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!
  • 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.
  • Don’t change the cat’s feeding times. Even a half hour can worry or upset a cat.


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.

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

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


Important article from the The Truth About Pet Food about Purina food possibly linked to pet illness/deaths

Below is an article from The Truth About Pet Food that came out today regarding reports of Purina food possibly linked to cat and dog illnesses/deaths over the last two months. If any of your cats or dogs have mysteriously gotten sick or worse please read this article and then report it to the FDA. You can go here to file a report.

Report it! – Please!

By Susan Thixton

November 13, 2014

I’ve heard from many readers concerned of the recent Internet reports of sick and dying pets linked to a Purina Pet Food. I turned to FDA asking if the agency has received complaints on the Purina foods.

When an story was published highlighting several recent pet deaths linked to a Purina pet food, I started hearing from many readers. Everyone had similar concerns – is there going to be a recall? The amazing thing is – no one that wrote me provides their pet a Purina product. Everyone’s concern was for other pets – other pet owners. Everyone that contacted me was wanting to help – wanting to prevent pet illness and death.

The story was based on pet food consumer reports of sick or dead pets on the website. The posts from consumers were heartbreaking and concerning. I turned to FDA, asking if they could tell me if any Purina pet food was under investigation and asking how many adverse event reports the agency has received over the past two months.
FDA promptly replied:

In the past two months (9/12/2014 to 11/12/2014), the agency has received 14 reports about Purina dry food products (this includes for both dogs and cats). Three were adverse event reports for cat food products, 10 were adverse event reports for dog food products (one of these included a product defect report as well), and 1 was a product defect report for a dog food product. Here is a breakdown of the reports:

Purina Cat Chow: 0
Purina Dog Chow: 1 product report
Purina Puppy Chow: 2 (1 product defect, 1 product defect/adverse event report)
Beneful: 8 reports, 1 included another Purina product as well
Purina ONE: 1 cat product report, 1 dog product report
Purina ProPlan: 1 cat product report

The Food and Drug Administration welcomes reports from consumers alerting the agency to problems with products regulated by the agency. These reports help the FDA ensure that products on the market are safe and properly manufactured, labeled and stored. FDA encourages those with concerns about a particular pet food product to submit a report to the Safety Reporting Portal:

Reports of adverse events do not necessarily mean that the product caused the event. Other factors, such as existing disease, exposure to chemicals or contaminants, foods, or other medications may have triggered or contributed to the cause of the event. The FDA takes all of these factors into consideration when reviewing adverse drug event reports.

In general, the agency does not discuss its enforcement activities, and any investigation findings would be shared directly with the company.

From the website – in the approximate same time frame there are the following complaints filed by consumers…

Alpo – sick dog
Beyond Lamb and Rice Dog Food – sick dog
Purina One Cat Food – sick cat.
Purina Kit & Kaboodle – 10 cats died.
Pro Plan – worms in pet food.
Kit & Kaboodle – one cat died.
Purina Kitten Chow – one kitten died.
Purina Lamb and Rice – sick dog.
Pro Plan Dog Food – seizure.
Purina One cat food – diminished motor control.
Friskies – 2 sick cats.
Purina One Hairball – two sick cats.
Purina Cat Chow – sick cats and one died.
Purina Dog Chow – sick dog.
Purina Dog Chow – sick dog.
Purina Kitten Chow – 2 kittens died.
Purina Cat Food – bugs in food.
Purina Pro Plan Puppy – bugs in food.
Puppy Chow – puppy died.
Purina One Lamb and Rice – bugs in food.
Friskies – sick cats.
Friskies can – ‘grey’ on top wet food.
Purina Beyond – sick dog.
Purina Cat Chow – sick cat.
Purina One Smart Blend – sick dogs.
Purina Dog Chow – dog died, another dog died too.
Purina One – sick cat.
Purina Cat Chow – cat died.

In the above list – consumers have reported 19 animals have died. These numbers or reports of sick pets (naming a food) do not agree with what FDA shared. What is going on?

The answer is – we don’t know. What we do know is that we need every incident of a sick pet, every pet that has died, and every bugs in a pet food reported to FDA. Every incident needs to be reported.

Needless to say, I am not the FDA’s biggest fan. But – the ONLY way for a suspect pet food to be recalled is through FDA and your State Department of Agriculture. If – we consumers – can be pro-active in helping save the lives of pets, this is one way we can help.

If you or anyone you know has a pet they believe was sickened or killed linked to a pet food or treat –

1. Seek veterinary care for your pet. Share your concern that you believe the pet food or treat might be the cause. Ask your veterinarian to give their opinion if the food could be related to the illness or death – this is significant information for FDA and other investigators. We need our veterinarians to stand with us. If the pet dies – as difficult as this might be – ask your veterinarian to perform a necropsy. This is evidence. In the midst of your grief, if you believe the food or treat was the cause, you need this evidence to hold the manufacturer accountable. You will need this evidence to possibly save the lives of other pets. If you cannot afford the cost of a necropsy, ask you veterinarian to hold the pets body while you report the issue to regulatory authorities.
In some cases authorities will perform the necropsy for you. Make certain to tell regulatory authorities you are holding the pet’s body for this reason.

2. When time allows – document everything. Where and when you purchased the food (keep all food and packaging), when you first noticed symptoms and what those symptoms are/were. Document everything you can recall. DO NOT return the food to the retail outlet for a refund. No investigation can occur without the food/treat and the packaging.

3. File a complaint with the FDA and your State Department of Agriculture (ask to speak to the pet food investigator). Bookmark this page on the FDA website. This is the instructions on how to report the sick pet.

4. Report the incident to the pet food manufacturer. Note: seek veterinary treatment first, document everything, report to FDA before you report to the manufacturer.

5. You can have the food tested yourself at an independent lab or a veterinary school lab. Ask your veterinarian to provide you with what food toxins could cause the symptoms seen in your pet (example: mycotoxins, vitamin toxicity).

6. If you wish to share your story with other websites – share. We all want to warn other consumers when we suspect a problem with a pet food or treat. But please – report the incident to regulatory authorities first, Facebook second.

My heart goes out to all those that have lost a pet due to a pet food or treat – I began my path of pet food consumer advocacy because 20+ years ago a dog food killed my beloved dog. I still grieve her death – I still feel responsible. I didn’t know then what I know now, but I bought her this pet food and placed it in her bowl. Something I’ll never forget.

Report it – please.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
Association for Truth in Pet Food

Thinking of a special once-in-a-lifetime lion & tiger vacation?

The Exotic Feline Rescue Center (EFRC) is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1991 by Joe Taft in Center Point, Indiana, a rural area an hour by car from Indianapolis, to provide permanent homes for exotic felines (lions, tigers, etc.) who were abused, neglected, or unwanted. At EFRC there are currently 230 tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats. The EFRC is the largest USDA licensed big cat sanctuary in the US!

Have you ever wanted to be among the big cats? Even sleep right next to them – without the expense and jet lag of going to Africa? They have a cabin which means that EFRC is your place to watch tigers from your room! Listen to lions roar! Hear the coyotes howl, look for wild turkeys and deer! And get the royal treatment from the keepers and guides!

For lodging details:

Rock star volunteer Melissa Petrovich has this to say about visiting the sanctuary:

“I love the big cats too!! They are amazing and our facility is unlike any other. It’s definitely not like a zoo. You get within a couple of feet of these magnificent animals and get to hear them chuff, purr, growl and roar. And if you aren’t paying attention, one might choose to spray you (or mark you as his own!). Last summer I had a once in a lifetime experience there when I took the night shift of caring for a 4 week old tiger cub. Sleeping with the cub, waking up every hour or so to bottle feed her, play with her. Just amazing!! We almost never get any babies. We usually get them once they’ve grown up and their previous owners realize how hard (and dangerous) is can be to care for a full grown exotic cat! A lot of our cats come to us abused, mistreated & malnourished. We give them the best medical possible, do not breed or sell them and give them a forever home.

When you spend the night, you can take as many tours as you like (but you must always have a tour guide with you, except with the big cats right outside your room) The morning after your stay, you get to follow the keepers around as they feed the big cats and clean their enclosures. The cats really interact with the keepers, especially when they know food is involved. Amazing experience!!! The keepers can answer any of your questions and know all of the cats… what their favorite food is, their personality, little quirks… you name it!”.

Are you packing your bags yet? ROAR!

There are many dates in 2015 with fun events:

Some of the goodies that Cat Faeries donated to the January 24th fundraiser and silent auction photographed with two of Melissa Petrovich’s gorgeous cats! Domestic kitties that is!

Annual Saving the Big Cats Charity Auction.

Saturday, January 24, 2015, 3:00-7:30 PM

The Palms – Plainfield, Indiana