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.
Spring is here and our furry 4 footed friends are shedding their fur, or in the case of Winston our bunny – it’s an outright molting!
When you brush of comb your cat (or dog or rabbit) don’t throw away the fur. Use it in creative green ways:
- Bird nests: Grab a basket you don’t use and put the fur inside along with twigs, strips of bark, pine needles, and wood shavings. The birds will grab the bits and pieces which they want to build a nest. Cat fur will add some warmth to the nest
- Compost: The nitrogen in fur and hair is wonderful for your compost bin. But since it takes a while for fur or hair to break down cut it into 1/8 inch bits, you could also toss it around your garden or let it the breeze take it to add nitrogen to your soil.
- Pesky Critter Repellent: Putting wads of combed out cat fur around the garden near special plants can deter snails and slugs. Wads of cat fur put down a gopher hole could scare off the critter. It can also keep squirrels, hares, chipmunks, and deer away.
For these projects to do effective and safe, don’t use cat or other animal fur that was treated for fleas as the chemicals could kill or harm birds, and you would be adding poison to your compost.
We’ve been asked literally thousands of times for ways to humanely keep the neighbor’s cats or ferals out of flower and vegetable beds. And as you know from reading our website the number one trigger for cats peeing outside the box is the presence of cats in your yard.
We tried all kinds of battery operated gizmos to keep cats out of our rose garden and vegetable beds including the ones which shoot water when the cat comes within range. Some worked pretty well, and others failed. Some worked for awhile then they malfunctioned. We would never use toxic “pet repellents” And we certainly wouldn’t use cayenne pepper because if it gets into the cat’s eyes they could gauge their eyes out trying to rub at the burning pain.
A very astute Biodynamic gardener told us about something which has worked beautifully for us. We are avid organic gardeners and obviously we are devoted to cats, but frankly we were getting fed up with finding cat poop among the lettuces. Her suggestion sounded good, so we tried it.
It’s an old country Italian trick where you fill glass bottles with water then place them around your garden. Why does it work? The water filled bottles shimmer in the sunlight. This shimmer is something which does not exist in nature and the cat doesn’t understand it or like it, so the cat leaves right away.
We experimented with several different bottles until we decided that the pale green color of white wine bottles give the most shimmer in sunlight. Soak off the label. Fill the bottle with water and replace the cap. We think turning them upside down with the neck in the dirt looks sort of arty and whimsical!
For added shimmer and cosmic fun we’ve put a big crystal in the dimple of the bottom of some of the bottles.
We know that this remedy may sound crazy, but really, it works. It’s been 5 years now and we’ve not found a single "feline calling card" in with the roses or the vegetables. Other than the wine, it’s practically a free solution! This is the most economical, humane, and non toxic feline garden abatement we know of.
Shortly after we posted this tip we heard from a long time friend of Cat Faeries who is an Italian countess. She wrote to tell us that you see water filled wine bottles in gardens all over Italy. Many are near or under key plants. If the plants are particularly precious you might see several bottles grouped together. Thank you Contessa dearest for adding this for us!
Susan Thixton is Cat Faeries’ good friend and sister in crusading for impeccable quality in all things for cats.
She has just released her “List” of 11 cat foods and 22 dog foods which she considers to be the safest and of the highest quality, and which are trusted enough to feed her own cats and dogs. Most of them have signed The Pledge that their foods will be free of Chinese ingredients and that they will uphold and maintain her high standards of quality and integrity. Believe us when we tell you that most cat and dog food companies won’t sign The Pledge!
To get your copy of the list you need to donate anywhere from $10 to $50. Why pay for it?
Susan Thixton is about the hardest working person we know. Her dedication and commitment to you and your cats is unwavering. Selling this annual list is her only source of income and her expenses are high. She travels to pet biz trade shows where she can corner and speak with the makers of cat and dog foods. She attends the annual AAFCO meetings which cost $1,500 entry fees and travel.
Susan spends hours making phone calls and sending faxes. She works 7 (seven!) days a week, often chained to her computer until 10 or 11pm every night. And she’s got her own animals to feed, and a home to maintain. If she didn’t charge for this list she would not be able to be an advocate for us. Mind you, she loves this work, but she needs income to be able to do it.
This link will take you to the page that explains her list and the criteria she has set for food manufacturers – http://truthaboutpetfood.com/the-2014-list
This link will take you directly to the ordering page. Please donate the highest amount that you can afford – http://www.truthaboutpetfoodcom.mybigcommerce.com/
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.