Cat and Dog-Safe Ways to Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh

Commercial Christmas tree preservatives which are added to the water in a tree stand can be toxic to a cat or dog who might drink the water. We found a lot of DIY recipes for preservatives but they aren’t much better – you do not want your cat drinking sugar and bleach, or water that has copper pennies in it.

Penn State College of Agriculture has this to say about keeping your Christmas tree fresh – they tell us what works and what doesn’t.
http://ento.psu.edu/extension/christmas-trees/cultural-information/caring-for-your-cut-christmas-tree

 
 

Cats and Water (this isn’t what you think)

The theme of this week’s newsletter is all about water. We’ve dug up some information which might be surprising to you. It will certainly be interesting, and it could improve the health of all who dwell in your home.


Newton’s Purrspective – Cats in Formal Attire

Although dogs have been domesticated for 30,000 years cats took much longer to make that leap. (In fact, some researchers consider us “semi-domesticated”. Our genetic divergence from our desert dwelling ancestors is relatively recent. http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/genome-comparison-shows-how-wildcats-became-housecats) We joined humans a little over 9,000 years ago when agriculture fostered:

  1. a change from the previous nomadic lifestyle and
  2. a concentration of rodents! http://www.livescience.com/7299-house-cats-wild-ancestor.html


Isaac Newton

Domestic felines are genetically close to our wild counterparts (in fact, at my house we are called “fe-lions”). Having evolved in the desert we are meant to get water with our food. Are we getting enough? http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/mistakes-people-make-feeding-cats?page=2

Here is a breakdown for water content of food:

  1. mice 70%
  2. canned food 78%
  3. dry food 5-10%

We should always have access to water, but with just a dry diet we need to drink more. How can you be sure Kitty will drink what she needs?

Everyone agrees that food and water should be placed as far as possible from the litter box area. That’s one even humans appreciate, aesthetically as well as to avoid bacterial contamination. However, does it make a difference if food and water are side by side? Some cats do prefer separation. Our wild relatives often capture prey at watering holes and would want clean water some distance from the kill.

Any stagnant water is likely to contain bacteria or other harmful organisms. Kitty’s attraction to running water (and hence, the popularity of cat fountains) may be instinctual.

All water is not created equal. The four basic types are:

  1. municipal tap water
  2. well water
  3. distilled water
  4. spring water

Please keep in mind that any water can be filtered to remove harmful contaminants.

Municipal water may contain chlorine by-products, fluoride, bacteria, arsenic, toxic pesticide residues, heavy metals, and even rocket fuel. (yikes!) http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/water-water-everywhere-but-whats-a-cat-to-drink/ Compared to this, the three others seem like ambrosia. However, depending on your location even well water may have contamination. The only way to know for sure is to have it tested by a reliable laboratory. (This should be a concern for the whole family.)

Does that mean distilled water is the answer? Absolutely not! It is so pure it is tasteless and contains none of the molecules and particles needed for health. Drinking only distilled water can lead to deficiencies in sodium, potassium and vital trace minerals. People who drink distilled water exclusively may suffer from high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats.

The best option, for cats and their people) is spring water, assuming it is from a good quality natural spring. (Some bottled water is known to be simply tap water in a bottle.)

Water is good and necessary for life. However, too much or too little are signs of potential illness requiring veterinary advice. A dehydrated cat will lose skin elasticity (noticeable at the scruff on the back of the neck). Drinking excessive water (is Kitty always at the water bowl?) may be an indication of problems such as kidney disease, hyperthyroidism or diabetes.

How coconut oil will help your cat’s health.

If you are using coconut oil for your health and cooking then you know already know about many of its benefits for people. You’ll be happy to know that your cat will benefit from coconut oil too.

Among the reasons to add ½ to 1 teaspoon to your cat’s food every day:

  • Coconut oil provides the much needed “medium chain fatty acids.”
  • It is 90% saturated fat which is vital for brain health and can stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Coconut oil is about 40% lauric acid which has been shown to be a preventative of some cancers.
  • Improved digestion, say goodbye to constipation and finding hard cats poops on the floor.
  • Improves thyroid function
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti bacterial
  • Anti fungal
  • Full of antioxidants
  • Helps prevent the parasite: Giardia
  • Helps the cat absorb more minerals and other nutrients from food.
  • Has been found to fight staph infection better than antibiotics.
  • Immune system boosting.
  • Prevents fur balls
  • Clear up rashes by applying it directly.
  • Heal wounds fast by applying it directly.

Adding coconut oil to cat food:

It’s easy to mix ½ to 1 teaspoon in canned cat food or homemade cat food. Start with a small amount and work up to ½ to 1 teaspoon per day. If you live in a hot climate your coconut oil is probably liquefied so spooning it out is easy. If your climate or house is cool to cold it will be solid – in that case spoon it out, put in a bowl and with your spoon press to soften, then add the food and mix. If you feed crunchies/kibble do your best to mix the two together. Most cats like the taste of coconut oil – we even have a video for you at the end of this newsletter with a cat eating coconut from the shell!

People: improve you oral health and detoxify

The humans at Cat Faeries are big users of coconut oil and in particular we love the Ayurvedic therapy of “oil pulling” or “oil swishing” for our mouths. The oil “pulls” toxins which are spat out after 15 minutes of swishing. Tartar melts away before it can harden which means better gum health and fewer trips to the dentist. It is said that medical conditions such as diabetes improve. Floss first, then swish – we can almost guarantee that a few sneaky food particles hid and will be dislodged by the oil – surprise! Daily swishing means your teeth will be whiter, your gums stronger, and your breath will be fresher. Your mouth will feel sparkling clean for hours after.

Alas, cats can’t swish oil in their mouths, but because you add it to their food they will be happy with improved digestion and to have fur worthy of flaunting! Not to mention your cat is going to feel healthier, younger, and have more bounce to their pounce – the oil will improve their joints!

Here’s one of many articles on coconut oil for swishing.

http://www.saragottfriedmd.com/oil-pulling-whiten-your-teeth-detoxify-your-body-and-prevent-cavities/

Here’s a great article about medium chain fatty acids:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/22/coconut-oil-and-saturated-fats-can-make-you-healthy.aspx

Cats and Lyme Disease – Birds can be carriers of ticks

We’ve all heard of the zillions of reasons to keep cats inside a loving home as a means of protecting them from various feline specific diseases and assaults from humans, cars, and bikes. But here’s another very important reason for keeping our cats indoors: Lyme Disease.

Outside cats often catch birds. Recently we learned that birds can be carriers for ticks and Lyme Disease. The bird that Fluffy proudly drops on your pillow or on the doorstep could have multiple ticks. Those loathsome parasites look for a new host when the bird dies. This host could be your cat, it could be you.

http://www.hiltonpond.org/ArticleBirdTicksMain.html

How many readers suffer from Lyme disease or know people who are? And how many of those people showed horrible symptoms before the disease was diagnosed and treated? We won’t go into that aspect we just want you to be aware that if your cat goes outside Lyme Disease is added to the list of reasons to keep kitty inside.

Ticks are not just found on deer. Lyme disease carrying ticks can be found on other animals including:

  • Dogs
  • Other Cats
  • Birds
  • Mice and other wild rodents
  • Rabbits
  • Possums
  • Raccoons
  • Horses
  • Cattle

Ticks are spreading like wildfire and so is Lyme disease. This article talks about how Climate Change is a tick’s best friend and another reason why global heating is our enemy.

http://grist.org/list/ticks-are-spreading-and-so-is-lyme-disease/

Symptoms of Lyme Disease for cats:

  • Many cats do not show symptoms – a vet’s exam would detect ticks on the cat’s body
  • Lameness of the limbs from inflammation
  • Acute lameness which lasts for a few days, generally three or four days, but can reoccur
  • The lameness can show up in one leg, then move to another leg
  • Kidney problems: be on the lookout for vomiting, less appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, increased urination, thirst, and bloating of the stomach area
  • Stiff walk with an arched back
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rare: heart abnormalities and nervous system complications

If your cat or you develop Lyme disease you’ll want a protocol from the veterinarian or MD. Along with their treatment Colloidal Defense can be an ally in killing Lyme Disease. You would use it 3 or 4 times per day. We are told that the most important time of day is to take it at night, right before bed. It’s also important to take it on an empty stomach. You may also apply it topically.

Do you know who makes your cat’s toys?

If you are a Cat Faeries customer and newsletter reader you know that we are completely against cat toys and cat beds, as well as clothing and other goods, which are made outside of the US by exploited workers.

This short article about three fashion loving Norwegians who travel to Cambodia to live and work as sewing factory workers. Their naïve eyes were opened to just how bad it is. Whether jeans or cat toys: a sweatshop is a sweatshop – a deplorable place.

Here’s the article – A DOSE OF REALITY AT A SWEATSHOP: NORWEGIAN FASHION LOVERS GET AN EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE – at EcoSalon.com.

There’s also a web series documenting their experiences – SWEATSHOP – DEADLY FASHION.

The article you’ll read only talks about the conditions that factory workers work and live in, it doesn’t touch upon other reasons why we should avoid “fast fashion” and soft goods from Asia – the fabrics are treated with toxic chemicals, once the items are loaded onto the ship the containers are fumigated, and then there’s the staggering amount of fossil fuel it takes to get those cheap clothes, cat toys and cat beds to the US. Articles like this one are about “the high cost of cheap clothes.” We are paying dearly with our health, and our good consciousness isn’t being served. The price and toll to health and environment of cheap goods made in Asia far outweigh the few pennies that you think you saved.

Cat Faeries catnip cat toys, and cat beds are American made – they always have been, and they always will be. Each toy is lovingly hand made by a talented artist. Chinese made cat toys are NOT OK OR SAFE in our view. The catnip in our toys doesn’t compare with the catnip in other toys which come from questionable sources – our catnip is beyond organic, it’s ethically wildcrafted. Our cat beds are made in a small factory in California where the workers are paid a living wage and get bonuses. The water proof pads that we offer are made in Canada – not China where all of the similar pads that we found are made. Cat Faeries cares about quality, safety, the health and wellbeing of your you and your cats, and for all of the people involved with making our products or components for our products.

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: