“The Cat Rescuers” documentary film

The Cat Rescuers is a new documentary film about the volunteer heroes in New York City who are trying to make a dent in the 500,000+ population of New York’s street cats, because as we know, the humane societies nationwide cannot do it all themselves.

See the 2 minute trailer!

http://catrescuersfilm.com/

Meet some of the city’s rescuers:

http://catrescuersfilm.com/the-rescuers/

Schedule of upcoming screenings:

http://catrescuersfilm.com/screenings/

Learn how you can host a screening in your community:

http://catrescuersfilm.com/host-a-screening/

The film isn’t available on DVD yet, but it will be available for purchase later this year! We’ll put a notice in our newsletter when it’s available (if you aren’t signed up for our newsletter, you can sign up here).

 
 
 
 

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.
 
 
 

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.
 
 
 
 

Cats and Water

We often think about the interesting relationship between cats and water. They seem to be blissed out when lapping it up out of their water bowl, but usually, but not always hate getting wet. Then there are the cats who sneak into the shower after we’ve used it to sit in the water remaining on the tile or who practically want to join us! We thought we’d ask Newton, our feline editor at large to cat-chat about cats and water.


Newton’s Purrspective – Cats and Water

Cats have a reputation for hating water. I’ve always wondered if this is deserved or just urban legend. True, domestic felines did evolve from desert dwelling ancestors conditioned to an arid environment. Early cats probably didn’t encounter much water, and the fact that they do not need to drink a lot is no surprise. Cats today drink what they need to maintain health if the water is clean and free of distasteful chemicals or minerals (hard water).

However, when it comes to other encounters with water… we have a real game changer!




Isaac Newton

Imagine yourself in a restaurant anticipating your favorite refreshing beverage. The waiter approaches, but instead of handing you the glass he dumps the contents on your head! Or worse, he picks you up and submerges you in a large container of your now former favorite drink. I’m sure you get the idea. If humans would not tolerate this situation what would you expect of creatures who were once worshipped as gods? Cats prefer (some say demand) everything on our own terms. I’m sure that few cats even pretend to enjoy squirt bottles and baths, but more on that later.

Instinctively we seek out the freshest, cleanest water possible. This explains why many of us balk at having food and water dishes side by side. Uneaten food transferred to the water increases bacterial growth and just tastes bad. Food and water bowls should be separated by at least 10 feet to prevent cross contamination. Running water is the cleanest in Nature, so in the absence of a ceramic cat water fountain we may insist on drinking from the kitchen or bathroom faucet.

In the wild felines get a substantial part of the water they need from their prey. However, when they share a home with a human what they eat is very different. Dry food has become popular because it is convenient and can safely be left out while Kitty is home alone during the day. However, dry food has a very low moisture content (10%), much less than canned (70 – 80 %). Cats who are fed only dry food must drink more water to compensate. Veterinarians often feel that excess thirst and unnatural water drinking from salty kibble might lead to kidney disease.

Blood has to be processed through the kidneys to remove toxins and waste products of metabolism. The more water a cat drinks the harder the kidneys must work. Extra stress on these vital organs can lead to serious problems, including kidney failure. For that reason, foods with high salt content should be avoided. One way you can tell is if you feed a cat one type of food and the water bowl is drained – that means way too much salt.

If possible, establish a baseline for what is normal for Kitty. While water is necessary, excessive thirst can be a symptom of disease. On the other hand (paw) it could be something easily fixed by changing to a food with a different combination of mineral additives. Please consult your veterinarian if you notice an increase or decrease in water consumption.

But now let’s get back to squirt bottles and baths. Many people try to (ha ha) train cats (ha ha) using water. The idea is that Kitty will dislike being squirted so much she will (ha ha) stay off the kitchen counters. I’m sorry. I just can’t stop thinking about my brother Purricane Felix (aka Purr). He LOVES getting squirted! In fact, he purposely jumps back on the table JUST so someone will squirt him again!

I don’t know how he would feel about a bath. I can’t see him floating in a tub of bubbles surrounded by scented candles. But he definitely loves to take a shower. Yes – he jumps right into the shower with Mom and demands to be petted until he is soaking wet. (He skips the soap, of course.) He’s been doing this since he was a kitten 11 years ago and never loses his enthusiasm.

When he can’t shower the best substitute is our ceramic cat water fountain. I think he would swim if the pool wasn’t so tiny. I’m not sure what swim stroke he is practicing, but we go through a lot of towels with all that splashing around.

I have to admit I sort of fit the cat stereotype since I am not a big fan of water in general. I do love the fresh fountain water though. Even though I live safely indoors, I am still in touch with my wild side. I stalk, pounce, and capture my Cat Faeries toys as if my life depended on it! Then I walk around yowling until I find Mom. I think cats do this to call their kittens to dinner. Mom isn’t much of a hunter so I know I have to provide for her. When I proudly drop the feast at her feet she pets me, says thank you, and tells me what a good boy I am. I trained her well to be appreciative of my efforts.

If she isn’t around I put the “prey” in a safe place – usually in my food dish or the cat fountain. Cats have no need to wash (or drown) our prey. I guess that’s a good thing since Mom had to put the screen on the fountain pool so Purr couldn’t splash all the water out onto the floor. We just want to keep our prize in an area where it is not likely to be found. Of course, in multiple cat households this is no easy task. I have 3 feline siblings so sometimes I have no choice but to share.

Many of our Dear Readers have asked if they can put Cat Faeries flower essences for cats and Convivial House Cat drops right in the water fountain, they wonder if the filter will diminish their effectiveness – good news – the filter will not compromise the power of these two fabulous products!

We recommend that even a ceramic water fountain be washed with soapy hot water daily to prevent any bacteria harboring sticky and slimy biofilms from forming.

“The worst canned cat food is far better than the best dry kibble.”
Debra Scheenstra, DVM
Novato, California

 
 
 
 

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!”

 
 
 
 

How to use words to change your cat’s behavior.

Words, powerful and important – words. We say them. We think them. Science, religious leaders, philosophers, and metaphysicians have proven that words and phrases can imprint themselves on our brains, cells, and bodies and affect them in both positive and negative ways. This extends to other people and animals who hear our words or to whom our thoughts are directed. Ponder this a bit before reading more – your words and thoughts are powerful for both good and not so good.

Water is particularly sensitive to imprinting, interestingly even lifeless fluids like soda can be influenced by spoken words and thoughts which can have those thoughts and wishes imprinted upon them. Imprinting can also affect foods with a high water content like lettuce or canned cat food. And guess what? People and cats being mostly water we are all sponges for words and thoughts! Note: the exception to flowery speech is when you need to be completely honest with your veterinarian! What I’m talking about day-to-day thoughts and speech which can reinforce bad behaviors, disease or illness, and keep anyone from changing for the better.

When we speak of or think about our cats it’s best to avoid phrases such as:

  • “My cat is a monster from H*ll.”
  • “My cats hate each other.”
  • My cats spray and now my house stinks.”
  • “All those cats do is fight.”
  • “My cats are awful.”

Words that are better would be:

  • “I have wonderful cats.”
  • “My cats are friends.”
  • “My cats know they are loved.”
  • “My cats have great behavior.”
  • “We live together in harmony and with mutual understanding.”

I’ll prove that such upbeat and positive language isn’t new to you! Haven’t you already said to a cat “You are a good boy” or “You are a good girl” even if they might not always be? By using the right words, you are saying that something already is a fact or reality. It’s encouraging for all parties involved, these words are easy for the body and mind to grasp. When we make a wish, like “I wish my cats my cats to get along” the words are vague and imply that it may never happen. Instead say: “My cats are getting along!” “My cats are responding well to the flower essences.” These say it’s reality and not a day dream!

Here are a few phrases you can easily use when holding our bottles of flower essence formulas or Convivial House Cat. It only takes a few seconds to think them or say them aloud.

  • “My cats are friends, love, love, love.”
  • “My cats love their litter boxes.”
  • “My cats feel secure and know they are loved.”
  • “My cats are calm, serene and peaceful.”
  • “My new cat is loving living in our home.”
  • “My cat’s body is functioning perfectly, good health abounds”

Did you slip and say or think something not very nice? Don’t worry, when we bottle we set an unbreakable intention of protection from outside influences. But for backup don’t hesitate to hold the bottle and recite bottle’s purpose and say “this bottle is free and clear of any outside influences including my own. it is now and will remain pure to do for my cats what it was intended to do.”

Before we tell you about this week’s sale, another habit to change is verbally taking ownership or assigning ownership of disease. What I mean by that is don’t say: “I’m a Diabetic” as it sounds like you’ve joined a club you want to remain a member of. Instead say” I’ve got Diabetes” which implies that it’s something that can/will go away with the right intentions and modalities. The same with your cat. Don’t say ”Fluffy’s Cancer” because sounds like a cherished possession, instead say “Fluffy has Cancer” which says that it can/will be temporary and go away.

Does all of this positivity seem daunting or something difficult to maintain? With today’s determination and effort, tomorrow will be easier and better which is what matters. Remember this old expression: Fake it till you make it!