Is buying “pet insurance” worth the cost?

Nearly every vet’s office has an application at the front desk for some sort of “pet insurance” health policy. We’ve noticed there are quite a few different companies which offer animal health insurance which has us wondering which might be the best one to buy. A better question, is it even worth it? After all, this is a monthly fee for a service that you may never need, or may never use up what you put into it.

We found this objective article. The author makes a very good point that it’s a good idea to create a savings account to put aside money for the feline health version of “for a rainy day.”

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43916934/ns/business-consumer_news/t/pet-insurance-good-deal-or-rip/

Next we also asked our good friend, Newton who’s one smart feline cookie to give us his purrspective, which we know is always a good one. He did some digging and not in the cat box! Interestingly, Newton tells us that: “I couldn’t find anyone recommending it (except the insurance companies). I tried to find out some background on the industry worldwide – not much out there.”


Newton’s Purrspective – Should you buy “pet insurance” for your cat’s possible health concerns?



Isaac Newton

We all know that keeping your cat healthy requires a certain level of financial commitment. However, most family budgets don’t include the costs for non-routine surgery, hospitalization for life threatening disease, or treatment by a specialist. Is health insurance for Kitty the answer?

Insurance is all about risk management. What are the chances your cat will need expensive veterinary care? Accidents can happen at any age. Senior cats are more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes (treated with insulin) or chronic kidney failure (requiring fluids either at home or during hospitalization). There is no way to predict what might happen or exactly what it will cost.

What is best for you may be a combination of these ways to plan ahead:

1. pet insurance
2. savings or credit options
3. regular veterinary care to detect problems early
4. a cat safe environment

Is pet insurance worth the cost?

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43916934/ns/business-consumer_news/t/pet-insurance-good-deal-or-rip/

Those monthly payments may not seem so bad if Kitty does require expensive surgery. But everybody hopes they will never need the insurance and are often paying for peace of mind.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/august/money/pet-costs/pet-insurance-rarely-worth-the-price-in-our-analysis/index.htm

If you decide to buy pet insurance do the research to find a plan that is right for you. Questions to ask include:

1. What are the deductibles?
2. Are there treatment exclusions?

3. Is there a lifetime cap on benefits?

http://cats.about.com/od/pethealthinsurance/bb/bybpetinsurance.htm

Another option is to have savings set aside for emergencies (i.e. pay yourself the insurance premium). There is also a health care credit card called Care Credit. http://www.carecredit.com/ The online application can be done at home or right in your veterinarian’s office (online or by phone). You choose the amount you need (e.g. estimated cost of procedure) and you get the decision instantly.

Potential costs can be minimized with regular exams for early disease detection. Also make your home as cat safe as possible. Eliminate poisonous plants (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/c?field_toxicity_value[0]=02&&page=2) and dangerous toys (e.g. anything easily broken or small enough to swallow). I love my Legendary Cat Toys (http://www.catfaeries.com/toys.html) because they are large and can take a lot of rough play.

One final caution: Like most cats I can’t resist chasing yarn. It’s lots of fun until I catch it and it gets stuck to the little barbs on my tongue! Should this happen, my staff is always there to make sure I don’t swallow it. Thread is even more dangerous since it is often attached to a sewing needle. Yikes! http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/ask-a-vet-cat-swallows-needle-what-to-do

A cat safe environment is insurance everyone can afford.


On Newton’s advice to keep your cat’s home environment safe: Cat Faeries chimes in with a few favorites of our own. We’re pretty obsessively green around here as you probably have noticed from our articles!

  • Keep your home free of scented/fragranced products – artificial fragrances are carcinogenic, cause respiratory distress, and brain damage in some cases. Also, scent, whether or not it smell good is very subjective – not everyone likes the same smells. People who have chemical intolerance only smell the chemicals which aren’t pretty.
  • Hardwood floors or natural linoleum rather than carpet or laminate. 60 Minutes recently did an expose’ about toxic laminate from China:
    http://wtvr.com/2015/03/02/report-high-formaldehyde-levels-found-in-va-flooring-from-lumber-liquidators/
  • The microwave makes a good cabinet to store things! Don’t nuke your food or your cat’s food.
  • Glass bowls for the cat’s food and water – never plastic. Wash them with a simple soap and water, daily.
  • Filter the water that you drink and that you serve to your cat. Filter your cooking and coffee water too.
  • Take your filtered water to a higher level when you Vitalize the drinking water for everyone in your home with our VitaJuwel gemstone vial/wands!
  • Don’t buy furniture make from particle board. The glues and adhesives off gas and are carcinogenic. It horrifies us to see that particle board is used to build new homes, schools, and cat condos.

You can’t know too much about Anti Icky Poo! A Q&A.

Here is an interesting Q & A between Cat Faeries and a customer which we think you’d like to read. We’ve edited it a bit here and there.

Question: For clean up, I have used vinegar with water spray. A “natural” spray cleaner from a conglomerate chain store. I’ve also used ammonia in a spray bottle.

Answer: OH NO! Ammonia is the worst! And this is why: Cat urine, in fact all urine from any species, has an ammonia like quality. Our housecats instinctively seek out the smell of ammonia, which ideally is only detected in the litter boxes. This tells the cat: “it’s ok to pee here! This is where we cats are to urinate.”

What you accidently did was spread the smell of ammonia around your home! But don’t feel bad or beat yourself up, today is a new day, we begin anew! We will conquer this problem together!

Vinegar does nothing other than in the short run it’s nice to clean up a fresh puddle. But it will not eradicate the smell or the urine proteins and gases, or that ammonia.

That’s why it’s imperative to use a product like Anti Icky Poo which does not mask the odor, but actually eats urine’s proteins and gases, thus eradicating it completely.

Q: The peeing and spraying is happening in living room, kitchen, dining area, pantry, and porch. A few spots in each room- example, the fire hearth, in front of refrigerator door, by dog treat bin in pantry, on treadmill. Since I’ve got cat urine all over my home, and I’ve probably put the smell of ammonia throughout my house too, what can I do?

A: Do you recall how in your Feliway handout we talk about using it in each room “here and there”?
You are going to do something similar with Anti Icky Poo – PLUS – use it on the spots that you know have been hit. These are methods that we created based on our many years of experience.

The reason for Here and There with Anti Icky Poo is that when we suspect that there is urine in places you don’t know about we want to cover our bases.

When a cat sprays they do one of two things:

  • They empty their tank on one surface or wall
  • They can spray little drops or a fine mist on multiple things to claim the entire house or garden as IT”S MINE! Therefore it could be worse than your nose tells you.

Go through your home with your bottle of Anti Icky Poo with the sprayer intact. Approach a variety of surfaces and objects and give a fine baby misting of Anti Icky Poo “here and there.” Do this for a few days. After a few days this should de-stink and allow you to reclaim your home!

Q: They both used the litter boxes until old cat passed, and now young female won’t always let other old male on the porch to use litter boxes.

A: When an older cat dies it’s always best to get new litter boxes. There could be lingering smells. A good example is the awful smell of impending death when an old cat is ready to pass. This can freak out any remaining animals “I could be next!” And this can be the trigger for spraying or not urinating in a litter box.

A point we always like to make about why we don’t like having multiple litter boxes throughout a house, particularly a smaller house. When boxes are scattered throughout a house the smell of ammonia is in every room that a box is in. This tells the cat it’s ok to deposit urine in multiple rooms, and the sight of litter boxes everywhere and the odor cannot be pleasant for you! Cats don’t avoid their litter box because they are too lazy to walk over to where the boxes are.

Q: The flooring of our home is completely tiled and they have urinated on it.

A: You are very lucky to have such wonderful floors! My dad was a tile setter so I grew up with tile floors. Urine can penetrate the grout especially if it’s modern grout as opposed to 1960’s grout which was indestructible. Probably a few days of treating the tile with Anti Icky Poo will eradicate any urine which may have penetrated the tiles or grout.

Q: I was confusing the flower essences for essential oils – sorry! How many drops per gallon of water? We change the water twice a day, but we need to use big water bowl because big dog drinks a lot.

A: Most people have smaller water bowls and we suggest 3 to 5 drops. For your big bowl start with 5 drops for the gallon. You may need a few more drops. In addition to adding drops to the water bowl rub some on her head, ears, back when you have the time.

Avoid these indoor holiday plants that are potentially lethal to cats!

Poinsettias, mistletoe and lilies – these are but a few of the indoor house plants that are toxic to cats! Here’s a complete list of cat-unfriendly houseplants.

http://user.xmission.com/~emailbox/plants.htm

Bringing flowers to a home with cats? Roses are a good choice BUT they should be grown locally, and better yet, they should be grown organically!

Why is organic important? Most roses sold in the U.S. come from Colombia or Ecuador where they are grown in greenhouses which use a shocking amount of pesticides.

Read more about the toxins in Colombian and Ecuadoran roses here:

http://www.organicbouquet.com/i_504/msnbc-article-roses.html

Where to find organic or fair trade flowers:

Anti Icky Poo belongs in your wash!

There’s a reason I wear a lot of black, I’m a klutz and spill or drop things on myself all the time! Even black clothes will show an olive oil or salad dressing stain. As we all know, oil seems to become one with the fibers of fabric and won’t budge.

Ta da! Anti Icky Poo to the rescue – not only is it the best urine cleaner we’ve found it’s also a great pre-soak for clothes! Depending on how many stains are on a garment you want to measure Anti Icky Poo accordingly. Let’s say that one top has a 2 inch diameter oil stain – use 1/8 cup straight out of the bottle. No need to rub it in. If you’ve got a basin or a enamel tub put the garment in it and add just enough cold water to wet the piece. Let it soak overnight. After soaking wash it with a mild soap (Seventh Generation free and clear is our favorite) in cold water. The stain should be gone. If you still see some, repeat.

You can do the same process for those embarrassing yellow stains we get on our collars and under arms. We’ve found that these can take two treatments.

If you are noticing a smell build up in your clothes (gym wear, socks, bath towels, etc) that isn’t washing out, especially if you are washing in cold water, Anti Icky Poo will rescue this problem too. Since hot water will shrink or compromise the color on our dark clothing try this: pour some Anti-Icky Poo in the pre-soak cycle to eat up the bacteria that’s giving off the smell. It may take several washings using this method to get the odor out, but once you do, it’s gone for good.

Anti Icky Poo is so gentle (but a fierce foe to urine and grease) that it can be used on silk upholstery or drapes. (Remember, it’s always good with any water-based cleaner to test colorfastness on an unseen spot before applying.)

Keeping cats calm during the holidays

Ah, this time of year can be a flurry of visitors, more activity than usual, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and so much more. Do yourself a favor, keep your cat calm which in turn will make you calmer because you aren’t worrying about your cat’s nerves or possible naughty behavior.

Here are our tips:

Company is coming! How to train your guests and visitors to be cat friendly!

We sure love our guests. It’s fun to plan for them, to feed and water them, and create new experiences and memories. Some cats love having new people around, they can thrive on it. But for other cats it’s a disaster! “Who are these people and why won’t they leave?!” Their noise can be upsetting, their smells can be unfamiliar, they might bring a dog or children and heaven forbid they might sit in the cat’s favorite chair! The last thing we want is a stressed out cat – this can lead to vomiting, not eating, being a bit aggressive, or the worst of the worst: litter box avoidance.

Tips for training house guests which will help keep kitty calm and allow you to be the perfect hostess who enjoys your guests.

  • Visitors should be asked to not approach your cats. Let the cat’s curiosity kick in so that if your cats want to be petted it will be asked for.
  • No rough housing! No vigorous petting unless that’s something your cat likes.
  • Give your visitors a favorite Cat Faeries catnip toy so they can interact with the cat. The cat will view your catnip toting guest as a friend!
  • This may sound nutty, but it works. Make the visitor endearing to your cat via sense of smell. A spray or two of our Cat Faerie Catnip Mist on clothing works wonders! You can also give a spray or two of Comfort Zone with Feliway to clothing or shoes. Really! This works!
  • If your cat likes to hide in a back room, let it be. If the cat wants to join the holiday festivities, it should happen when the cat wants it, and on the cat’s terms.
  • Show children how to play gently with the cat. Children should know to not bother a hiding, sleeping or eating cat. Loud exclamations like “THAT CAT IS SO CUTE!” can frighten a cat who’s not used to hearing loud voices.
  • If you’ve got several Comfort Zone with Feliway Diffusers, place them all in the room that your cat spends the most time in. The beauty of the diffusers is that you can move them around.
  • Don’t change the cat’s feeding times. Even a half hour can worry or upset a cat.

To help make your cat more comfortable during holidays, plug in a Comfort Zone with Feliway Diffuser a day or two in advance. The diffuser will last for four weeks (so you may need more than one to keep your cat comfortable through the festivities), and helps your cat adjust to a changing environment. Stress behavior (vertical scratching, urine spraying, etc.) is usually a result of stress, and using Comfort Zone products with Feliway can help keep your cat happy and your home safe. Feliway is used and recommended by veterinarians nationwide.

Cat Faeries recommends:

Comfort Zone with Feliway – DIFFUSER
Plug it in and forget about it (until 4 weeks later when it’s time to install another refill of the pheromone) Fills a 600 square foot room with the calming scent. You may need two per room which is a good idea especially this time of year.

The Spray
The Comfort Zone with Feliway Spray makes it easy for you to go from room to room and spot treat furniture and other surfaces putting the calming pheromone right on places that the cat likes to sit or rest. It will also deter urinating or spraying urine.

Calm and Serene Flower Essence Formula for Cats
A few drops of this magic liquid in the water bowl or in food works wonders to calm down a cat. You can also rub a few drops on ears and top of the cat’s head.

Moves and Changes Flower Essence Formula for Cats
This formula will be helpful if your visitors will be staying for awhile! Cats don’t like change, even if it’s Aunt Martha who’s occupying the spare room for a few weeks! Even moving furniture around for the holiday can upset an otherwise calm cat.

Calm and Serene and Moves and Changes are on sale!

They’ve been marked down on our website.

Sale on Urine Cleanup Products Ends Tonight at Midnight!

All Anti Icky Poo cleaning products (Anti Icky Poo, P-Bath, Stain Remover) are still on sale!

Sale ends at midnight tonight,
Thursday October 2!

 

If you’ve used Anti Icky Poo urine cleaner before, you know it works! If you are new, get ready to be delighted – this is THE ONE that really works. How and why does it work? It literally eats the urine proteins and gases, which means odor is gone baby gone! For your nose and the cat’s nose. You might need P Bath to pre treat if you used anything anti microbial in the past or if the stains is especially old and gross. Generally Anti Icky Poo alone is enough to remove the yellow, but if it wasn’t enough, then get Stain Remover. Reclaim your home! Get rid of that awful kennel smell!