Melanie: May 2008 Archives


These tips will keep you and your cat living safely together.

8. Put the lid down on your toilet. YOur cat will want to drink and may fall in or be poisoned by your toilet cleaning supplies. Don't be lazy, put out fresh water in a bowl beside your cat's food.

7. Keep the doors to appliances closed. If your cat jumps into the dryer and falls asleep, then you come along and turn the dryer on, you'll give new meaning to the extra fluffy cycle. Not to mention you could seriously injure your cat.

6. Lit candles are exciting to cats, but the flame can burn their fur or whiskers or the cat could knock them down and start a fire. Keep them out of reach or don't leave your candles unattended, even for a minute.

5. If you have kids your house should be baby-proofed, if you don't, you need to baby/cat-proof your house. That means no medicine, cleaning supplies, chemicals or toxins out where your cat can find them.


4. Cats love shopping bags, plastic, paper, with a handle, without... but they are all dangerous. Cats can suffocate or get wrapped up in loose cords and choke to death. Not so fun after that.

3. Make sure open windows have proper screens to protect your cat from a nasty fall. I know cats are supposed to fall on their feet, but don't test that theory by leaving a window uncovered by a screen.

2. Cats will chew cords for T.V.'s, computers, hair dryers, ... any electrical cord is dangerous, one little bite could cost your cat his life.

1. Strings and yarn may seem like a great toy for a cat, but because of their barbed tongues, cats can't spit the cord out, it can only go in and so they chew and swallow and lick and it goes further and further down their throats, if you are lucky the cat eventually throws up, but if not, your cat could suffocate or choke or suffer intestinal damage.

cat_fur_trade_cruelty.jpgYep, it's true, cat fur is labeled "Synthetic." They also call it "Wild cat", "Katzenfelle", "Goyangi", "Mountain cat" and sometimes, simply "real" or "genuine" fur. But it’s cat. Pet cats, stray cats, cats at the wrong place at the wrong time. The fur is deliberately mislabeled and disguised by cutting and dying.

An to make matters worse, fur labeling laws are really lax. Garment labels do not have to include the origin of the fur nor which species of animals it comes from. Figurines, toys and other fur trimmed accessories don't have to be labeled at all.

cat_fur_vest.jpgThe fur originates in China, is shipped through Europe and then on to the US, so no one really knows where the fur came from or what species it is. China is growing economically and will do anything to keep good relations with other countries so Fur Traders in China revealed to investigators that they are willing to sew any label onto a garment to make a sale.

If you paid less than $150.00 for a coat or boots or sweater with fur on it, you can bet that it's cat fur, well maybe dog fur, but in any case it is cruel and it came from a loving sentient animal that had it's fur ripped from it's body while it was still alive.

Animal Saviors is asking for your signature on a petition that will help to make people aware of the torture these cats endure. Please sign their Petition and read the facts on their website. But I must warn you, the videos are probably the most graphic I have ever seen. But if you don't believe that this is a real issue, or if you still like to wear fur, watch the videos. If anyone can wear fur after seeing these videos, they are some kind of crazy messed-up psycho.soon_to_be_skinned_alive.jpg

So those fur lined gloves you got last fall might actually have someone's pet cat on them. Donate your fur, leather or wool items to Peta for their Anti-fur campaigns.

Sign these other petitions that we've blogged about cat killings in Beijing, and Japan's Cats and Dogs Massacre, and the feral cats on the site of the 2012 Olympics.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...


Well, finally, some real data that proves everyone should own a cat! A study out of the University of Minnesota provides hard evidence that cat owners suffer fewer strokes, heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. So with a healthy diet, exercise and a purring cat, you can probably close down a few pharmaceutical companies!

The University of Minnesota's Stroke Institute in Minneapolis conducted a 10 year study of over 4000 people, almost 2500 of the participants were cat owners. The results showed that cat owners showed 30% lower risk of death from heart disease! Dogs apparently don't offer their owners the same protection. Some Veterinary experts believe it's because cats are more independent than dogs and love to be petted more than dogs, so cats actually lower stress in the owners.

If you were considering whether or not you should get a cat, maybe this study will convince you that you need to adopt a cat. I wonder if your risks are lowered even more if you have two cats?

Read more about Cat Owners Have Lower Heart Attack Risk.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

Six diseases caused by dry cat food

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...


Pet owners in the U.S. and Canada will be getting reimbursed for their medical expenses from the pet food recall. This settlement is supposed to cover the costs incurred by pet owners who got medical attention for their pets after the recall. The article claims that 236 cats died or were treated, but independent researchers claim the number of affected cats was actually in the thousands. You can read some of their stories here.


We all make fun of really fat cats. They are cute and lazy and we love them. But really fat cats are not happy, healthy cats. As a matter of fact, really fat cats are prone to diseases that can shorten their lives. Diabetes, hear disease, cancer, all those horrible diseases are much more common in really fat cats than in slimmer, healthier cats.

If you truly want your cat to slim down, there are several ways to help them that doesn't require starving them or buying a kitty treadmill. But don't expect weight loss to happen too quickly, cats can safely lose about 1lb per month. Any more than that and your cat might not be healthy.

So here is how you can help your really fat cat get healthy:

1. Switch from dry cat food to canned cat food is the first step. Dry cat food has been known to cause obesity because of its high grain and filler content and not enough protein.

2. Fresh water every day is a must. Your cat may not drink that much, but having a clean fresh bowl of water ready when your cat does decide to take a drink will be very helpful. Water helps keep tummies full so they don't eat as much, and it helps digestion so their bodies can absorb more nutrients.

3. Don't starve your cat, but if you leave the food in the bowl all day and let him come and eat whenever he wants, you might want to stop that. Some cats, like people, eat out of boredom, they'll wander by the food and take a bite or two even when they are not hungry. So having designated feeding times is a really good way to start limiting extra calories. Set the food out in the morning and again at night for 20-30 minutes each time. Cats seem to need to eat twice a day and they usually eat their fill within 20-30 minutes, so after that time has passed put the food away.


4. Get some exciting toys for your cat and play with him. Cats are very intelligent, and if they don't get stimulation regularly, they kind of show signs of depression. They don't get up and run around, just stare out the window and watch the world go by. But spending time playing with your cat and the new toys will go a long way to getting some much needed exercise for your cat (and you too!).

5. If you have to be away all day, leave your cat access to a window that overlooks a busy street or yard, cars, birds, and activity will keep your cat thinking about things other than food.

iStock_000004326828XSmall.jpgCats like Charley who have Cerebellar Hypoplasia are a result of not vaccinating for common feline diseases. Pregnant Queens who contract feline panleukopaenia (sometimes called feline infectious enteritis or feline distemper or feline ataxia) will often give birth to kittens with cerebellar hypolasia. But even with the vaccinations, sometimes the cerebellum in the kitten doesn't develop properly. If the mother was poisoned or injured during pregnancy, the condition could develop in her kittens. Cerebellar Hypoplasia often occurs in the kittens of stray or feral cats. Feral cats are never vaccinated, are considered a pest so they are poisoned and are victims of violent human behavior so they are often injured. So the chances of a feral kitten being born with Cerebellar Hypoplasia is very high. It shows up right away when you see the kitten trying to move with its jerky movements. So out of fear, or ignorance, these kittens are destroyed because the humans who find them think they are diseased. But they are not, as we saw with Charley, they are perfectly normal, happy cats, who simply have spastic movements.

What was once the leading cause of death in cats has come under control through effective vaccines. Some vets don't vaccinate for panleukopenia any more because there hasn't been a reported case in their area for years. But that is not the case every where, even though the vaccines are effective, not every cat gets vaccinated and the potential for spreading this deadly disease is still a problem. It is very common amongst outdoor cats, strays and feral cat colonies.

Feline panleukopenia (sometimes called feline infectious enteritis or feline distemper or feline ataxia) is a highly infectious disease that can infect your cat even without close contact with a diseased cat. The virus stays alive and active in the blood, stool, or even the fleas from infected cats. But the biggest threat is the virus can be transmitted to your cats from bedding, cages, clothing or even if the cats dig in the same soil as an infected cat.


Feline panleukopenia attacks rapidly dividing cells, such as in bone marrow, intestines and in a developing fetus. The bone marrow is responsible for red and white blood cell production - lack of red blood cells causes anemia and lack of white blood cells compromises the cat's immune system. A lack of cells in the intestinal walls will mean the cat's digestion system is weakened and they will not be able to eat or drink properly. Often they will vomit or have a bloody stool. If the cat is pregnant and survives, the kittens will likely develop Cerebellar Hypoplasia. An infected cat will become anemic and the immune system will be weakened. This means that the cat will become infected with other illnesses so the symptoms of feline panleukopenia are hard to identify.

If you see any of the following symptoms in your cat, get him to a vet as soon as possible. Often cats can hide their illnesses so by the time you notice anything is wrong, it could be too late to save your cat. But watch for these signs:

fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal discharge, dehydration

When a cat comes in contact with the virus that causes feline panleukopenia the result is usually death. Preventing the infection is far more effective than treating an infected cat so get your cats vaccinated against feline panleukopenia.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...


Yesterday, you met Charley, the domestic cat with Cerebellar Hypoplasia. He is such a sweet cat, it's so sad that many cats like Charley are destroyed because people don't understand what it is.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia is when the cerebellum is not completely developed at birth. The Cerebellum is the area of the brain that controls motor function (movement) and sensory perception (usually affecting sight) Cats with Cerebellar Hypoplasia have difficulty walking, and have generally uncoordinated movements. They have tremors in their limbs that get faster when they are excited and tend to slow when they are at rest.

Affected cats generally don't grow into large cats and they may be slower to grow and develop. But they learn to adapt to their disability. Often cats with Cerebellar Hypoplasia are still able to run and jump and climb, but with jerky movements. They will have more falls and more accidents so its best if these kittens are kept indoors.

They live long healthy lives. So if your kitten displays symptoms like Charley, talk to your vet, you'll see that there is no need to destroy the kitten.

I love this video. Make sure your speakers are on for this one. You need to hear the sound while you watch. And watch the cat's tail, cats communicate with their tails and this cat is talking up a storm!

If your cat is urinating or defecating outside the litter box, you have to ask, What is your cat trying to tell you?

It seems that cats are forever blamed for their smelly urine. But the truth of the matter is, if cats are spraying or going outside their litter boxes it is not their fault, it is just a way for them to communicate that there is an issue that needs resolving.

Cats don’t spray to be irritating nor do they go outside the litter box just to make a mess, cats spray because they have a need to mark their territory or sometimes even because the litter box doesn’t get cleaned out often enough. And in the case of my cat Neo, he just has poor aim.

Be gentle with your cat

It does not help to put the cat’s nose into it, or yell or hit or scold the cat. That usually makes the situation worse. The best thing to do is find the root cause of the problem. Maybe your cat needs to see the vet? Tell the vet about the problem, they might find a medical condition that is causing it.

Cat psychology is a very complicated thing too. It could be that the litter box is not in an ideal location, too much traffic or no privacy, or too close to other cats, or an open window where they can see other cats.

Reasons your cat might spray outside the litter box:


• An infection or some other physical problem – ask your vet.

• The litter box needs cleaning – scoop daily. Cats are very clean animals and will look for a clean place to go if their litter box is not cleaned out often enough.

• The litter box needs a good washing - use a mild detergent or warm soapy water to wash it out at least once a month.

• Location is not ideal – move the litter box away from windows, family traffic and other situations that might make your cat nervous. Noise, light and vibrations are a no-no.

• New additions to your family – cats need even more loving when there is a new family member or new pet added to the household. And they need one new litter box for every cat in the house. I'm serious, if you have three cats, you should have three litter boxes.

• Change the type of litter you use – cats are very sensitive and cat react to smells and irritants by peeing in inappropriate places. Especially with the different litters on the market that mask odors, are dusty or change color, all of them contain many toxic irritants that can be a problem for your cat.

Cats are clean animals so if they are spraying or peeing outside their litter box, there is an issue you need to find.

These kittens are so cute, I wish I could pick them up and cuddle them. I hope this fills your kitten quota for the day! Gotta go cuddle Neo now, he is my 10 lb kitten!


Most people don’t realize how easy it is to get rid of cat urine odors by using cat urine cleaning products you can find around your home.

There are several cat urine cleaning products on the market today. But before you invest in cat urine cleaning products, try this home remedy.

A lesson in Acids and Bases

Think back to grade school science. Most stains, dirt and grime is a base and the only way to clean a base is to use a base. So most cleaners are bases. But urine is an acid, so the cleaner you use needs to be an acid too. Plain White Vinegar goes a long way to getting rid of urine stains and odors.

A three-step solution to cat urine odor:

• Dilute it and Mop it up. The best thing to do for fresh or wet urine is to dilute it with water and mop up as much as you can. I use disposable, compostable paper towels that you can throw into your compost or green bin. The benefit is you don’t get your mop smelling like urine, which can transfer to other floors.


• Vinegar and Water. For older urine spots or after you wipe it up with water, you should use plain white vinegar diluted with water. Spray or pour it onto the area and wipe it away or soak it up. Do this a few times and cover an area wider than the stain itself. You should notice a significant reduction in the smell of urine.

• Check the spot with a black light. If the spot is still there it will show up under the black light. If it still shows up you’ll have to use a heavy duty cleaner. Why? Because if you can still see it with the black light, then your cats can still smell it. The funny thing about cats is if they can still smell it, then they think it is okay to keep peeing there. So you have to get rid of the spot completely.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...


In the last month, I have seen three dead cats on the road…to me three cats ending up as road kill…. that’s a little disturbing.

Cats are very good at keeping themselves alive in adverse situations, but it’s when they make a little mistake….when they’re frightened or distracted….that’s what ends their lives.

They run out into the road while chasing a squirrel…or fall off the fence while stalking a bird…or make a wrong turn while being chased by a dog. That’s when they become road kill. Three cats in one month in my small community….hmmm… that’s three too many.

Then you see the little kid handing out posters that say, have you seen my cat? and it breaks your heart.

Most of the cats that end up dead haven't learned fear, so they trust that the car will stop or that group of angry people won't hurt him, but it never works out that way. There are so many instances of weirdos hurting cats.

So keep your cat indoors. I don’t think it is cruel to keep Neo indoors. I know he’ll be there when I get home at night and he’ll wake me up in the morning asking for breakfast. I know he's safe.

Kittens bred for survival with limited human intervention have turned out to be a most delightful breed of cats!

American Keuda grey.jpg

The name comes from the acronym KEUDA – Kitten Evaluation Under Direct Assessment – a study that took the most physically strong and hardy barn cats of the southern states and bred them to create the ultimate in cat strength and ingenuity. Excellent hunters and fast runners, the American Keuda is now also a very loving and loyal cat to own.

Physical: strong and agile with a belly flap allowing for a larger range of motion.

Color: any color, any fur length, any markings, with no undercoat.

Temperament: Smart and outgoing, playful and adaptable.

History: Brought to America by the Spanish to keep the rodent population in check.

neutered-cat.jpgFact: Get off the couch and play with your cat!

Spaying and Neutering don’t make cats fat, eating too much and not playing enough makes them fat. So get your cats fixed and then play with them!

There are so many positives to spaying and neutering your cats. For females it is so hard on their little bodies to go into heat every few months and have litter after litter of kittens. Even if you manage to keep your female away from the neighborhood males while she is in heat, she can harm herself trying to get out so she can go roam.

For males, they spray, and they wander and they get into fights, which all leads to problems.

You’ll have more loving companions if they are spayed or neutered. Statistics also show that cats live longer if they’ve been spayed and neutered. The fat cat myth is simply that, a myth, all the cats I’ve had in my life have been spayed or neutered and none of them were fat.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

You've seen this guy here before, Dr. Greg McDonald has tips for cleaning your cats teeth, but this time he is showing you how to check for sickness in cats from fleas. Anemia can kill your cat. If you suspect your cat has fleas, check his gums, if they are bright pink, your cat's fine, if they are a pale pink or white, your cat has lost too much blood and may need a transfusion.

Because fleas cause illnesses that can kill your cat (see my previous post called sickness in cats from fleas) its a good idea to check your cats regularly. Unless you check, you may not even know your cat has fleas until it's too late.

I thought my vet was crazy when he checked Neo for fleas, because

If you suspect a sickness in your cats from fleas, consult your Vet immediately because fleas can kill! They don't all attack at once, and then your cat is dead. But rather over a short span of time, they can suck enough blood from your cat that your cats is weakened and can die. If your cat is seriously infested with fleas, the death is a slow and painful one, so please get treatment quickly.


This is the part that is a little scary, you may not even know that your cat has fleas. Fleas irritate the skin but unless there is an allergy to the flea bite, you won't see your cat scratching. Your cat could be dying and you won't even know it!

Common sickness in cats from fleas include Dermatitis, Anemia, Parasites, and Tapeworm. All potentially life-threatening for your cat.


Dermatitis - itchy, irritated skin caused by allergies to flea bites. This only shows up if your cat has an allergy, or if the infestation is really, really bad.

Anemia - loss of blood causes sickness in cats from fleas. Your cat gets weak and lethargic, but by this time it could be too late to reverse the damage. Your vet might have to do a blood transfusion to save your cat.

Parasites - Fleas are parasites, but they carry other parasites that get into your cat's blood and cause a life threatening condition called Feline Infectious Anemia.

Tapeworms - Fleas can also cause a tapeworm infection by carrying tapeworm eggs from an infected animal to your cat.

Check your cat every time he comes in from outside and see your Vet if you suspect fleas!

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

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