Anti Icky Poo to de-skunk your cat, you, or your dog. Cats and skunks – learn about their many similarities.

Anti Icky Poo never ceases to amaze us with its many inventive uses. It’s Spring and this time of year our skunk friends are very active, and animals and people can get sprayed. As FOS: Friends of Skunks – we want to help you get skunk spray out of cat fur, clothing, and make you understand and love skunks as much as we do who happen to have interesting commonalities with cats.

Removing Skunk musk with Anti Icky Poo to de-skunk cats, dogs, people, clothing and outdoor objects

The cat might not have actually been sprayed by the skunk because these two species tend to get along very well. Cats are usually too smart to provoke a skunk. Instead, kitty probably rubbed up against a plant or bush that the skunk sprayed during a mating ritual to appear sexy and to mark territory (sound familiar?).

  1. Soaking a cat or dog in tomato juice is outdated and it will not work… you’ll have a cat that smells of rotting tomatoes and skunk spray. Also, DO NOT PRE-RINSE THE CAT with water! Rinsing with water spreads the oily skunk spray deeper into fur. You need something to de-grease and that’s where Anti Icky Poo comes in.
  2. Drench/soak a large rag with Anti Icky Poo so that it’s very wet. Wipe down the cat (or dog) and allow to dry. Of you could take the cat’s brush which you’ve soaked in Anti Icky Poo then brush it through the fur. With either method you’ll re-apply in 2 hours. This should take care of it, if not, apply a third time. Rinse with another water-soaked rag or a fresh brush to finish the treatment. Discard the rags and brushes. Our unscented Anti Icky Poo is perfect because fragrance can be irritating to skin, lungs, and eyes.
  3. If it’s you who got skunked, soak your clothes in the washing machine with at least a ½ cup of Anti Icky Poo mixed with cold or warm water for a few hours or overnight. After you soak and rinse wash the clothes with clothe soap and ¼ cup more of Anti Icky Poo. Repeat if needed. You can wash your hair with Anti Icky Poo or add some to shampoo.
  4. If there is skunk scent on outdoor planters etc. spray the object every few hours over the course of a day. Repeat the next day as needed.

How do you know if you are about to be “skunked?”

The skunk will turn its back towards you and simultaneously turn his head to look over his shoulder so he can see you (for good aim!) You might see red anal scent glands depending upon how light it is. This is how they warn you and if the threat doesn’t halt immediately, with excellent aim and propulsion of up to 10 feet – BAM! – you’ve been skunked!

Cats and Skunks have a lot in common but also have some big differences

  • Skunks are very shy and very passive. Like cats, they are curious.
  • They don’t seek to spray anyone and only do so when provoked or frightened and as truly a last resort if they fear they will be killed. Heed their warning and back off.
  • As solitary animals they prefer peacefully going about the business which is keeping your garden free of small rodents – some cats are like this.
  • Baby skunks are called kits or kittens. Baby cats are called kittens.
  • Both species give birth to 4 – 6 kittens.
  • Both species are very curious.
  • Both species have excellent hygiene.
  • Skunks are most active at dusk and dawn. Is it coincidence that your cat wants to eat at dusk and dawn too and run around like a crazy person?
  • Skunks are insectivores. Cats are carnivores. Skunks prefer insects but will eat small rodents.
  • Both species can suffer from kidney failure from too much protein in the form of animal protein (don’t leave cat food outside!)
  • Skunk fur feels like dog fur or of a few long-haired cats with dense fur.
  • Cats have excellent vision. Skunks do not, they are near sighted. But both see better at night than we do.
  • Skunks and cats get along well. They can often be seen sharing a food bowl. They are often spotted resting next to each other or roaming together.
  • Mating season is February and March for both species. During those months skunks give off mate attracting scent and cats make a lot of noise!
  • Skunk kits are born in Spring the same as feline kitten season.
  • Skunks eat worms and grub worms in your soil they very same insects which eat your greens and vegetables.
  • Skunks are a healthy garden’s friend who come out to visit and hunt at dawn and dusk.
  • If you are lucky you might see a mama skunk with babies in Spring. After the kits are grown, they leave their mother to strike out on their own, again, as solitary animals establishing their own territory.
  • If you are kind and well known to your neighborhood skunk you might be rewarded with her showing off to you her latest brood of kits in Spring! My neighborhood skunk, known as Skunkie, has introduced us to many generations of her babies. She has proudly come down our driveway or stood in front of the house and shown them to us!

This video shows us a mama skunk and her adorable kittens approaching a man who stopped his bicycle to watch and video them. He’s perfectly respectful and quiet therefore there is no spraying of skunk musk proving that skunks would rather not spray. Turn up the sound so you can hear their adorable squeaks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINFNvPjbG4
 
 

Hypochlorous Acid – the best sanitizer you may never have heard of – how to make your own

Hypochlorous Acid (HOCI) is nature’s oldest disinfectant and sanitizer, and interestingly, right now it’s walking around in about 7.5 billion people. Yes, that includes you!

Hypochlorous Acid is a substance your neutrophils (white blood cells) produce all the time and which are the first to arrive on the site when an invading pathogen is detected. Your white blood cells will chase down and engulf the pathogen through phagocytosis. Upon contact, neutrophils release a burst of bactericidal chemicals including its most powerful oxidizing agent: Hypochlorous Acid. This kills the pathogen by tearing down its cell membranes and proteins. Hypochlorous Acid is the perfect weapon to fight germs. It hits hard against pathogens like Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.

The knowledge that white blood cells contained a substance with this ability is not a new discovery. Early attempts of replicating sanitizing Hypochlorous Acid in laboratories using electricity to charge and change the chemical structure of water and salt began in the early 1900’s just in time for the horrors of World War 1 when it was used for wound irrigation and healing, and equipment sterilization. The problem was that with the technology of the day it couldn’t be stabilized, so after 90 minutes or so the fluid would revert to saltwater.

The good news is that modern scientists and chemists have created machines that can make can electrolyze salt and water to create Hypochlorous Acid which stays stable to effectively kill viruses, bacteria, and to sterilize and heal wounds. And its cost effective! You can now create your own right on your kitchen countertop. All you need is a machine (and we have a recommendation for one), Kosher salt and water.

Better than bleach: Bleach is widely used in hospitals and medical practices and shares the same chlorine family as Hypochlorous Acid. Research shows that they both kill bacteria, fungus, spores, and viruses. Yet bleach is highly irritating to the eyes, skin, and lungs—and inhalation over long periods could be carcinogenic. In contrast, Hypochlorous Acid has a temporary and mild chlorine smell that dissipates quickly, it is non-irritating, and it does not have poisonous side effects.

Better than alcohol: Alcohol is a popular disinfectant in clinics for wiping down instruments, furniture, and is a key ingredient in hand sanitizers. Ethyl alcohol (70%) is considered by some to be more effective compared to isopropyl alcohol. Both are bactericidal, fungicidal, and viricidal BUT are not effective against bacterial spores.

Hand sanitizers with alcohol are used daily in many medical offices, but over time repeated use may lead to hand dermatitis. Many daily users become allergic to hand sanitizers after several months. Such reactions are extremely irritating and embarrassing and can take months to resolve. In one study, the prevalence of contact dermatitis related to hand hygiene ranged from 25 to 55 percent. Fortunately, Hypochlorous Acid can also be used in place of hand sanitizer with no irritating side effects. Moreover, the punch it delivers to pathogens is more powerful than the one delivered by alcohol.

We heard about Hypochlorous Acid the night of the day that California’s Shelter In Place took effect when our house-call veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Brown paid one of our cats a visit. While all of us (excluding Clifford the cat) were decked out in gloves and masks we talked about a range of topics including various ways to stop/kill a coronavirus. Being quite a science nerd, Dr. Sarah told us about Hypochlorous Acid and the machine she bought for home use. She carries spray bottles of various sizes, for various uses, in her vehicle. She gave me a gallon jug of it as a gift and I love it.

Hypochlorous Acid:

  • Kills COVID-19
  • Used in hospitals in the US and Japan
  • Safe around all animals, babies, people of any age with any health condition
  • Allergen free
  • No fumes
  • No residues which need rinsing off – just spray it and leave it!
  • “Nature Made” Green, nontoxic
  • Speeds up wound healing
  • Used as an eye wash – ophthalmologists use it!
  • Sanitize entire house, office, laundry room, patio, car
  • Doorknobs, handles, drawers, closet doors
  • Refrigerators, washing machines, kitchen gadgets
  • Floors, walls, windowsills
  • Kills biofilm
  • Soak produce and greens
  • Approved by the USDA for “organic” farming uses!

Some of Auntie Cat Faerie’s favorite uses:

  • Spray face mask while it’s on your face when outside every 20 or 30 minutes to kill anything which may have landed on it
  • When you get home spray the front and back of an N95 mask which is not washable and hang it to dry
  • Spray hands and forearms
  • Spray on shoes starting with the soles and let dry by the front door or in the garage
  • Sprayed on shipping boxes when they leave Cat Faeries
  • Spray boxes and mail that have been delivered
  • Kills biofilm (we’ve written about biofilms before and how bad they are as harbors of disease, bacteria, and parasites)
  • CAT BOXES! And the floor around them (Rinse cat boxes first to remove urine/ammonia)

CAUTION! DO NOT USE HYPOCHLOROUS ACID (HOCL) ON OR WITH OTHER HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS OR SOLVENTS AS SERIOUS CHEMICAL REACTIONS COULD OCCUR

Make Hypochlorous Acid in your own kitchen in 3 minutes!

You can find pre-made bottles of Hypochlorous Acid for sale online but we caution against them as it is unknown how they were made or by who, and if they are truly stable/effective. There are machines that allow you to make your own and you’ll see a variety of machines for sale online but again, we are cautious, especially of the cheap ones (under $50).

We bought this onehttps://store.ecoloxtech.com/ecoone – because it’s the one Dr. Sarah uses and we know how obsessively she researched it. Here’s a brief video about how it quick and easy it works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDK9vb8zrE4

Here are two very brief and very impressive videos:

1) How a dental office uses Hypochlorous Acid, as well as how they use masks to protect themselves – excellent video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3Iethr6hcA

2) Firefighters using it on equipment and medical devices to kill viruses in seconds!
https://hocl.healthcare/tulsa-firefighters-using-hypochlorous-acid/

 
 
 
 

Does your cat stand on the rim of the litter box?

Cat Faeries customer, Judith from Hawaii wrote:

Aloha Auntie,

My little girl Mele, sometimes poops outside the litter box. I saw her once balancing on the edge of the box. The little turds are right outside the box.

Auntie Cat Faerie replies: I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why cats sometimes balance on the edge of the box. I think that the change in her position is to help make the poop come out easier especially if the cat is slightly constipated – which can happen to any of us! This is yet another reason to not put a hood on the litter box. Cats need to find the best position for themselves whether they are peeing or pooping and they can change that position from time to time.

If you keep towels or something similar alongside the box they’ll catch the poop making clean up really easy for you. You can also spray Convivial House Cat and I Love My Litter Box Flower Essence around the litter box area if you think she’s developing some kind of aversion to her box.

If you think she gets a bit backed up down there add a spoonful of canned pumpkin to her cat food. You can usually find organic pumpkin pie in cans year-round but this time of year it will be on the bottom shelf in the canned foods area. Cats like pumpkin – I once found a cat standing in the middle of a pumpkin pie blissfully licking her mouth clean!

 
 

Feline Toxoplasmosis and human babies – blasting the lies, myths, and unfounded fears

Don’t you just cringe when you hear “I’m pregnant and my doctor told me to get rid of my cats to protect my baby’s brain.” Haven’t you wondered if the fear of brain damage from exposure to toxoplasmosis was a bunch of hooey from doctors who feel they need to dish out caution to nervous expectant mothers to make themselves look smart? Us too! We found some statistics that shoot that antiquated theory out of the sky and asked our Feline Contributing Editor At Large, Sir Isaac Newton, to chime in with the facts and figures to spill the beans on this situation. Spoiler alert: the studies were seriously flawed, babies are safe!

Speaking of babies – in a few weeks Auntie Cat Faerie will be visiting the ASPCA in New York City to see, in particular, their stellar Kitten Rehab. It’s where abandoned kittens, kitten literally found on the streets, hundreds of them per year, are bottle fed and taught proper toilet habits by loving and caring saintly humans. They are willing to keep these kitten’s cute baby butts nice and clean while they grow and learn to do it themselves. Stay tuned for the story!


Newton’s Purrspective – Toxoplasmosis

Cats have not always been popular house pets. Perhaps you’ve heard the old wives’ tale that cats smother babies or suck the air out of their lungs. Today few believe in this witchery. It is far more likely that cats in a baby’s crib are seeking warmth or are attracted to the scent of milk. However, some doctors still tell expectant mothers that they should get rid of their beloved pets as a health precaution. The fear today is not focused on a devilish feline behavior, but on a single celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii (the cause of Toxoplasmosis) carried by cats.




Isaac Newton

But cats are not alone. Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common parasitic diseases, affecting nearly all warm blooded animals, including humans. The CDC estimates that as many as 60 million Americans carry this parasite, but few show signs of clinical disease. A healthy immune system is able to prevent illness due to the presence of Toxoplasma.

Most people who are infected are unaware. Some may have flu like symptoms such as swollen lymph glands accompanied by muscle aches. Severe Toxoplasmosis (usually found only in people with immune deficiency) can cause damage to the eyes or brain. Treatment is available and is patient specific.
https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/faqs.html

Early in the 1950’s scientists started looking at the potential relationship between Toxoplasmosis and psychotic symptoms such as those seen in schizophrenia. They hypothesized that owning a cat could increase the risk of mental disorders. We now know that the early studies were flawed. Controls were inadequate and alternate explanations were not considered. Although in rare cases Toxoplasmosis can damage the brain, current investigations reveal no higher risk of psychosis for those who share their homes with cats. http://www.livescience.com/57978-cats-psychosis.html

Cats are singled out because they are the only definitive hosts for Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite completes its life cycle inside a cat’s intestines and eggs are shed in the feces for up to two weeks. Most cats will not show symptoms unless their immune system is compromised due to age or diseases such as Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Cats are not routinely tested for Toxoplasmosis and the only prevention is to avoid ingesting the parasite. http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/brochure_toxo.cfm

Toxoplasma must be ingested or transferred directly. It cannot be absorbed through intact skin or inhaled. According to the CDC there are a number of ways for this to occur in humans.

  • Eating undercooked meat (especially pork, lamb, and venison) contaminated with Toxoplasma.
  • Not thoroughly washing hands after contact with infected meat and accidentally ingesting the parasite.
  • Eating food contaminated by utensils, etc. have been in contact with raw, contaminated meat.
  • Drinking water contaminated with Toxoplasma.
  • Accidental ingestion due to not thoroughly washing hands after:
    • cleaning a litter box used by a cat that has shed Toxoplasma
    • gardening without wearing gloves
  • Eating unwashed garden fruits or vegetables
  • Mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/faqs.html

Pregnant women, or people with weak immune systems need not worry that they will be forced to part with their beloved cats. Indoor only cats pose a smaller risk since they are less likely to come in contact with Toxoplasma. However, use common sense and avoid cleaning the litter box or, if you must, wear gloves. Always wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

There is actually a benefit to keeping Kitty when you are pregnant. Cats can improve health in young children. The chief of the allergic mechanisms section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Marshall Plaut, MD says “high pet exposure early in life appears to protect against not only pet allergy but also other types of common allergies, such as allergy to dust mites, ragweed, and grass.” http://mentalfloss.com/article/51154/10-scientific-benefits-being-cat-owner

 
 
 
 

How to De-Skunk a Cat (or You) with Anti Icky Poo

Recently a customer wrote to ask if Anti Icky Poo would remove skunk musk from her cat’s fur. The cat probably wasn’t actually sprayed by the skunk, instead kitty probably rubbed up against a plant or bush that the skunk sprayed during a mating ritual to mark territory (sound familiar?) or to appear sexy. We at Cat Faeries adore skunks, in particular we love Skunkie who lives below ground in our front garden! And as you might expect every night we leave food and water for our gorgeous fluffy friend – did you know they are fond of cat food? Skunks are not particularly fussy eaters (cats, take note and learn from this!) however our dear Skunkie does not like rice but enjoys everything else we set out. We often see Skunkie and an outside cat sitting near each other in complete harmony. More on that below.

Since we are FOS (friends of skunks) we wanted to give our customer and you the best answer and solutions to this smelly problem.

But before we tell you how to de-skunk cat fur, dog fur, or you and you clothes let us tell you a few things about skunks. They are shy and very passive, and like cats, they are curious. They don’t seek to spray anyone and only do so when provoked or frightened – this is truly a last resort and if they fear they might be killed. They are solitary animals who would prefer peacefully keeping your garden free of small rodents, and harmful insects, worms and grub worms which might be in your soil eating away your greens and vegetables. Skunks are a healthy garden’s friend who come out to visit and hunt at dawn and dusk. If you are lucky you might see a mama skunk with babies in Spring. After the baby skunks are grown they leave their mother to strike out on their own, again, as solitary animals. Baby skunks are called kits… baby cats are called kittens… the similarities continue!

So far it seems that skunks and cats are compatible, or least they can co-exist well. We are told that skunks and outside cats will share a food bowl! We’ve observed Skunkie and a lovely pastel tortoiseshell cat sitting about 7 feet apart in the evening. Here’s a video of a cat and skunk caught on surveillance camera with infra-red. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFz7Na_G9Pw

Skunks are most active at dusk and dawn. Is it coincidence that your cat wants to eat at dusk and dawn too and run around like a crazy person?

How do you know if you are about to be “skunked?” Simultaneously the skunk’s back will be towards you and his head turned looking over his shoulder so he can see you (for good aim!) You might see red anal scent glands depending upon how light it is. With excellent aim and propulsion of up to 10 feet – BAM! – you’ve been skunked!

Here is how to de-skunk using Anti Icky Poo:

1) DO NOT PRE RINSE THE CAT! This spreads the oily skunk spray. Tomato juice will not work… you’ll have a cat that smells of tomatoes and skunk spray

2) Soak a large rag with Anti Icky Poo so that it’s very wet. Wipe down the cat (or dog) and allow to dry. Of you could take the cat’s brush which you’ve soaked in Anti Icky Poo then brush it through the fur. With either method you’ll re-apply in 2 hours. This should take care of it, if not, apply a third time. Rinse with another water soaked rag or a fresh brush to finish the treatment. Discard the rags and brushes. Please only use the unscented version as the fragrance can be irritating to skin, lungs, and eyes.

3) If it’s you who got skunked, soak your clothes in the washing machine with ½ cup of Anti Icky Poo and cold or warm water for a few hours or overnight. After you soak and rinse, wash the clothes with clothe soap and ¼ cup more of Anti Icky Poo. You could even wash your hair with Anti Icky Poo if you wish.

Here you can see a mama skunk and her adorable progeny approaching a man who stopped his bicycle to watch and video them. He’s perfectly respectful and quiet therefore there is no spraying of skunk musk proving that skunks would rather not spray. Also, aren’t their squeaks beyond cute? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINFNvPjbG4

 
 
 

Another great use for Anti Icky Poo! Removing Ring Around the Collar!

Who’s old enough to remember those catchy commercials from the 1970’s? And who of us teased co-workers, parents, teachers, and class mates for their rings around their collars? And who is plagued with ring around the collar today? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3N_skYSGoY

Madam Cat Faerie for one! She’s one of those unfortunate people who makes a vivid ring on her collars even minutes after putting one on and on a stone-cold day no less! The oils of the ring become one with the fabric which nothing seems to remove completely – always remaining are streaks of yellow or traces. Madam Cat Faerie is also not willing to use toxic methods to clean up anything.

Recently I bought a divine long soft cotton button down white shirt and wore it Saturday. And of course it grew quite a ring despite having exfoliated my neck to a pink glow earlier! I would never use a potentially toxic cleaning agent like bleach (which doesn’t work anyway) so the bright idea of a soak in Anti Icky Poo was worth an experiment. We’ve told you that Anti Icky Poo removes oils from clothing (found this out when I spilled olive oil on a cotton dress). Mr. Cat Faerie, a car hobbyist, does similar soaks to remove auto grease from his clothes.

How to do it: Put ½ cup of unscented Anti Icky Poo in a tub with another ½ cup of cold or cool water. Place the soiled shirt with the collar going into the soaking solution first, then allow the rest of the garment to rest on top – all of it will get a nice stain removing soak. The first 24 hours removed most of it, but not enough, so the soaking went for 32 hours. SUCCESS! Every speck of yellow was gone baby gone! The shirt went into the machine for a quick wash in Seventh Generation – Free and Clear liquid clothes soap to remove the Anti Icky Poo. After drying overnight I’ll fearlessly wear that shirt over and over!