Newton’s Purrspective – Cats and Sleep

Sir Isaac Newton is our Feline Editor At Large (just how large, he’s not saying) who writes very brainy and very well researched articles for us. Newton lives in the North East and is fond of storms, our catnip toys, a soft bed, sunbeams, and naps. He has an ongoing email flirtation with our Daphne. This is his current, and as always, very well done article.


Cats have a reputation for preferring sleep over almost anything else. Perhaps you’ve seen the cartoon showing a group of “business cats” sitting around a table. The head cat is calling for a vote. Should they explore, invent things, do research etc. or keep napping? All answer “nap”. You may laugh, but I don’t think that is such a bad idea considering the decisions far too many humans make without taking adequate time to think about it, consider the consequences, or gather information and read about, or “sleep on it”.




Isaac Newton

Cats need approximately 12-16 hours of sleep daily. I really don’t understand why we should get a bad rap for that. Dogs need 12-14 hours of sleep and nobody jokes about them! But seriously, if you’re going to take an afternoon nap wouldn’t it be better for a snooze with a cat? Of course, we felines enjoy helping you read, type on the computer, text on your phone, knit – almost any activity. But naps are our specialty and you could learn a lot from us! Lying down is an invitation for a snuggle. We are soft and super flexible for cuddling – especially in cold weather. We also make the most delightful music while “making biscuits” on your stomach. Irresistible!

In fact, we cats have perfected the art of napping. We can fall asleep quickly and awake refreshed in a flash! Surprisingly, some people (who may have been cats in another life) have even learned the joys and benefits and they call it, appropriately, a “cat nap”.

Even if you aren’t feeling tired you probably enjoy watching Kitty sleep. What could be more relaxing, meditative even? You may wonder if cats dream. Of course we do! Sometimes our legs kick or our toes twitch like we are running in hot pursuit of a toy or something to eat. We can look like we are chewing, dreaming of a delicious morsel. What are we dreaming of? Perhaps we are dreaming of what we love, like chasing butterflies, hunting for a snack, or a platter of fresh meat. Or maybe we are indulging a more sinister side – catching and crunching unwary birdies.

Regardless, we are never as uncouth as dogs. Have you seen them dreaming? Barks and whines and enough leg movement to generate electricity! Cats are refined and elegant even in our dreams.

Can a cat sleep too much? I think a more important question would be “Have Kitty’s sleeping habits changed?” Kittens and senior cats do tend to sleep for longer periods. But lethargy in a normally active cat is a concern. Other considerations include poor diet or a health problem such as changes in Kidney function. A veterinarian should definitely be consulted if there are symptoms of disease (vomiting, changes in water consumption, flinching with pain when touched or picked up, etc.). Keep in mind that we cats are experts at hiding sickness as to not appear to be weak and vulnerable. Extra sleep could be a “self healing” technique handed down via DNA from our wild ancestors. If Kitty is sleeping much more than usual a health check is in order. If the veterinarian gives Kitty a clean bill of health it may mean that Fluffy may be bored and in need of environmental enrichment – perhaps a CATio, extra attention from you, or fresh Cat Faeries toys.

Now some people complain that cats race around in the middle of the night for “no reason at all”. Of course there is a reason! Wild cats are normally crepuscular. They are most active at dawn and dusk when prey is most available. Housecats don’t have to catch their own meals, but we retain some of that genetically programmed timetable. We have just modified the timetable a bit to suit ourselves. Why not? We (in the sense of the “royal we”) were once worshipped in Egypt and have never forgotten that.

Who doesn’t like to have fun and get a little exercise? How fun it is to scuff up the area rugs and knock things off tables! Considering that our night time vision is six times better than that of humans why shouldn’t we take advantage of the extra room to run when the rest of the household is asleep? We have all day to nap.

Sir Isaac Newton, Feline Boy Genius and Cat Faeries Editor At Large
 
 
 
 

When cats are naughty or loud at night and what it can mean!

When cats fight at night or pee outside of the litter box at night this tells Auntie Cat Faerie that most likely you’ve got feral cats coming around!

The neighborhood ferals, also called Community Cats, are active at night when it’s safer for them to prowl and hunt outside. Since it’s the middle of the night when we are sleep, we have no idea they are there and we might even tell people “we don’t have ferals in our neighborhood.” Surprise!

Your inside cats hear them, see them, and if they are spraying urine or peeing outside your house, your kitties smell them. All of which upsets your cats. Many cats don’t care about the presence of outside cats but for the indoor cats who do care it will cause them to fight – or worse – pee in retaliation! Still not convinced that some of the behaviors your cat is exhibiting is caused by ferals, answer this: 1) do you find that your cat peed or pooped by a window or door? 2) do your cats only do this in the middle of the night and rarely during the day? A yes to either question is evidence that you have outside cats annoying your indoor cats. And until you keep those cats away from your home stopping the problems for your indoor cats may never stop 100%.

  • To keep outside cats away don’t feed them, look at installing Spray Away or The Water Scarecrow which use water to chase them away, hang up put shiny objects near your doors such as old CD’s or DVD’s (and keep the porch light on to reflect)
  • Give your cats our Territorial Rescue once or twice a day in food/water. You can also spray it around the house, and near the doors and windows.
  • Give your cats our Convivial House Cat who behaves in a manner similar to Feliway but is 100% natural and edible! It can go into food and water, as well as sprayed on objects or near the doors and windows.
  • Our Beneficial Crystals truly do boost effectiveness of both products when drops are applied.
  • Clean the outside of your doors with our Anti Icky Poo to remove any traces or urine and its smells. If you see a water mark at cat-butt-height that’s evidence of your doors being sprayed. Also check flower pots, chairs, and your car’s tires.
  • After you’ve cleaned the door off apply some of our Convivial House Cat or Territorial Rescue to the outside of the door and repeat as often as you can – this is going to help chill out the ferals!
  • We have customers who installed a Feliway diffuser on their porch and liked the results! You just need an outlet.

Another cause for fighting in the middle of the night is if one of the cats is getting old and kidneys are failing – perhaps one cat is yowling and this is upsetting the other cats (and disturbing your sleep)? If yes, this is a sign of kidney failure (and deafness which causes the yowling go hand in hand with kidney failure) Get to the vet this week!

  • Before you go to bed, go around the house and give a few random “here and there” sprays of Convivial House Cat or Multi Cat Household to a few objects per room.
  • A bedtime snack might help them stay calm – most cats will be happy with a tablespoon of a “mid-night snack.”
  • Feliway diffusers help too. We suggest 1 or 2 per room concentrating on the rooms where they spend the most time and/or near doors/windows.

 
 
 
 

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month – Cat Faeries has flower essences & crystals that can help your cat!

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Cat Faeries has flower essences and crystals that can help your cat with this serious disease.

Many of our customers tell us that their cat has both diabetes and kidney disease so we thought we do a little bit of research and see how we could improve two of our flower essence formulas, Kidney Kitty and Elder Support. This month we made them better than ever to cover more related conditions.

Elder Support now has extra diabetes, thyroid, and brain supportive essences. Kidney Kitty has a few new discoveries to support the function of a cat’s kidneys and urinary tract. We also changed the crystals that accompany your order to Amethyst, Citrine, and Tangerine Quartz which we feel will be of great benefit. These three crystals help support the kidneys, pancreas and so much more for cats at any age! A few drops of the formula on the crystals placed in the cat’s food and water area is all you need to do – more detail comes with your order.

Amethyst ~ For protection, purification and Divine connection… For stability, peace, calm, courage and inner strength as well as strengthening the immune system and any imbalances within the body. It can also purge illness and kinks in the DNA, cells and genes – more and more books and articles discuss how we are not slaves to or bound to our genes and genetic traits. It’s exciting to know that Amethyst can help any being – cat or human to be free of what was once thought to be fixed, predetermined and unchangeable. Amethyst creates the feeling of being a bubble of Light. Activate your higher mind your body’s own ability to purify, cleanse, release and regenerate. Excellent for brain health, cognition, and mentation and the overall function of every system in the body including the kidneys. (Cat Faeries also offers Amethyst Cats – One-Of-A-Kind Hand Carved Cat Shapes and Cat Faces From Uruguay)

Citrine ~ Bright and sunshiny Citrine carries a warm vibration that cannot hold any form of negativity! It’s hard to feel the blahs with Citrine around! This very same vibration and sunny outlook of the stone promotes the healthy function of metabolism, pancreas, spleen, liver and the organs of elimination which would also include the skin. Citrine has the ability to repel and transmute illnesses involving the thyroid, kidneys, bladder, eyes and thymus making it a helpful crystal for those conditions as well as diabetes. It’s an anti-aging, uplifting and organ supportive! Citrine also emits healthful negative ions!

Tangerine Quartz ~ Like a Golden Healer from Arkansas, a Tangerine Quartz Crystal from Uruguay is a master healer for any condition and also it’s an excellent receptor for programming your intentions and wishes. Its lovely orange is the color of joy and friendship. Older or ailing cats and people who might be cranky remember their zest for life and the excitement of new adventures and ideas! Learn to give and take with love and compassion. It can bring anyone inspiration and motivation. It is said that it can correct cellular memory to bring a body into balance. It can stimulate the immune system, remove free radicals and assist with exhaustion or depletion. It inspires love and compassion, curiosity and play as it is a happy stone that helps with creative energies

A very short note about cat food – research tells us that years of high carb grain laden cat food, just like years or decades of people overdoing it with carbs and grains, can lead to diabetes. The good news for both species is that it can be controlled with diet and a calm lifestyle for a healthy long life. Recently we learned that Weruva’s “Paw Lickin’ Chicken” is often recommended for cats with kidney disease which might slow its progression and possibly to even prevent it. The brand BFF cat foods contain only .05% carbohydrate which seems to be lower than most and could be ideal for diabetic cats. In addition, we learned that both brands of cat food are flaked or processed by hand to remove all bones and particles of bone. Why get rid of bone? Bone has a lot of phosphorus and that mineral leads to Struvite crystals in cat’s urinary tract or kidney stones, both of which are painful and in some cases can be fatal. Talk to your veterinarian about this as it promises to be a very interesting conversation! By the way we have zero affiliation with Weruva or BFF we just happened to learn a few points about their food and wanted to pass them on to you. If you know of other cat foods that you feel are suitable – tell us!
 
 
 
 

When Kitty Needs Fluid Therapy

The other day we received an email from a customer who wondered if we had any sage wisdom on how best to give a cat subcutaneous fluids. Her cat is particularly fearful of many things and she’s concerned. Every vet or vet tech have their little tricks to make the process easier for the cat, and the person administering the SubQ fluids, but we thought we’d ask our Feline Editor At Large, Sir Isaac Newton, for his always brilliant take on this, and here it is!


Newton’s Purrspective – When Kitty Needs Fluid Therapy

Your veterinarian will administer fluids for a variety of reasons ranging from routine surgery to dehydration caused by serious illness. However, the most common reason for fluid therapy at home is chronic renal failure (CRF). Cats with CRF need extra fluids to help flush out toxins while decreasing the burden on the kidneys. Standard procedure is to do this at least once, if not twice daily. Although this can be done at a veterinary clinic I know that I would not appreciate all those car rides in a cat carrier! At home treatment is much less stressful.




Isaac Newton

If Kitty needs fluid therapy your veterinarian will instruct you in the procedure. It is simpler than you may imagine. The key to the whole procedure is keeping everyone involved calm and relaxed!

The needle is inserted under loose skin (commonly around the neck and shoulder area) and fluids are allowed to flow from an IV bag until a bulge is visible. This looks a little strange, but it is not painful and the fluids are quickly absorbed.

The procedure may take 10-15 minutes so the real challenge is keeping Kitty still. Set aside enough time so you are comfortable and not stressed about the possibility of being late for a meeting. We cats pick up on your emotions. If can’t hurt to play some relaxing music. I enjoy the “Forever A Kitten, Mood Music for Cats” CD.

Clearly, the best environment is a small quiet room. A bathroom may be your ideal location if you have a shower rod for hanging the fluids. My older brother had fluids twice a day for years and his staff used a bent coat hanger to attach the bag to the rod. Feliway diffusers are commonly used in cat designated exam rooms at clinics, so it may be worth trying at home. Or you can spray Cat Faeries Convivial House Cat around the area and on the bed or towel the cat is placed upon.

Here are a few additional tips:

  • Have everything ready BEFORE you bring Kitty to the treatment area in your home.
  • Although this procedure is often done by a single person, having an assistant around (especially during the first treatment) is a reasonable precaution.
  • Make sure Kitty is as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
  • Some cats like the security of being wrapped in a towel.
  • Other cats may like sitting inside a box (approximately the size of a cardboard cat carrier). Make sure the sides are high enough for kitty comfort, but low enough for you to insert the needle and encourage Kitty to stay in the box if she changes her mind.
  • Eventually your cat may indicate to you a more preferred area. Possibly a Cat Faeries cat bed.
  • Fluids should NEVER be refrigerated.
  • Ideally fluids should be body temperature, but room temperature is fine. Fill a bowl with warm to hot water and let the bag of fluids warm in the water bath. DO NOT microwave.
  • Use a Sharpie to mark how far down the fluid level should go during each treatment as the numbers on the bag aren’t bold and when the bag is elevated above your head they are hard to read. The Sharpie line really stands out.
  • Let gravity be your friend by hanging the bag as high as you can while still seeing the bag markings.
  • When you are finished pull out the needle and pinch the area where the needle had been inserted to stop any leaking. Some leaking is common as is a drop or two of blood.
  • Dispose of the used needle in the manner told by your veterinarian.
  • Insert a clean needle for next time. ALWAYS insert a clean needle.
  • Most cats realize that they feel better after this, so give you cat a few days to figure out that this is a good thing, not a bad thing!
  • Praise your cat after even if he/she is bolting for a closet or under the bed!
  • After you give your cat their daily fluids rinse out the water bowl(s) with soapy water to remove any biofilms which is bacteria harboring slime that we’ve written about. Put 3 drops of Cat Faeries Kidney Kitty in the bowl to help prevent further shrinking of the kidneys and to help keep them functioning at an optimal level.

 
 
 
 

Is “Whisker Fatigue” something to worry about?

Here’s an informative article from Cat Faeries’ Feline Editor at Large, Issac Newton, who happens to know a few things about cats and their food bowls.


Newton’s Purrspective – The Importance of Dishware

Lately I’ve been seeing references to something called “Whisker Fatigue” which claims that when a cat’s whiskers touches or rubs against the sides of a food or water bowl it creates an unpleasant sensation. True, a cat’s whiskers are so sensitive that we can detect even the slightest change in air currents around objects (such as furniture). This is one of the reasons blind cats can get around so well. http://animals.howstuffworks.com/pets/question592.htm Some people believe that this ultra-sensitivity can cause sensory overload when cat whiskers brush against the sides of a food dish.

We have read that symptoms of Whisker Fatigue include refusal to eat, food scattering, feline acne and even attacks on other cats in the home. The proposed solution is a flattened dish that doesn’t rub sensitive whiskers. Could this be true, is it truly “a thing” to be concerned about?




Isaac Newton

To date I can find no scientific evidence to support Whisker Fatigue as a clinical problem. There are far more likely explanations for the symptoms. However, the choice of food dishes is important to health and happiness for you and Kitty. Things to consider include:

  • Size and age of cat
  • Type of food
  • Personality
  • Dental or other mouth problems
  • Location of food bowls

Despite the numerous internet photos of cats wedging themselves into tight places we cats prefer our food be easily accessible and located in a quiet place far from smelly litter boxes. Common sense says that the dish should be the appropriate size for the cat. For example, if you give a little kitten canned food on a large plate he will certainly walk all over it during the meal. If a bowl has high sides the kitten is likely to tip it and spill dinner all over the room.

In general the dish should have the appropriate height sides to keep the food in place. Otherwise some pieces will inevitably end up on the floor. Many cats lick, rather than bite, canned food, pushing it around and flicking it onto the floor as they eat. Whether you feed canned, homemade or kibble the angle of the sides is important. A rounded shape is better than perpendicular vertical sides that can trap food and lead to feline frustration. (They are also easier for you to clean.)

For those of us in touch with our wild side mealtime behavioral quirks can result in a less than tidy dining area. Many cats just have to “kill” their food. Some cats pick up a piece of kibble and shake it as they would if it were freshly caught. Other cats scoop food out of the bowl as if they were fishing for salmon in a stream.

If Kitty is not eating, a medical problem is more likely the reason than the wrong china pattern. Make sure your cat does not have dental conditions such as loose teeth or infected gums. Even if your cat is hungry, pain may cause food avoidance. Dropping food, especially from one side of the mouth, is a symptom of dental pain. A sore mouth is sure to lead to general grumpiness, so it’s no surprise that tempers are short particularly with other cats in the house. If you can’t look inside Kitty’s mouth at least smell her breath. Bad breath is another indicator of problems. Please see your vet if you suspect dental disease. Catching it early will prevent more serious problems later.

Older cats may have arthritis or other conditions which make it more challenging to eat from a high sided dish. They are also more likely to have lost teeth and consequently be on a diet of soft food. Senior cats tend to be less fastidious about grooming. If Kitty doesn’t clean all the food off his chin use a damp washcloth to gently remove it. Feline acne occurs when food and debris clog pores and lead to skin infections. If you think the dish shape is a problem then experiment until you find one Kitty likes. And putting a placemat underneath helps with spill cleanup.

Overall the material and cleanliness of the dish are far more important than the shape. Plastic dishes scratch easily leaving crevices that harbor bacteria. Harmful chemicals can also leach out of plastic. Plastic dishes should be avoided or at least replaced as soon as they show any sign of wear.

Ceramic bowls are popular because of the bright colors, designs and varied shapes. Although safer than plastic they can still chip or develop micro fractures where bacteria hide. You would also need to test the piece for lead – do not assume that because the maker said they used a lead free glaze, as you read in a previous article (Is that cute cat food bowl really lead safe? (maybe not!)) if the kiln is old and ever fired pieces with lead based glazes cross contamination will occur.

Stainless steel is popular with veterinarians and kennels since it is unbreakable and does not harbor bacteria if cleaned with nonabrasive cleanser. However, it lacks the charm of ceramic or glass so few people use it at home for their feline friends.

Daily cleaning is essential no matter what type of dish you choose. Biofilm, sometimes referred to as slime, can accumulate even if you are only feeding dry food. The moisture comes from Kitty’s saliva and brews up a mixture that attracts nasty bacteria that could be life threatening in some situations. http://www.catfaeries.com/blog/your-cats-water-bowl-do-you-know-about-biofilm/ A second set of dishes that can be rotated daily will simplify the clean dish routine. Use a good quality nonabrasive cleanser and be sure to rinse thoroughly with hot water. Or put in the dishwasher.

You can’t be too careful when it comes to feline health. We recommend dishes made from high quality materials, always manufactured in the USA. Pyrex is always a good choice and the bowls come a huge variety of sizes suitable for food and water.

In closing since we didn’t find any medical articles to validate the term “whisker fatigue” we think it’s a good marketing ploy. Also, the bowls we found were rather expensive ($45 and beyond!) and were usually not made in the US or they wouldn’t tell us where they were made.
 
 
 
 

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!