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!

 
 

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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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.