We like this article because it brings up an important point about why diabetes is so prevalent and predicted to get much worse. Toxins and changes in our environment for many individuals might be the root cause, less so that the cause is genetic or “reckless eating.” This article is geared for people, but we think it’s obvious that if these toxins are causing insulin resistance or Diabetes for people then it makes sense that cats are just as vulnerable.
We hear this complaint quite a lot. Allow us to explain why a cat who goes outside, even for short periods can spray inside the house:
When cats go outside they often detect the urine smells of other cats, and other animals. Therefore, to retaliate and claim the yard or garden as theirs they are likely to spray bushes, trees . . .etc. in an attempt to cover up other cat’s urine smells with their own. Once they do that the potential for this to happen inside the house goes way up. Cats do not make a distinction between in a tree or a Chippendale, it’s all the same to them. It’s all about their territory which from the cat’s viewpoint needs defending (and spraying or peeing on!)
You may never see other cats in your garden. The feral cats and some neighbor’s cats come around at nighttime when we are asleep. One telltale sign is if Kitty sprays at night. Bingo! You’ve definitely got outside cats coming at night and they are probably spraying on or around your front door or other doors, even under the windows as well as everything in the garden.
The fix for this problem:
- Anti Icky Poo is going to remove the urine from your walls, as well as the doors outside (check for smells and water marks at cat-butt-height)
- Territorial Rescue Flower Essence for Cats formula to help simmer down that tendency to be territorial
- Comfort Zone with Feliway DIFFUSERS – as many as budget allows for general calming and marking prevention
- Comfort Zone with Feliway SPRAY so you can apply the pheromone directly to where your cat has marked, and by your doors and windows
And lastly, keep Kitty inside! Really, they don’t miss it. They’ll be healthier and ultimately happier (and so will you!)
Spring is all about flowers and to most of us we look forward to seeing the flowers from bulbs. Tulips, daffodils, lilies. But if you live with cats Do Not Buy Them or bring them into your home. One tiny nibble on any part of the plant (leaves, flowers, pollen) can mean sudden death to a cat. Even drinking the water in the vase holding the flowers can cause death or serious illness.
This article talks about how sensitive cats are to all parts of lilies – not just the flowers and leaves, but the water they sit in, and pollen too if the particles get on your cat’s whiskers, feet or fur (this can be fatal).
This a very sad but very informative story from the Daily Mail about what happens when a cat eats any part of a lily: The Valentine bouquet that killed my cats: Mother’s Day warning on lethal lilies
This website has a very good list of plants which are toxic to cats.
One Christmas a customer gave us some bulbs which she said to put in a vase with pebbles and water (very Martha Stewart!). The window sill in the bathroom seemed like the perfect place to put them.
One night Torti, our feisty little tortoiseshell, was sitting on the back of the sofa when she fell over as if fainting. Cats don’t “faint” like we can. We knew this was very serious so we rushed her to the emergency vet hospital.
An hour later she went into cardiac arrest 5 times, and 5 times the doctor defibrillated her. Mystified as why this was happening the vet contacting a colleague, a veterinary heart specialist in another state. The tension was intense. The attending nurses were crying because they had never seen a cat survive more than one episode of cardiac arrest let alone five in quick succession.
Torti survived a case of arrhythmia where something causes the heart to slow to a dangerous level which can lead to failure and death.
When things settled down the vet and the out of state specialist asked us if she could have ingested anything toxic in our home. Since we are greener than green and obsessed with being as toxin free as possible we were stumped. But we questioned everything in the house and office, and of course felt horribly guilty that we’d done something wrong. The next days were spent agonizing over what could have caused the arrhythmia.
Four days later when Torti was discharged and came home the first thing she did was trot into the bathroom, leap on top the sink, and make a bee-line for that vase. It was beginning to flower and we recognized them as Narcissus. I grabbed Torti and shut the door to keep her out. Using Google and the words: cats narcissus heart – there it was! That’s what caused Torti’s near death experience! Torti became known far and wide as Torti Narcissus – The Miracle Cat! Her photo is still on the refrigerator of one of the nurses who tended to her that night. The out of state specialist was so impressed with Torti’s survival and recovery that he flew in to meet her and examine her himself.
Torti had no lingering effects from her ordeal and she lived another 10 very happy years. Every time she went to the vet everyone wanted to see Torti Narcissus – The Miracle Cat.
Giving and Receiving Flowers
It sounds like we’ve put the kibosh on giving and receiving pretty flowers! It may feel like there isn’t much left. Don’t despair! Roses – you can’t go wrong with roses, especially when they are locally grown and not sprayed with pesticides.
Here’s an email from a customer whose cat is urinating by the door. And our response that tells how to use Cat Faeries products and other techniques to deal with it.
Dear Cat Faeries,
We have male & female cats. The male is 3 years old and neutered. He is accustomed to going out doors to urinate, however the weather is preventing him from doing that. He is urinating by the door. We have sprayed with a deterrent and he now moved to another area on the rug.
Thank you for your order and your note to us in the Comments area of the order form. We thought we’d answer you in our newsletter as we suspect that you are not the only one this winter having this problem.
With regard to your order:
- You’ll use Comfort Zone with Feliway spray according to our instructions.
- Put the Comfort Zone with Feliway diffusers in the rooms in the house where he’s started to pee on the floor.
- Use Anti Icky Poo to remove the deterrent and urine off the walls and floors near that door. Then place a litter box there for his use until he can resume going outside. Anti Icky Poo literally eats the urine proteins and gases!
- Put a few drops of the flower essence formula in the communal water bowl each time you change it, or once or twice a day.
The deterrent you bought is doing its job – it has deterred your cat from peeing by that door and as you’ve learned the hard way your cat will find other places!
Deterrents are never a good idea and they could contain toxic ingredients. Feliway though is safe and when you follow the instructions that we’ll give you with your order you’ll learn how to use it so the cats don’t pick new naughty locations.
Now this is very important: normally we are very against putting boxes on top of or near all of the places where the cat is peeing. It’s best to create one roomy Kitty Latrine Area where there are a few hoodless litter boxes pushed together to create a large “sand box” with a bag of litter, a scooper, a trash can and a broom handy for your use. A latrine area concentrates the scent of feline urine/feces to one place which is which the cats seek out. If you put litter boxes in other rooms you are telling the cat that it’s ok to pee in all sorts of rooms! And your problem will get worse.
But K.P.’s situation is seasonal. So for the duration of this winter keep a box by the door. When things warm up and he can go outside it’s your choice to keep it there or remove it.
Some of you might take this cold winter as a chance to break your cat’s desire for and habit of going outside. After a few months of being inside cats often forget about going outside. We really feel that cats are healthiest staying indoors.
(What is a genome? A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its genes. Each genome contains all of the information needed to build and maintain that organism. In humans, a copy of the entire genome—more than 3 billion DNA base pairs—is contained in all cells that have a nucleus.)
Did you know there are 12 cat racial groups around the world?
Here’s a fascinating article from the San Francisco Chronicle on a project to map the genome of the house cat. The scientists are mapping the DNA of 99 cats from all over the world.
Once they’ve mapped the cat genome, the full database will be posted on the Internet. Researchers will be able to use the information to research cat health links to genetics and cat ancestry. This may someday lead to DNA testing for cats being available to vets to help in maintaining our kitty’s health. It can also help humans, by aiding research for diseases that affect both cats and people.
Someday, we may even have a DNA testing service like 23andme for our kitties!
Scientists set out to map whole genome of cats – 99 of them
Stephanie M. Lee
Cats may not have nine lives, as the myth goes, but they do have 38 chromosomes.
And a team led by a former UC Davis professor is trying to understand those genes by sequencing a lot of cats – 99 cats, to be precise.
Leslie Lyons is fond of cats – she is the proud owner of two – but that’s not why she is pursuing this project. As sequencing technology grows faster, more comprehensive and more precise, scientists in general are mapping the genomes of humans, dogs, cows and other mammals.
But Lyons, who now works at the University of Missouri, says the cat genome remains relatively un-deciphered. A full mapping of those 20,000 genes in various breeds could help pinpoint the genetic cause of distinguishing marks, like fur and eye colors, but also of cat health problems, she says. It could even shed light on diseases that can occur in cats and humans alike.
“When a sick cat comes along, you could genetically sequence it and say, ‘Hey, look, this has a variation we’ve never seen before,’ ” said Lyons, who is collaborating on the project with San Mateo company Maverix Biomics. “It might give us clues very quickly as to what genes to focus on for this cat’s health care.”
Right now, it’s too early to tell whether protective pet owners or veterinarians would be willing to fork over the cash to sequence their cats’ genomes, said David Kirkpatrick, a spokesman for the American Veterinary Medical Association.
But pet owners in the United States do go to great lengths to take care of their animals, spending $26 billion on supplies, over-the-counter medicine and veterinary care in 2012, according to the American Pet Production Association.
In the not-too-distant future, perhaps, a trip to the vet could include a DNA test.
“We want to bring the health care standards of our pets to a comparable standard for humans,” Lyons said.
From 9 cats to 99
The project, called the 99 Lives Cat Whole Genome Sequencing Initiative, grew out of an original plan to sequence just nine cats. But Lyon and her colleagues decided that nine lives were not enough to build a truly complete genetic portrait, so they upped the sample size.
The work requires samples from kitties that are spayed and neutered. The cats’ leftover ovaries, uteruses and testicles contain DNA that can be easily extracted.
So the scientists are seeking cat samples from Greece, India, China, Russia, the Galapagos and Madagascar, to name a few. They want all kinds of breeds: the silky-haired Maine Coon and the American shorthair, the spotted Egyptian Mau and the blue-eyed Siamese. They want both purebreds and housecats that are a little bit of everything.
12 racial groups of cats
Like humans, cats belong to different racial populations, Lyons said. Felines from the United States, Britain and Canada tend to match up genetically with each other – not surprising, because most share a fluffy ancestry that originated in Western Europe.
Their genetic profile differs from that of cats in Egypt, which in turn are distinct from their counterparts in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. All in all, there are about 12 racial groups, Lyons said.
“What (humans) really want to do is figure out all the genetic variations in our genomes,” she said. “It varies with where you live in the world and what ethnic group you are, and that’s true with cats, too.”
Assisting in the sequencing are the University of Missouri, Cornell University, Texas A&M University and UC Davis. Funding also comes from Zoetis, an animal health company; the Winn Feline Foundation, a cat health nonprofit; and Procter and Gamble, which makes cat and dog food.
An Abyssinian named Cinnamon was the first cat to be genetically sequenced in 2007, but the technology then was more primitive and only picked up about 60 percent of her total DNA.
The technology Lyons uses now will pick up virtually all of it, but mapping each genome will take weeks or months and cost about $8,000. Sequencing all 99 whiskered creatures will generate a huge amount of data – 168 terabytes. (A typical desktop computer has 1 terabyte of capacity.)
All that data will be uploaded into a cloud-based website that will allow anyone to view, search and annotate it.
“They can share that information very easily among researchers, rather than having to ship it around to researchers from lab to lab,” said Dave Mandelkern, president and co-founder of Maverix Biomics, which is operating the website.
Implications for humans
The data could have implications for humans who suffer from illnesses such as polycystic kidney disease and spinal muscular atrophy – diseases that also affect cats.
More immediately, the project could help researchers like Niels Pedersen, a UC Davis professor emeritus who helped with the sequencing. Pedersen, for example, is trying to better understand the genetic causes of feline infectious peritonitis, a fatal illness in cats.
“Using the tools we had at the time, we can see that there are some genetic factors that might be important,” he said. “To really define them … we really need to move to the whole genome sequencing.
Intriguing, isn’t it?
Everyone at Cat Faeries, and many friends, have done 23 and Me to learn about our individual genetics.
Here’s something fun to know about our founder, Mrs. Cat Faerie – she has 3% Neanderthal DNA. This is .8% higher than average and puts her in the 94th percentile (if only she did so well in school!) Mr. Cat Faerie has some Neanderthal DNA too, his is 3.1%. And you may have some too. This is why a service like 23 and Me, and all the genome research that’s being done, is so fascinating – and fun! And you might learn about some health predispositions.