cat one type of food and the water bowl is drained – that means way too much salt.

If possible, establish a baseline for what is normal for Kitty. While water is necessary, excessive thirst can be a symptom of disease. On the other hand (paw) it could be something easily fixed by changing to a food with a different combination of mineral additives. Please consult your veterinarian if you notice an increase or decrease in water consumption.

But now let’s get back to squirt bottles and baths. Many people try to (ha ha) train cats (ha ha) using water. The idea is that Kitty will dislike being squirted so much she will (ha ha) stay off the kitchen counters. I’m sorry. I just can’t stop thinking about my brother Purricane Felix (aka Purr). He LOVES getting squirted! In fact, he purposely jumps back on the table JUST so someone will squirt him again!

I don’t know how he would feel about a bath. I can’t see him floating in a tub of bubbles surrounded by scented candles. But he definitely loves to take a shower. Yes – he jumps right into the shower with Mom and demands to be petted until he is soaking wet. (He skips the soap, of course.) He’s been doing this since he was a kitten 11 years ago and never loses his enthusiasm.

When he can’t shower the best substitute is our ceramic cat water fountain. I think he would swim if the pool wasn’t so tiny. I’m not sure what swim stroke he is practicing, but we go through a lot of towels with all that splashing around.

I have to admit I sort of fit the cat stereotype since I am not a big fan of water in general. I do love the fresh fountain water though. Even though I live safely indoors, I am still in touch with my wild side. I stalk, pounce, and capture my Cat Faeries toys as if my life depended on it! Then I walk around yowling until I find Mom. I think cats do this to call their kittens to dinner. Mom isn’t much of a hunter so I know I have to provide for her. When I proudly drop the feast at her feet she pets me, says thank you, and tells me what a good boy I am. I trained her well to be appreciative of my efforts.

If she isn’t around I put the “prey” in a safe place – usually in my food dish or the cat fountain. Cats have no need to wash (or drown) our prey. I guess that’s a good thing since Mom had to put the screen on the fountain pool so Purr couldn’t splash all the water out onto the floor. We just want to keep our prize in an area where it is not likely to be found. Of course, in multiple cat households this is no easy task. I have 3 feline siblings so sometimes I have no choice but to share.

Many of our Dear Readers have asked if they can put Cat Faeries flower essences for cats and Convivial House Cat drops right in the water fountain, they wonder if the filter will diminish their effectiveness – good news – the filter will not compromise the power of these two fabulous products!

We recommend that even a ceramic water fountain be washed with soapy hot water daily to prevent any bacteria harboring sticky and slimy biofilms from forming.

“The worst canned cat food is far better than the best dry kibble.”
Debra Scheenstra, DVM
Novato, California

 
 
 
 

Do you know who makes your cat toys and cat beds?

There’s a slogan going around social media: “Do you know who made your clothes?” It’s to ask you to consider your clothes – who makes them, how they are made, under what conditions are they made, are people dying for your clothes, are you wearing toxic clothing. Fast-fashion has a high price to pay ethically, environmentally, socially and so on. The same question can be asked of cat toys and cat beds: “Do you know who made them?”

At Cat Faeries we can tell you exactly who made our beds and cat toys. For multiple reasons we do not support manufacture in China, including that items are loaded with pesticides from being fumigated on the ship and possibly treated with formaldehyde in the factory, not to mention near slave conditions at many facilities.

Our beds are made in a small factory in California by workers who have worked there and participated in decision making for years. Our toys are made by the person we lovingly refer to as The Toy Elf. The toys and beds are cut and sewn by hand. Everyone works in conditions that are either in their home or in a well-lit and ventilated factory with normal business hours. Everyone makes a living wage. Everyone cares about your cats and cares about you.

This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHS5zafY0NY) is about clothing and was produced by model and activist Amber Valletta and she gives the opening introduction to set the mood for what’s to come. Christie Turlington Burns, another model and activist also speaks, as do some pioneers in the world of fashion who are saying no to horrific working conditions for clothing. If you wear clothes (and we think that you do!) you need to watch this and share it with friends and children.

We were sent the story of a rescued cat named Hailey submitted by her Foster Cat Mommy, Kim who certainly knows who made their cat toys and their cat beds! We have hidden the photo behind a link because it might be upsetting to sensitive adults and children (link to photo – http://www.catfaeries.com/images/newsletter/2016-04-26/hailey-800.jpg).

Hailey the cat is recovering from a severe burn from the hands of abusers and you can see in the photo the very long wound on her back. She’s shown inside a cat crate for quiet and privacy while she recovers and gets used to her new forever-home in the comfort of one of our beds and with a catnip mouse nearby.

Here’s the story sent to us about Hailey:

I just wanted to send you this pic and thank you for your marvelous beds. Hailey is a feral that someone abused and burned with what the vet thinks may have been hot oil. I am providing her care and know that I will end up adding her to our kitty family as she cannot be returned. She was so frightened when I brought her home but instantly found comfort in the cat faeries’ bed.

Today I put a Cat Faeries mouse in her crate. Hopefully it will be a little treat for her. Also using a bit of the Convivial House Cat Spray around her crate which is still covered.

Thanks again for your products.

Kim in Indiana
 
 
 
 

It’s not a dream, cats can get along!

Sometimes we get lucky and have a multi cat household of cohesive convivial cats who get along, even adore each other often laying in piles grooming each other into a blissful state. Then there’s everyone else! For those homes which aren’t so lucky we’ve got the goods to calm down those feisty felines or that one cat who thinks that the others are worthy of their wrath! We’ll help you create or restore peace and harmony.

Little things you can do:

  • Space food bowls far apart. Carnivores can get territorial and possessive over their food bowls
  • If you can, allow individual cats to have their own room (like a bedroom) to dine in. This works when you feed two meals a day with the door closed for a half hour.
  • Soft music and other noises in the home work wonders. While you are gone during the day classical music soothes the nerves and activates parts of the brain which calm body, mind and spirit.
  • When you see a fight or tiff about to begin – no yelling, simply distract them. You might pick one up and move to another room, you might walk between them, you might engage them in play.
  • Keeping a clean litter box is vital. When the smells of urine or feces get too strong feline fighting can break out.
  • Have enough toys so that the more assertive cats don’t hog them all!

It’s not a dream beyond your reach. Convivial house cats are in your near future because you’ve got Cat Faeries in your back pocket. We’ve spent many years crafting just the right products to turn cats into buddies and besties!

Convivial House Cat is something we are extremely proud of. The customer feedback often moves us to tears because they are so delighted about what it’s done for their cats and their home.

Convivial House Cat is totally versatile – it can go into food and water. It can be sprayed around the house.

To compliment Convivial House Cat by fine tuning and zeroing in on specific problems or difficulties you are seeing with your cats we have our famous flower essence formulas crafted for the psyche and emotions of the modern house cat.

Multi Cat Household – helps pull the cats together to experience the family bond, the friendship bond. Lessens tensions in homes that might not be big and spacious. They’ll even like their human housemates better!

From Bully to Buddy – some cats just love to boss everyone else around. They might pick on a cat (or other animal) whose personality and temperament is soft, gentle and timid. There’s not much worse than seeing one cat stalk another. Let’s take that bully cat and see a new cat that’s at least tolerant and friendly!

Territorial Rescue – ok kitty, you will soon discover that not everything is “MINE MINE MINE”! Share! Don’t be so hot and bothered because there are others around in the house and outside of the house!

Calm and Serene – it’s like a yoga session in a bottle!

Crystals – placed around the house, by the food and water bowls, in and around beds spread around happy vibes! And that’s not all, you can spray Convivial House Cat on them, you can put drops of a flower essence formula on them and they’ll beam the healing energy to where it needs to go – right to those testy or nervous pocket tigers!

A Ball of Twine – original compositions and melodies created to soothe a cat’s nerves – and yours. Lovely music, lullabies for the brain and soul.

Do you know who makes your cat’s toys?

If you are a Cat Faeries customer and newsletter reader you know that we are completely against cat toys and cat beds, as well as clothing and other goods, which are made outside of the US by exploited workers.

This short article about three fashion loving Norwegians who travel to Cambodia to live and work as sewing factory workers. Their naïve eyes were opened to just how bad it is. Whether jeans or cat toys: a sweatshop is a sweatshop – a deplorable place.

Here’s the article – A DOSE OF REALITY AT A SWEATSHOP: NORWEGIAN FASHION LOVERS GET AN EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE – at EcoSalon.com.

There’s also a web series documenting their experiences – SWEATSHOP – DEADLY FASHION.

The article you’ll read only talks about the conditions that factory workers work and live in, it doesn’t touch upon other reasons why we should avoid “fast fashion” and soft goods from Asia – the fabrics are treated with toxic chemicals, once the items are loaded onto the ship the containers are fumigated, and then there’s the staggering amount of fossil fuel it takes to get those cheap clothes, cat toys and cat beds to the US. Articles like this one are about “the high cost of cheap clothes.” We are paying dearly with our health, and our good consciousness isn’t being served. The price and toll to health and environment of cheap goods made in Asia far outweigh the few pennies that you think you saved.

Cat Faeries catnip cat toys, and cat beds are American made – they always have been, and they always will be. Each toy is lovingly hand made by a talented artist. Chinese made cat toys are NOT OK OR SAFE in our view. The catnip in our toys doesn’t compare with the catnip in other toys which come from questionable sources – our catnip is beyond organic, it’s ethically wildcrafted. Our cat beds are made in a small factory in California where the workers are paid a living wage and get bonuses. The water proof pads that we offer are made in Canada – not China where all of the similar pads that we found are made. Cat Faeries cares about quality, safety, the health and wellbeing of your you and your cats, and for all of the people involved with making our products or components for our products.

Feline longevity, a long life for your cat.

Everyone wants to live a long and happy life, and your cat is no exception. Cat Faeries is devoted to making the lives of cats healthful, while providing solutions for good behavior. Here are our picks for feline life extension!

Kidney Kitty Flower Essence Formula For Cats
Starting when your cat is young, or really starting at any age because it’s never too late: a few drops in the water bowl every day supports kidney function. We’ve heard from many customers who said that when they ran out they saw a negative difference in their cat. Once they started again the cat rallied!

Here’s a recent quote from a customer…

Pita is almost 15 now. A few weeks ago he was displaying signs of kidney problems – lethargic, lack of appetite, his coat was getting nappy. I upped his daily dose of Kidney Kitty, and I was amazed – he bounced back to his normal self within 3 days!!! Thank you Cat Faeries!

Pam – January, 2015

Elder Support Flower Essence Formula For Cats
At the first sign of age start with this one in the water bowl or mixed into food. Supports joints, the brain, and the thyroid.
Mood Music for Cats (and cat lovers): A Ball of Twine, a CD of calming music
We can’t emphasize enough how soothing sounds and serenity kick illnesses to the curb, extend life, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and so much more. We love this CD. It’s not new agey, these are original compositions which remind us a bit of lullabies. It’s very pretty music. There’s a sound clip at the link – hold your cat while you play it and see the reaction!
Comfort Zone with Feliway – Diffuser Plug-Ins
Even if your cats are perfect with their litter boxes and don’t fight the calming scent of this pheromone will keep them calm. Calm cats = cats who’ll age very well and gracefully. Place one in any room where your cats spend most of their time. Each refill bottle lasts 4 weeks. This is a great investment in your cat’s health and future.

Toys! Toys! Toys! And more Toys!
A lot of human fitness experts have stopped using words like “work” out, rather they are calling exercise “play.” And play is something we like to do no matter our age, cats included. Running, leaping, chasing, stalking, pouncing keeps your cat young with limber joints and a trim body. Our toys are American made. The catnip inside is ethically wildcrafted with the highest level of nepetalactone of any catnip on the planet (yes, it’s been tested!). The unique shapes, fabrics, and sizes appeal to cats of all ages, and the adorableness appeals to people.

Sleep my pretties, sleep! (in a Faerie Cat Bed!)

Our cat beds are American made in a small factory in California by workers who are paid a living wage and are treated very well. And they are pretty! And soft. Our beds do not have that toxic foam on the sides. Who wants toxins! Besides, those beds can’t be washed, and your cat can’t bend or position the sides to be comfy and cozy. Our beds wash beautifully and they are attractive to your cat and will look great in your home.

And, Green Cat Beds Are On Sale!