Norman Reedus is a new spokesperson for banning animal testing for cosmetics. The cat in the photo is pretty cute too!

Big news! We just learned that “The Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus has joined Cruelty Free International to call for a ban on animal tests for cosmetics in the U.S. and around the world.

Norman says: ‘Scores of countries around the world are beating the U.S. to become cruelty-free by banning cosmetics tests on animals. Nobody wants rabbits or guinea-pigs to suffer for our vanity, least of all the animals. Let’s stop their suffering right here, right now. Join me in supporting the Cruelty Free International call to Congress and the FDA to bring an end to animal testing for
cosmetics in the U.S.’ — at Photo by Leslie Hassler in New York City.

Norman Reedus and cat - for cruelty free cosmetics

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England’s first “cat café”

We’ve shown you “cat cafes” in Asia which you’ve loved. And many of you said that we need them here in the US. Well, it’s getting closer. Now there’s one in England!

Wouldn’t you love to have to create a cat cafe in your community? What a service this would be to the health and well being of the human visitors. It would give cats “jobs” and a safe place to live. Talk about meaningful work!

A cat café is the perfect mix of work and play, and service to cats and other people. Win-Win!

Sass Brown, a favorite person of Madame Cat Faerie, is the assistant Dean at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) Department of Art and Design in New York City. Currently she’s in Korea for FIT’s Summer Program.

Here she is having some feline fun and a cooling refreshment at the Cat Café in Songdo, Korea.

Eco Fashion author Sass Brown at a cat cafe in Korea

Eco Fashion author Sass Brown at a cat cafe in Korea

Sass writes extensively about Eco-Fashion on her always fascinating and very inspiring blog: – be sure to check out her upcoming book “Eco Fashion” which blasts the concept that eco fashion clothes are scratchy, sacky, and ugly. An eco-fashion outfit with splotches of cat fur here and there is green and beautiful and tells the world you love your cat!

Can a cat in mourning become aggressive?

Dear Cat Faeries,

I purchased Past Abuse flower essence formula for my other cat and it worked beautifully. My male cat is having problems as I lost my husband a year ago and the cat really loved him. Now he is getting ornery and hard to get him to mind and he picks on the little female cat who is a lot smaller then he is. I need to get him calmed down.

Sharon in Arizona


Dear Sharon,

I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband and that your cat is taking it so hard. This isn’t unusual as we know that cats do feel love and can bond very deeply with their favorite person.

You wisely ordered Calm and Serene flower essence formula. We also recommend Forget Me Not which is our flower essence formula for bereavement. It will address grief, loss, abandonment, guilt, fear, and loneliness.

It’s possible he blames the other cat for your husband’s “disappearance” from his world. He might also be afraid that he’s next to vanish or die. The two formulas used together should help him feel better, feeling safe and secure. You can use one formula in the morning and the other in the evening. Or one in his food and the other in the water bowl. And it’s perfectly ok for the smaller cat to consume the flower essences – she could use some calming down too!

Advice on older cats who stop using the litter box

Dear Cat Faeries,

Bart’s inappropriate elimination ramped up. He is now 16 and hasn’t used a litter box for the past month. I don’t want to put him down for this! He is such a lover boy!

Diane in Minnesota


Dear Diane,

Sometimes when a cat gets to be Bart’s age the kidneys are starting to shrink and not function as they once had. Shrinking kidneys lead to various stages of renal failure, and it’s time to begin diet changes, and often sub-cutaneous fluids. But what we often aren’t told is that it can lead to behavior changes including avoiding the litter box. So have your vet examine Bart and run some blood work.

A few other medical conditions come into play as well. Arthritis is another big one for many cats as their back legs and lower backs become stiff and sore so that getting in and out of a little box can be painful – when that happens your cat might pee next to the box or on a surface like a bathmat. Or they can enter the box but they don’t squat – the urine flies out their back end and hits the wall or spills over the sides of the box.

The solution for this is easy pie: a box that’s shallower for easy in/out access. Or even better, get a large storage container and cut out an opening that’s low enough for easy entry. The high sides are tall enough to contain urine that might be sprayed out. See below – that’s some of our washable waterproof pads in front of the box opening. This box is from Rubbermaid. Another option is a semi-transparent box such as those from Sterilite – some cats may feel less closed in that way.

Advice on older cats who stop using the litter box
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Another factor in renal failure is that cats often lose some or all of their hearing. This can lead to loud caterwauling both in the middle of the night and during the day. When a cat goes deaf their world can shatter and this can affect their behavior and out of panic or not understanding what’s going on with their body the cat could stop using the litter box. But the cat’s sense of smell is still very much intact, one of the many reasons we love Comfort Zone with Feliway so much. It works with your cat’s sense of smell. If your cat is feeling rotten from malfunctioning kidneys (it will feel like a hangover to your cat) or scared from not hearing well, Feliway will be soothing and comforting and allows that the negative behaviors can be corrected. You and your cat will be much happier with the smell of the Feliway pheromone wafting through the house. But don’t be concerned about the smell, only your cat can detect it.

Meet Chester, a “cat on the job” in McKinney, Texas

Meet Chester, a “cat on the job” in McKinney, Texas

Most cats on the job got hired (actually, adopted through an agency or shelter) but Chester the cat pranced in to Chestnut Square Historic Village in McKinney, Texas. He didn’t need an interview or a new hire package because he’s the classic self-starter, he knew exactly what to do by pouring on the charm and showing off his skill in historic buildings and antiques.

Read his story here and read about his book, which he had help with typing from a ghost writer.

Did you miss our recent feature about Cats on the Job based in San Francisco? They place cats who might not be otherwise adoptable in businesses. We’ll re-run that story for you again. If you feel inspired to copy-cat their program in your community contact them and they’ll get you going.

Do you know of any working cats? Send us your story and picture about a cat or cats on the job and we’ll put it on our Facebook page in the newsletter it. Or if you find a newspaper or magazine article send it to us with a link.

Which air cleaning houseplants are safe for cats?

Spring time has me cleaning, rearranging, and thinking of planting air purifying house plants. But are they safe?

NASA among others have done extensive research on common houseplants which can remove toxins which are unfortunately common in many US homes. Let’s keep disease causing cooties to a minimum! Plants are our friends!

However when Cat Faeries reviewed the lists of air cleaning plants which are considered to be the most effective we were disappointed to see that many of the hard workers are deadly toxic to cats.

NASA came up with their top 10 list of the best air cleaning plants. But nearly all of them are toxic to cats. But don’t despair, we’ll tell you what’s safe. Also just about any safe houseplant will help keep your air fresher and safer.

After Cat Faeries spent a lot time checking for safety there are only a few which we consider to be safe and which you can install in abundance throughout your home:

Indoor palms
Spider Plant
Boston Ferns

With that tiny list, kitty can chew on them while they rid of your home of evil toxins like Benzene and formaldehyde.

We learned that “air plant” Tillandsia species are epiphytes (also called aerophytes or air plants). They normally grow without soil while attached to other plants. Epiphytes are not parasitic, depending on the host only for support.

We like them because they are so crazy looking! And the containers you can put them in are really fun, you can get very creative.

Air plants are very good in bedrooms as they absorb carbon monoxide. Most of the plants are safe for cats. Also you’ll be planting them in very cool containers which can be attached to a wall, like a picture. You cat most likely can’t access them. Even if they do, we are told the plant itself might not survive, but kitty will!

Many shops which carry Epiphytes (air plants) also carry succulents – note that many are toxic, so stick with Tillandsia.

The air cleaning plants that NASA likes, but which aren’t safe for cats, would be suitable in your work place (if it’s not in your home and where cats and dogs aren’t allowed).

If you want to read the NASA study with their list of the best air cleaning plants:

Here’s a list of plants to cats, including outdoor plants.

Worried that your cat has been poisoned with any substance? Call the ASPCA hotline 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the US – but note, there is a fee: 888-426-4435.

This is a list of safe houseplants – many are not on the top 10 list of air cleaning plants but any plant will help keep air cleaner.

But be aware that most of the plants are not safe for cats. A few are not safe for dogs, and a few are not safe for children. We have given you the short list if you don’t want to read up on your own.

For a home as free of toxins as possible put a plant or two in the kitchen, near the fire place, the bathroom, and in all bedrooms. And while you are at it, ditch the carpet which is a nasty brew of countless toxins – consider that your cat is just a few inches taller than carpeting and is breathing it in at a faster rate than you are. Besides, what’s lovelier than hardwood flooring, with perhaps a handmade cotton scatter rug?