Amanda, a special needs cat who shines brightly this holiday season.

“Our kitty Amanda enjoying her evening in front of the stove with her new Cat Faeries carrot. Thank you so much for the quality kitty toys!”

Shining brightly in the holiday spirit we are happy as flying reindeer to tell you about a very special cat named Amanda. Her adoptive humans have this to tell us:

“Amanda was found abandoned in a city near us and was rescued. She was brought to the Pat Brody Shelter for Cats in Lunenburg, MA where they discovered that she is a special needs kitty, although she doesn’t think so. Her back legs & feet didn’t fully develop before she was born. We read about her on their website and we knew we had to adopt her since we live in a small apartment with no stairs for her to worry about. Little did we know that she’d be able to navigate them just fine if we did! She can jump onto window sills and the kitty furniture in our home just like our other cats.”

“Amanda gets around just fine and she seems to think that’s she’s perfectly “normal.” She just motors around the house and can even run after her brothers and sisters if she wants to. Amanda and all our other cats are enjoying their new Cat Faeries catnip toys even as we speak! Amanda was playing with one of her new toys this morning when I got up.”

Amanda’s human mother, Moira works for a chiropractor and he adjusts her! “She is very good for her appointments and Dr. Jason makes sure her little spine is aligned and gives us advice on how to keep her healthy (massage and stretches) with her challenges.”

“Thank you Cat Faeries, we love that you want to highlight Amanda so that potential adopters will know that special needs cats love and appreciate their Forever Homes perhaps even more than normal cats.. Mandy sends you all her love and is SO happy to be featured in your newsletter!”

All our best,

Rob and Moira

Thank YOU Rob, Moira, and Amanda. It will be impossible to be Bah! Humbug!” this holiday season knowing that angels like you exist.

Read more about Pat Brody Shelter for Cats:

Perhaps YOUR veterinarian will want to learn animal chiropractic, here’s where they can train:

Our wish to our readers and customers is for a peaceful, delicious, happy, merry, bright, and as Amanda would say “Playful!” Christmas.

Love and Catnip,
Cat Faeries

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.

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:

Where to find organic or fair trade flowers:

Anti Icky Poo belongs in your wash!

There’s a reason I wear a lot of black, I’m a klutz and spill or drop things on myself all the time! Even black clothes will show an olive oil or salad dressing stain. As we all know, oil seems to become one with the fibers of fabric and won’t budge.

Ta da! Anti Icky Poo to the rescue – not only is it the best urine cleaner we’ve found it’s also a great pre-soak for clothes! Depending on how many stains are on a garment you want to measure Anti Icky Poo accordingly. Let’s say that one top has a 2 inch diameter oil stain – use 1/8 cup straight out of the bottle. No need to rub it in. If you’ve got a basin or a enamel tub put the garment in it and add just enough cold water to wet the piece. Let it soak overnight. After soaking wash it with a mild soap (Seventh Generation free and clear is our favorite) in cold water. The stain should be gone. If you still see some, repeat.

You can do the same process for those embarrassing yellow stains we get on our collars and under arms. We’ve found that these can take two treatments.

If you are noticing a smell build up in your clothes (gym wear, socks, bath towels, etc) that isn’t washing out, especially if you are washing in cold water, Anti Icky Poo will rescue this problem too. Since hot water will shrink or compromise the color on our dark clothing try this: pour some Anti-Icky Poo in the pre-soak cycle to eat up the bacteria that’s giving off the smell. It may take several washings using this method to get the odor out, but once you do, it’s gone for good.

Anti Icky Poo is so gentle (but a fierce foe to urine and grease) that it can be used on silk upholstery or drapes. (Remember, it’s always good with any water-based cleaner to test colorfastness on an unseen spot before applying.)

Newton’s purr-spective on pilling a cat

Two weeks ago we wrote a story about alternatives to pilling our cats. If you missed that article, here is it is – Non-pill medication for cats from Koshland Pharm, the compounding pharmacy we endorse.

Our contributor, Newton, is a very smart cat and always has something to say. This is a topic near and dear to his kitty-heart! Here’s what Newton has to say about medication.

Newton’s Purr-spective – Medications

Let’s start this column with a quick survey for you cats. Here’s the situation. You go to the vet and the doctor prescribes medication. Choose from the following:

A. a pill
B. a capsule
C. a liquid
D. an injection
E. something else please!!!

I know you all skipped to E, and I don’t blame you. In fact, I’m a huge fan of “something else” – compounding pharmacies that make medicine easier to take. I know I look very cool, but I do stress out when it comes to pills. Cat Faeries recently posted an excellent article which includes the benefits of compounded medication plus a guide to choosing the right compounding pharmacy.
Although the list of available medications is growing, not all prescriptions can, or should be compounded.

I can testify that my flavored medication is quite tasty. But there are still those of us who are, and will remain, Finicky Felines. This group will likely face the first 4 options.

A. There are many jokes about “how to pill a cat” (usually pages long), but it is truly not a laughing matter. No matter what technique a pet parent uses there is one simple rule. The key to getting the pill into the cat is getting it on the back of the tongue so Kitty swallows, rather than spitting it out. Some people find that a “pill popper” is helpful, especially if they have large fingers. A subsequent dropper of water (plastic only!) will prevent the dry pill from getting stuck. Wrapping Kitty in a towel (aka the kitty burrito) can be calming and reduce injuries.

B. If a medication is particularly bad tasting it may come in a capsule. Here correct positioning on the tongue is even more important than with a pill. Muffin, a friend of mine, accidentally bit into a gelatin capsule of bitter medicine. To make matters worse, it got stuck on her tooth! Needless to say, this was a most unpleasant experience for all.

C. After a bad experience cats demonstrate that they have jaws of steel which will open for nothing. Pet parents may then choose liquid medication. The important requirement is to get the dropper inside the cat’s cheek and administer slowly enough to give Kitty time to swallow. However, can someone please tell me who decided cats are partial to banana or bubblegum flavored antibiotics? My older brother, Indiana Jones, would gag just at the sight of the bottle! Right now I only know of one common cat friendly antibiotic liquid available directly from your veterinarian.

D. There is one injectable antibiotic popular for hard to medicate cats. OK, it involves a small needle – BUT – the shot lasts a full 2 weeks. It isn’t safe for everyone. The manufacturer cautions against use in patients with allergies to penicillins or cephalosporins. However, clinical trials documented the safety of Convenia in the general cat population. Any drug has the possibility of causing adverse effects. Once the shot is given you can’t “take it back”. so this method should not be used without careful evaluation of alternatives.

What you choose will depend on availability and on the dosing frequency required. For example, deworming medication may be given only once (with a followup dose in 7-10 days), while antibiotics generally require a full 10-14 day regime. A single dose may be relatively easy to administer. But even a compliant cat may become weary after a week of twice a day medication. Life saving medication for chronic diseases (e.g. hyperthyroidism) involves other considerations. Transdermal methimazole for hyperthyroid cats is often the preferred treatment option.

Remember, the most important thing is your cat’s health. Work with your veterinarian to find the best method available for making sure Kitty gets the full benefit of prescribed medication.

Keeping cats calm during the holidays

Ah, this time of year can be a flurry of visitors, more activity than usual, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and so much more. Do yourself a favor, keep your cat calm which in turn will make you calmer because you aren’t worrying about your cat’s nerves or possible naughty behavior.

Here are our tips:

Company is coming! How to train your guests and visitors to be cat friendly!

We sure love our guests. It’s fun to plan for them, to feed and water them, and create new experiences and memories. Some cats love having new people around, they can thrive on it. But for other cats it’s a disaster! “Who are these people and why won’t they leave?!” Their noise can be upsetting, their smells can be unfamiliar, they might bring a dog or children and heaven forbid they might sit in the cat’s favorite chair! The last thing we want is a stressed out cat – this can lead to vomiting, not eating, being a bit aggressive, or the worst of the worst: litter box avoidance.

Tips for training house guests which will help keep kitty calm and allow you to be the perfect hostess who enjoys your guests.

  • Visitors should be asked to not approach your cats. Let the cat’s curiosity kick in so that if your cats want to be petted it will be asked for.
  • No rough housing! No vigorous petting unless that’s something your cat likes.
  • Give your visitors a favorite Cat Faeries catnip toy so they can interact with the cat. The cat will view your catnip toting guest as a friend!
  • This may sound nutty, but it works. Make the visitor endearing to your cat via sense of smell. A spray or two of our Cat Faerie Catnip Mist on clothing works wonders! You can also give a spray or two of Comfort Zone with Feliway to clothing or shoes. Really! This works!
  • If your cat likes to hide in a back room, let it be. If the cat wants to join the holiday festivities, it should happen when the cat wants it, and on the cat’s terms.
  • Show children how to play gently with the cat. Children should know to not bother a hiding, sleeping or eating cat. Loud exclamations like “THAT CAT IS SO CUTE!” can frighten a cat who’s not used to hearing loud voices.
  • If you’ve got several Comfort Zone with Feliway Diffusers, place them all in the room that your cat spends the most time in. The beauty of the diffusers is that you can move them around.
  • Don’t change the cat’s feeding times. Even a half hour can worry or upset a cat.

To help make your cat more comfortable during holidays, plug in a Comfort Zone with Feliway Diffuser a day or two in advance. The diffuser will last for four weeks (so you may need more than one to keep your cat comfortable through the festivities), and helps your cat adjust to a changing environment. Stress behavior (vertical scratching, urine spraying, etc.) is usually a result of stress, and using Comfort Zone products with Feliway can help keep your cat happy and your home safe. Feliway is used and recommended by veterinarians nationwide.

Cat Faeries recommends:

Comfort Zone with Feliway – DIFFUSER
Plug it in and forget about it (until 4 weeks later when it’s time to install another refill of the pheromone) Fills a 600 square foot room with the calming scent. You may need two per room which is a good idea especially this time of year.

The Spray
The Comfort Zone with Feliway Spray makes it easy for you to go from room to room and spot treat furniture and other surfaces putting the calming pheromone right on places that the cat likes to sit or rest. It will also deter urinating or spraying urine.

Calm and Serene Flower Essence Formula for Cats
A few drops of this magic liquid in the water bowl or in food works wonders to calm down a cat. You can also rub a few drops on ears and top of the cat’s head.

Moves and Changes Flower Essence Formula for Cats
This formula will be helpful if your visitors will be staying for awhile! Cats don’t like change, even if it’s Aunt Martha who’s occupying the spare room for a few weeks! Even moving furniture around for the holiday can upset an otherwise calm cat.

Calm and Serene and Moves and Changes are on sale!

They’ve been marked down on our website.

Non-pill medication for cats from Koshland Pharm, the compounding pharmacy we endorse

Who doesn’t have a book full of stories about trying to pill their cats! And scratch marks too! Some of us are just not great at getting a pill into their cat. Others of us worry that the handling of the cat when pilling adds to the stress of being sick – not to mention it stresses us out too!

Perhaps you already know about compounding pharmacies and that they can put medication for feline hyperthyroidism in gel form to be applied inside a cat’s ear. The good news is that many more medications can be compounded into a gel for application inside a cat’s ear.

The reason why a cat’s ear is a great location for transdermal drug application is that the skin there is very thin and the medication will absorb evenly and quickly. A cat’s ear has a lot of blood flow to carry to drug directly into the blood stream.

Another great option for cats would be to put the medication in a flavored mini-chew.

This link will take you to an article which will tell you the wide array of medication that can be compounded to put either into an ear gel or mini-chew.

Veterinary Transdermal Medications – International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding

Researching compounding pharmacies has told us that not just any compounding pharmacy will do. The ones which are exclusively for veterinary are surprisingly the worst choice as their standards, quality, and precise measuring of ingredient particle sizes can be lax. You’ll want to seek out a compounding pharmacy which also creates human medications.

But that said, you also want a compounding pharmacy that will guarantee that none of the ingredients contain xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener that is safe for people, but lethal to cats and dogs. Koshland Pharm guarantees that their products for animals are xylitol free. They also will provide you with a Certificate of Analysis if you ask for it – which is not the case with every compounding pharmacy. And your cat faerie knows personally that their attention to detail and getting everything just right is stellar.

The size of the flavored mini-chew from Koshland is about the same size as a pencil eraser.

Custom flavors include:
– Tuna
– Fish
– Shrimp
– Bacon
– Beef

– Chicken
– Liver
– Protein free flavors are also available

Here are six questions to help you evaluate a compounding pharmacy. Not all compounding pharmacies have the highest quality or standards.

Peter Koshland, the owner of Koshland Pharm, welcomes your calls and he will graciously answer your questions.

Koshland Pharm: Custom Compounding Pharmacy
(p) 415-344-0600 (f) 415-344-0607
301 Folsom St., Suite B
San Francisco, CA 94105