National expo for people who do rescue work – story from an attendee!

When our good friend and Cat Faeries ambassador Angela Giannini White told us about an Expo just for people who do animal rescue we knew we wanted a story for our customers and readers. This year the expo was held in Las Vegas and because of that great location the attendance was the highest ever. So much networking took place and attendees got to see the latest and greatest of supplies to help shelters and rescued animals. We know that you’ll want to go next year, or in the future, if you rescue cats or other animals, of if you plan to. This expo is ideal for anyone who’s involved with fostering or who is passionate about TNR. It’s an annual event so plan now for next year! In 2017 it will be held in Ft. Lauderdale.


Animal Care Expo 2016

by Angela Giannini

Board of Directors – Marketing and Communications

Cats Valley Shelter & Sanctuary

This was my first experience with the Humane Society annual Conference which was held this year at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. This expo is for animal rescues, shelters, foster programs, animal medication, volunteers, sanctuaries, and TNR groups. There was a record attendance of 2,300 animal lovers and their 25th year of this expo. Next year this event will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I and three other board members of Cats Valley Shelter and Sanctuary felt it essential that we attend since we are starting a new nonprofit no kill cat shelter and sanctuary in the Bay Area.

Topics were about horses, dogs & cats. Focus this year was on the following, how to Adoption Welcome (increase adoptions), Animal Rescue, Medical Volunteer Programs, Smart TNR, Cat friendly communities, Engaging Volunteers, Humane Society International, Reaching the Underserved, Leadership & Keeping Pets in Homes.

Each day there was ample time to network with fellow animal lovers and we found many cat rescues, foster only programs and shelters willing to share their knowledge and to be future resources for us. Everyone was happy and eager to learn what innovative ideas are working to help get more animals in homes and removing barriers like requiring people to prove they have permission from their landlord to have a pet in their home.

One day during the lunch we heard a tiny kitten meowing and we all went over to view the bottle babies being fed. It was like bee’s to honey moment. Here is a photo of Nathalie Cowan our Board President of Cats Valley with one of the bottle babies.

In the exhibit hall you could obtain information on cleaning supplies, micro chipping, shelter design, pet insurance, fundraising and grants. We actually got a $1,000 grant at the event and won $2,000 towards a fundraiser. Some of the cat related exhibitors were Alley Cat Allies, Million Cat Challenge, and Tree House Humane.

Here is Bonnie Breaux our CFO winning money towards a future fundraiser, Derby Duck Wheel.

One of the sessions spoke about the importance of design of your shelter, making it open, clean, and inviting. Better visibility for your animals and assigning a volunteer to show them where the animals are, which makes it less confusing for your adopters. Creating comfortable areas for people to fill out paperwork and to obtain more information. Celebrating each adoption by announcing it over a loud speaker and following up with the adopter the next day. All these will ideas will help Cats Valley start out with using best practices to facilitate Cats Valley to be a premier place for people’s cat adoption needs and be a resource for the community.

To learn more about the Animal Care Expo and save the date for next year here is the link – https://www.animalsheltering.org/expo

Here is a photo of Board of Directors Bonnie Breaux, Natalie Cowan & Kory Stendell (Angela Giannini was the photographer)

 
 

Cat Faeries’ Eleven Commandments for Living with Cats

Cats really and truly want nothing more than to be loved. They want our approval and acceptance. They want us to care for them as if they are the most precious thing in our lives. Cats are highly sensitive and emotional. When they are upset or scared, or annoyed, they let us know in many ways including peeing on something. They just don’t know that this action completely freaks a person out and for good reason, the smell is horrible, and there is the worry that it was happen again and again.

We bumped into this “A Cat’s Ten Commandments” on Facebook. It’s good but we wanted to put our own spin and viewpoint on it. We hope you like it. Share it far and wide if you do like it.

Cat Faeries’ Eleven Commandments for Living with Cats

  1. My life time here on Earth will be anywhere from 8 years to over 22 years. During that time I need you to love me and care for me as best you can.
  2. Be patient with me and understand that I am an animal who is trying to live in a home. I’m trying to be well behaved. I am not a child with the perspective of a human. While my brain might be like that of a 3 or 4 year child I have the instincts and temperament of a feline. I may do things that you do not understand, but please try to. I’m my own species.
  3. Should you lose your temper with me and yell at me, hit me, kick me or throw me remember that your brain is much bigger than mine, that you weigh at least 15 times more than I do, and that you have the ability to rationalize and forgive what I did. You can walk away or calmly address it. You can open your mind and heart to see that I am different from you…
  4. I need the respect of all who enter our home, no matter their age, personality, or status. I need the respect of all who dwell in our home – without exception. They don’t have to love me, but to accept me and be kind to me at all times. Do not allow any form of abuse in our home, ever.
  5. Do not abandon me. Do not dump me on the streets or in a shelter. Do not choose me over a baby or boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/wife. I am family. I am part of your family. I add enrichment to our family.
  6. I will grow old, frail, and weak – as will you. Would you like it if someone “got rid of” you? Promise me you’ll erase the phrase “got rid of” from your vocabulary about me and other animals.
  7. Pay attention to me. Pet me, but not too much – know when I’ve had too much. Keep my nails trim, my fur brushed, my teeth looked at by a veterinarian.
  8. Food is everything to a cat. We may not be rich but please buy me or make me the best food that you can. Do not buy cheap lifeless food because it’s cheap. Do your best. Food is both my pleasure and sustenance.
  9. If you must leave me to spend hours away from home hunting for those green pieces of paper that buy cat food and pay bills, know that I worry about you. You could be pounced on by a bigger animal while you are out hunting. If your hunt means you are gone for a few days please have a kind person come to feed me and talk to me in your absence. It will help my delicate nerves and ultimately my health and well-being.
  10. Provide for me some great toys, warm soft places to sleep, and as much quiet and peace as you can create in our home. Remember, if our home is healthful and safe for me that it is healthful and safe for you too.
  11. The time will come when my body gives out and it’s time for me to go, to cross The Rainbow Bridge. Please be with me up until the end. Stroke my fur. Talk to me. Remind me of our good times together. Remind me of our love for each other. Tell me that you look forward to seeing me again when your time comes. I loved you with all of my heart.
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How to Use Crystals With Flower Essences for Your Cat

Many years ago a few of us flower essence practitioners did an experiment. We wanted to see if we could beam or transmit the vibration from our flower essences to another person or animal by using crystals. We thought that in theory it would work, but we wanted to test it out to make certain. We worked with our own single essences which included flower, tree, mushroom, and gemstone. We selected few people and a few animals – none of who knew that we were using crystals so it could be a “blind test” with zero influence from our test subjects. To create a “double blind” test we took the name of the essence off the bottle so we would know which we were applying to our crystals.

With giddy joy we found that putting a few drops of a flower essence on a crystal and 1) gave it to a person, or 2) put it near a cat or we anointed the tips of ears, or 3) used the power of our minds and intention to transmit the vibration, that all three methods worked! It worked when 1) a person took it in water or under the tongue, or 2) the cat was anointed on the tips of the ears or eat some off a food treat, or 3) we put drops on the crystal and asked it to beam to a person or cat in another location for long distance healing.

Wondering if our success was serendipitous we did this five times over the course of a few months and each time we did it the results were the same – it was working!

We have a very special mine where our crystals come from. The quality is superb, the vibration of these crystals is pure and they await YOU to clear them and to set your intentions so that they may serve you, your cats, and all of those who you love and care for.

Currently we have AAA grade Water Clear quartz, and AAA grade Golden Healer quartz. The Golden Healers are very powerful healing stones. They are special quartz crystals which grew on or near iron hydrate which give them that wonderful color which ranges from a pale wash of yellow, to deep orange with streaks. Right now the collection that we have are a pale yellow and with some specimens being almost water clear. The AAA grade Water Clear quartz crystals are water clear or close to it. All of them have a pointed tip.

We have had them on sale for the past few weeks and plan to continue this sale as the response has been really exciting. Times are a bit rough right now, and we and our cats need all the help, love, and healing we can get, soooooooooooooooooo the sale goes on!

When you order our flower essences your lavender color handout will have all the ways you can use our flower essences including how to work with crystals.

From our website:

Golden Healers Quartz Crystals are themselves master healers, therefore they will help you master your own healing work. They will help you access The Gold Ray. They will help you transform, transmute, grow, change, evolve, find and feel joy, blossom and flourish. They assist you when you need to dissolve negativity and release it. Access your own Christ consciousness, Angelic and Devic energies, and the Goddess within. Golden Healers have a very high vibration or frequency and are very well suited to flower essence work. Welcome to a special clan of healers who work with Golden Healers. Join us in doing your own healing work to benefit those you love and care for, and those in your unique community.

  

Clifford says: “There is a small dish near our food bowls with a few crystals on it. Our Maid puts a few drops of Multi Cat Household or Convivial House Cat on them every day or a few times a week.”

Water Clear Quartz Crystals are powerful and beautiful and will boost the effectiveness of flower essences and of Convivial House Cat. All you need to do is place a few drops of either (or both) products on your crystal and it will beam the vibration to where you’ve directed it. So simple! Detailed instruction will be found in your hand out for Convivial House Cat and our flower essence formulas.

  

Madeline says: “We have several of our cat beds scattered around the house. Each bed has a crystal in it. I think it makes nap time even dreamier!”

 
 

Springtime Flowers That Are Toxic to Cats: Beyond Banish the Bulbs!

We are so in love with this time of year! The wildflowers and flowers at the farmers market make us so happy. It really annoys me when I ask a flower vendor if they know if a plant or flower is toxic to cats and they say they have no idea. I think if you sell something you should know about it. But that said, here’s a list of many of the flowers to avoid bringing home this time of year, as well as their effects on cats.

  • Azalea – heart failure and death
  • Clematis – vomiting, diarrhea, mouth ulcers
  • Crocus – severe vomiting and diarrhea, liver and kidney damage, respiratory failure, seizures
  • Daffodils – any part of the flower, stem, leaves can cause vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea
  • Delphinium – death
  • Easter Cactus – vomiting and diarrhea
  • Foxglove – vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac failure, death
  • Gladiolas – vomiting, diarrhea
  • Hyacinths – heart problems, tremors, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty
  • Larkspur – constipation, drooling, convulsions
  • Lilies – All of them, any time of the year, absolutely all of them can kill your cat! Seizures are just the start!
  • Narcissus – shivering, convulsions, tremors, cardiac arrhythmia and heart failure
  • Rhododendron – Vomiting, diarrhea, coma, cardiovascular failure, death
  • Tulips – heart problems, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty
  • Wisteria – vomiting, diarrhea, could be fatal

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! But make sure they are organic and fair trade – many roses are sprayed heavily with pesticides. Demand organic roses. We love Lilacs which are safe. We adore lilacs during their all too short season. Other cat-safe flowers include: African violets, Alyssum, 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, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme.

This page will give you a pretty good overview of plants and flowers to avoid year round:

http://www.1stinflowers.com/articles/poisonous-plants-for-cats.html

 
 

Hyperthyroidism and Your Cat

Newton’s Purrspective – Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a common disease in older cats ( > 10 years). Enlarged thyroid glands produce too much hormone (T3 and T4) causing a metabolic imbalance which leads to severe health issues if untreated. Cornell Feline Health Center – Hyperthyroidism in Cats

Symptoms often include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased water consumption and urination


Isaac Newton

 

Thyroid hormones affect nearly all the organs so these secondary problems are common:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Enlargement of the heart (and heart disease)
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Kidney disease (due to the kidneys working overtime as the blood rapidly circulates)

Diagnosis involves feeling Kitty’s throat for enlargement of the thyroid glands and a blood test for thyroid hormone levels. (Please note these symptoms could also indicate diabetes or other problems. That is why the bloodwork is so important.)

The good news is that hyperthyroid disease responds well to current medications. Medications – easier said than done, right? Compounding pharmacies now make tastier pills and chewables. A gel that is applied to the inside of Kitty’s ear has been a lifesaver for cats that hate ALL oral medications (you know who you are).

The two alternative treatments are:

  • Removal of the thyroid glands (which carries a surgical risk)
  • Treatment with radioactive iodine to destroy the abnormal tissue

The latter is quite safe and effective, but may be out of range in most cat lovers’ budgets.

Now that you know the basics about hyperthyroidism symptoms and treatments you are probably wondering how cats get it in the first place. We know that the incidence of feline thyroid disease has increased in the last 30 years. This is likely a combination of awareness and of increased longevity in general. Remember this is a disease of older cats. But can a direct cause be determined? Is it genetic? Is it environmental?

Some researchers are looking at environmental toxins that may also be incorporated into cat foods. Research is just starting to be published. http://www.chicagonow.com/steve-dales-pet-world/2016/01/could-some-cat-food-be-causing-hyperthyroid-disease/ One study found chemicals known to potentially harm humans in certain fish based cat foods. However, to date there is no demonstrated link to feline hyperthyroidism. Additional research is clearly needed.

Environmental toxins are a concern for all of us. You may remember the classic “Silent Spring” which led to banning the poison DDT. A less familiar book “Our Stolen Future” describes how chemicals can mimic hormones in the body. When we discover what causes hyperthyroidism in cats we will also better understand thyroid issues in other species, including humans. Until then our best defense is a good offense.

All cats should have regular checkups. If Kitty has any of the symptoms listed above please see your vet as soon as possible. Catching and treating thyroid problems early can minimize the damage to other organs.

 
 

Healthy Feline Weight and How to Achieve It

Newton’s Purrspective – Healthy Feline Weight

People often complain that they put on extra pounds during the winter. Indoor cats may have the same problem – too many treats and not enough exercise. Although we do not have any incentive to prepare for swimsuit season, being overweight is a problem and can be a serious health concern. Feline obesity can lead to:

  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Joint disease
  • Skin problems
  • Shorter life


Isaac Newton

 

The demands of increased body mass may exceed the body’s ability to produce insulin. Obese cats are 2-4 times more likely to develop diabetes.

The liver is a vital organ that supports nearly every other organ in the body. Excess fat stored in the liver (hepatic lipidosis) decreases liver function and can be life threatening.

Of course, excess weight puts stress on joints. If movement is painful Kitty is even less likely to play and burn off calories.

Overweight cats cannot groom themselves properly. The extra weight makes us less flexible and we just can’t reach all the places that need attention. Consequently we may have dry flaky skin and dull fur, even if we have a high quality diet.

Before starting a weight loss program Kitty should have a complete exam. Weight needs to be taken off slowly and should be done through a combination of diet and exercise. The body can’t cope with rapid release of toxins and certain vitamins stored in fat.

FUN FACT – Did you know that, unlike people, cats must get all their vitamin D from food? It is stored in fat, and blood concentrations of vitamin D can be a predictor of feline health.

Your vet may suggest a special weight loss diet or simply smaller portions of Kitty’s regular high protein food. (Obesity in Cats… and What to do About an Overweight Cat – PetMD) Cats are obligate carnivores. We just don’t have the ability to digest carbohydrates the way people and dogs do. We need protein. Under natural conditions our meals would be small and unpredictable.

In fact – one mouse is the perfect meal for an average sized cat! A typical mouse is made of 20 percent protein, 9 percent fat and lots of moisture.

This is a difficult concept for many humans. Food is equated with love and cats have a way of looking “so hungry” we must need at least a small treat. Free feeding (leaving a full food dish out all day) is the human equivalent of sitting next to a large bag of snack food. Kitty may be eating more due to boredom than because she is hungry. Feeding small meals throughout the day has an added advantage of showing exactly how much is eaten (or not).

Follow your vet’s recommendations for portions and number of feedings per day. Weight should be checked at monthly intervals. Toys are a great way to increase activity — everyone in my family loves Cat Faeries toys. But some cats just aren’t interested in catnip. (It is genetically determined and does not mean anything is wrong.) In that case interactive toys (e.g. feathers on a wand), cat furniture for climbing, or even a playmate may help.

Once Kitty has reached a healthy weight follow your vet’s recommendations for maintenance. (Remember, being too thin is also unhealthy. If your cat is losing weight despite eating normally or has stopped eating do not delay in seeking professional help.) Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the ways to increase the chance of a long and happy life for your cat.


Some advice from your Cat Faerie – how to help a chubby cat in a multi cat household lose weight.

First, free feeding is never a good idea. To prevent over eating cats should have two meals a day. Breakfast and dinner. Each cat should have their own food bowl spread out to allow for space between the cats.

Tell your vet how much the plump cat weighs. Ask what the ideal weight for that particular cat is. Ask the vet how many calories a day the cat needs to slowly (and we do mean slowly, quick weight loss leads to liver failure in cats) drop the weight. Ask your vet for a realistic time frame for the weight to come off safely. Call the cat food company and ask how many calories are in the food, so you know exactly how much to measure.

For a chubby cat who needs to lose a few pounds we’ve created a very successful method ~ you will feed that cat in a room separately from the other cats with the door shut. To make this even better – split that cat’s food portion into TWO BOWLS! The cat will be overjoyed first because of the special room but also thinking it’s twice as much food because it’s in two bowls! Allow 20 minutes for all of the cats to eat. Collect the food bowls of the cats in the kitchen first, then the bowl of the cat who’s behind a closed door and let the cat out. Wash in hot soapy water to remove food bits and bio film.