April Fools Fun!

Let’s have some silly fun on April Fools Day! The first prank comes from cat loving – and very handsome – George Vezilic. In his own words: “ I am a blogger, photographer and cat enthusiast, owner of lifewithcatman.com. Writing about cats and taking photographs of them is something that I am most passionate about. My biggest goal is to show the world what divine creatures the cats are and make them feel appreciated.”

April Fools Prank For your Cat – Create a Maze From Cardboard Boxes, by George Vezilic

Here’s a prank that your cat will actually love because it involves one of their favorite things (besides you of course) and you’ll have fun setting it up! Sequester the cats in another room while you set up your prank Get 10 to 20 cardboard boxes and set them up haphazardly or in a pattern in your living room. Bonus points for putting Cat Faeries toys inside some of them! Once you’ve created your maze let the cats out. Your maze could confuse them at first, but once they figure out that this is a kitty-wonderland of boxes they won’t know which to try first! Perhaps the best of the prank isn’t that you goofed on the cats but when your housemates see your creation they’ll think you’ve gone bonkers and need an intervention!

April Fools Prank for the human cat lover in your home. Yes, Auntie Cat Faerie really did this to Mr. Cat Faerie many years ago!

  • On your best platter serve a sandwich filled with canned cat food. Surround sandwich with cat toys.
  • Quench their thirst: 1 tablespoon of dried Catnip with 1 cup of boiling water poured over it. Let your tea steep 5 minutes. Cool it down then pour it into a wine glass and add some ice. Honey, sugar or vodka are optional.
  • There’s always room for dessert so take two cookies and spread a layer of cat food in between them to create what looks like an ice cream sandwich. Spread a thin layer of more canned cat food and sprinkle kibble on it.
  • Clean the hair out of your hairbrush and wad it up. Dampen with water and leave it on their pillow so they know how much you love them.

 
 
 
 

Reader’s tips on how to lure a feral cat into your heart and into your home!

 

From Rosalinda: “This little stray showed up in our backyard, we feed it but once it eats it runs and hides.”


When we posted this story and photo from Rosalinda of her little backyard stray kitten she told us that the kitten runs and hides after feeding time. We have some pretty smart and experienced with feral cats readers on our Facebook page, and if you’ve got a feral cat or kitten who you’d love to bring into your home here are some of their tips!


Deborah V tells us: I had a little cat that I was feeding and she was very shy (and careful, I must say). But, after about 6 months, she started to come up to me and let me touch her. Then after a while, I got her to come inside. She stayed with me inside (never going outside again).

Patricia C. has stellar advice: If you lay down she may not be as frightened. Also sing a soft little song. Some cats love music.

Donna I. reminds us of this great trip, which works wonders! Give the kitty the trust blink. you look it in the face and slowly close your eyes and open them, if you wear glasses take them off so it can see your eyes. blink slowly and wait to see if they blink back. if you do this for a few days it’s ok, if they blink back then they trust you. maybe you can put the food in the bowl and sit there on the steps, not in the chair. he/she will learn your scent, maybe even rub up against you. just be patient

Diane McG suggests: Beautiful kitty. Please try to rescue it because it’s very dangerous outside. You could probably borrow a live trap from the Humane Society.

Wendy R says: Just keep feeding her. I’m sure eventually she’ll venture inside and stay. Just show kitty love.

Colleen D has encouraging words: She will come around!

Robin P. has words of wisdom: Doesn’t trust yet…please be patient..God Bless you!

Norma Jean TS wants you to know: Soon it will be friendly

Cathy MS wants you to know: I’ve been feeding a stray cat for a year on my front porch. Iv only recently been able to scratch her back a little.

Andrea Lee B: tells us: It is wonderful you are feeding the baby but please… when you do catch… get her/him neutered.

Millie C has a good tip: Every time you put food out keep bringing it closer and closer to your home and the kitten has to claim you. Thank u so much you have a great heart

Elizabeth W has this to say: Be patient. Little by little she’ll feel safer. Just keep it up. Don’t make fast moves or loud noises around her.

Phyllis L speaks from experience: Try to get a have a heart trap and catch it to get it spayed or neutered. Alley Cat organization will help with that. Took me over a year to get the last of 4 ferals to come in my house. That was 10 yrs ago!

Patricia K has good advice: Move the bowls further away from the chair. You are BIG… sit down, but not too close. Sweet talk very softly while the kit is eating. You will have her in your lap in about a week, maybe two.

Sina T is encouraging: I am hoping that she will come around for you.

Connie H tips her hat to Rosalinda: Love that you are feeding. Just be very patient.

Linda M has good things to say: It looks like a young cat, if your willing to take care of this beauty be gentle and keep feeding on a regular basis it takes time for them to trust and they choose.

Pamela M. is cheering you on: The girl says just keep at it and be patient she’ll come around. Has to learn to trust first and foremost

Joan F. is optimistic: Be patient, trust will come…this little cutie needs your love & help!!!


When you feed your feral cat, or cats, sit with them. Being closer to their level makes you less scary, more friendly. Cats and other animals communicate telepathically – they see images of what we are thinking (like when you are looking for the cat carrier for a vet appointment, they “see” the image of the carrier in your mind and run!) What you want to do is free your mind of the usual chatter, worries, and thoughts and images of chores we are bombarded with. This technique is good for you and the cat as it’s a nice time to meditate. Imagine your thoughts on the 12th floor of a building, in an elevator, which is holding all the chatter and thoughts in your mind. Now, bring the elevator down to the 11th floor with less chatter and thoughts. Then to the 10th floor with even less chatter and thoughts. Keep going. The goal is to reach the ground floor in a paradise where you’ll be free of chatter and thoughts and be in a state of quietude which is going to feel very safe to the feral cat and be healthful for you too. If the cat wants to approach you let it happen BUT do not reach out. Play hard to get! Make the cat want your attention! You might see the cat lay down, sit down, or clean a paw or face. This is what we want. Keep practicing. Eventually the cat will trust you and you can try to stroke the cat (start with the aura, then then fur once the cat is ok with your reach) and at that time you can decide what’s next for you and the cat!

While you are descending down the Meditation Elevator you might picture your thoughts and chatter being swept away by a broom, perhaps blown away be a breeze, or encased in a cloud or a rose bud where the breeze with take it away, or place those thoughts in a sail boat and allow them to sail away.
 
 
 

Your old mascara wand can help your cat (seriously!)

Two weeks ago, we told you that you can brush your cat with a toothbrush when applying Convivial House Cat or a few drops of one of our flower essences. The reason is that the bristles mimic the feel of a cat mother’s sandpapery tongue with the familiar sensation they loved as kittens, which is still very soothing to adult cats. We feel this maternal sensation benefits the usage of our products from the loving touch of something bristly like a toothbrush, and we just learned that a cleaned/bleached mascara wand has the same feel and purpose!

And because we are zero-wasters (or try to be!) and hope you are too we knew you’d be excited to know that your old mascara wands not only have benefits for your cat, but you can also be a wildlife hero! Wildlife rescue organizations and rehabilitation professionals use them to remove all sort of icky things like oil on a bird’s feathers or fur after a spill, mites, fly eggs and larvae. They love mascara wands for their small size and that the bristles are so close together. And yes, you can follow their lead and use one to remove similar debris from your cat’s fur.

We’d read that mascara wands were ok to use to clean around wounds, but wondered if that information was unsafe so we asked a favorite Friend of Cat Faeries, veterinarian and animal communicator Joy Mason (www.joymason.com) what she thought about using mascara wands to wound clean. This is what she said: “I have been thinking about the mascara brush and cleaning a wound. I would recommend it for brushing the cat, but not for cleaning a wound. If the cat has a wound, I would recommend cleaning it with Chlorhexidene and warm water, put some coconut oil on it or if it is really bad then use a high-quality honey to help it heal.”

Always wash and bleach the mascara wand when it’s time to get a new tube and send the old wand onto its new home! By the way for the health of your eyes, mascara should be discarded every 2 months, 3 months at the most.

Save one or two old mascara wands for your own use and mail the rest after you’ve washed and bleached them. How much bleach? Dr. Mason, also known as Auntie Joy tells us the Clorox bleach needs to be diluted with water. This is how her clinic dilutes it for dogs to prevent Parvo: “In the clinic we recommend that people use a 4:1 dilution of water to Clorox if they want to put a foot bath at their front door to prevent Parvo virus from being spread if there is an outbreak in their neighborhood “ The same dilution would be good for the mascara wand.

How to clean a mascara wand without making a huge mess!

As you might imagine cleaning off a mascara wand is messy! Auntie Cat Faerie using her Virgo logic came up with this easy method! While she hates throwing things away she hates wasting water more so grab some paper towels. While wearing disposable gloves use your paper towels to wipe off as much mascara as you can, otherwise your hands will be very stained. Using a few damp Qtips scoop out as much mascara as you can from where the wand in attached to the cap. An empty narrow glass jam jar the height of your wand with 1 part Clorox and 4 parts water will allow the wand to stand up straight making removing it easy for you. The bleach will most likely remove any traces of mascara that you couldn’t rub off. Rinse in hot water when finished.

If you don’t have a wildlife group near you here are organizations that want them:

Wildlife Wands
PO Box 1586
Southwick MA 01077
https://www.facebook.com/wildlifewands/

Appalachian Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 1211
Skyland, NC 28776
https://www.appalachianwild.org/wands-for-wildlife.html

Here’s a video from Appalachian Wildlife Refuge where you can see the wands in action (grab a hanky!)

Mascara wands can also “go where no brush has gone before” for use around the house in any small crevice where dust and gunk settles. Use one on your sewing machine, your computer keyboard, clean jewelry, clearing the lint catcher in your blow-dryer, even the little oxygenating vent in your faucet tap where the water passes through and gunk can build up (let the floodgates open!). They also gently clean off mushrooms!
 
 
 
 

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.
 
 
 
 

Do cats feel love? Do we get a hormonal boost from loving cats?

When someone I was buying greens from at the farmers market wished me Happy Mother’s Day, she put a caveat on it and said “That is IF you are a mother.” Not one to let poor manners slide I very kindly told her “I’m a mother to 4 cats, 4 bunnies, a business, and I’m motherly to countless people including my husband, and my customers.” While her reaction was not positive, she gave me the stink eye, I’m hoping that if she thought about it later in the day and that she might have changed her closed minded thinking.

After that encounter a fascinating National Geographic article crossed my path about the feel good hormone, Oxytocin, which increases significantly when someone gives birth and takes the newborn into her arms and gazes at her child. The article goes on to tell us that a grandmother will get a similar Oxytocin increase when she sees her grandchild for the first time. And just as exciting, men are absolutely capable of this hormone being released, it takes them a bit longer but it’s a comparable rise as well. Also fascinating is that transgender people in various stages of their transition will get the same increase of Oxytocin with their babies. These numbers were gathered when tests were done before and after contact with the baby was made.

This had me wondering – does the Oxytocin hormone increase in us when we hold or look into the eyes of our cats or other animals? I consulted with good old Dr. Google and found articles about what happens to us when we gaze into the eyes of an animal, any animal, and yes, Oxytocin kicks in when we gaze into the eyes of a cat just as it does for a woman who’s given birth! I know you are thinking “Of course, I could have told you that!” but now we know that it’s not just us crazy cat ladies and crazy cat gents who think so, science confirms it – it’s for real! Our cats give us the Oxytocin feel good hormone, and anything that feels good is healthy and live extending, and we are all about that!

Curious to learn more I went to Professor Google to ask if animals release Oxytocin. I found more articles telling me that yes, they do. The Atlantic says: “That animals of different species induce oxytocin release in each other suggests that they, like us, may be capable of love. It is quite possible that Fido and Boots may feel the same way about you as you do about them. You can even call it love.” You can read the entire article, written by a scientist who is also a cat person! https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/04/does-your-dog-or-cat-actually-love-you/360784/

Here’s the National Geographic article that inspired this newsletter: http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/science/is-maternal-instinct-only-for-mums-heres-the-science.aspx

Read more about Oxytocin here: http://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/oxytocin/ and here: http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb08/oxytocin.aspx

If you like videos here’s one about Oxytocin that has equal amounts of science and sarcastic humor, and it’s done in a very 1960’s television news style! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acka4SopuAY

One of our favorite customers, The Gettysburg Cat Mom, had this to say:

“I can certainly relate to the feelings we experience when we gaze into our cats’ eyes! Especially my lovely long-haired, blue-eyed beauty. She is superb at looking directly into my eyes without blinking and it is indeed totally relaxing and rejuvenating, the same feeling I get after a really good Qigong session. No words or sounds are necessary, because we’re communicating on a totally different level. Our animals are so much more in touch with the energy in our world that surrounds us. We humans can learn so much from them!”

 
 
 
 

The Power of the Purr

Are you or your cat under stress now or occasionally? Having a hard time sleeping? (you that is, cats don’t have insomnia) Are you or your cat sick and recovering? Do both of you find the sound of a cat’s purr soothing? We say yes to all the above and we’ve found something you are going to love.

Purrli is the brainchild of, research engineer & sound designer Dr. Ir. Stephane Pigeon and it’s non-stop soothing feline purring right on the internet available to you whenever you want to hear it!

Calm your nerves, heal your body, and your mind, and your spirit starting RIGHT NOW! Note that this website is funded by donations – please make one, no matter how small. It’s good cat-karma! https://purrli.com/

Lately, we’ve been playing this in our work room where we pack and ship your orders. We’ve noticed it’s very calming to everyone here, including our house rabbits who share half of the workspace. We find it quite impressive that another species, besides humans, find the sound of a purring cat to be relaxing.


Newton’s Purrspective – The Power of the Purr

How cats purr was a mystery for many years. Scientists now believe special muscles cause the vocal chords to vibrate at a certain frequency resulting in that lovely soothing sound. Purring is the first sound a newborn kitten feels. Kittens are born deaf and their ear canals don’t start to open for two weeks. However, they can feel the purring vibrations from their mother and siblings (yes, newborn kittens purr!). This serves as a survival mechanism to keep the family together and safe.




Isaac Newton

We generally associate purring with happy, relaxed cats – and this is usually the case. The soothing sound is also relaxing to humans. In fact, there is increasing evidence that stroking a pet can significantly reduce blood pressure and elevate mood.

Cats also purr when stressed or sick. The purr occurs in a consistent pattern during both inhalation and exhalation and stays in the range of 25 – 150 Hz. This frequency has been shown to promote healing and even increase bone density. So, when your ill cat is purring the cat is self-medicating, and when you are sick the cat is helping you. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-cats-purr/ This healing power extends to Kitty’s human family too!