Products We Recommend: April 2009 Archives

9FD75FEE-FF36-4266-813D-8F037EC318FE.jpgErase from your mind the old style cat condos where there was nothing more than a wooden frame with carpeting wrapped around it. Instead, consider a condominium, with its spacious snoozing room, a nice place to scratch and of course, a way to perch on top to see all that is happening around the area. That is the type of toy you can give your pet and they will love you for it.

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Why Cat Condos Are So Important

You may be looking for this type of place for your feline so you can retake your favorite pillow (which they have claimed) or you may be looking for a fun toy for your pets. There are many reasons why these condominiums work so well.

*They are stylish and fit into virtually any home's furnishings without being tacky or ugly. Look for those condominiums that are made with a steel framing, to give the best look to the condominium itself. You will not mind having it in your living room!

*Cat condos are a fantastic investment for your pet. Choose those with foam scratching pads. The cat can scratch to his heart's delight on these pads, which keeps them from scratching at your furniture or pulling down the drapes in your living room. Plus, it keeps them busy, which helps to keep them mentally sharp.

*Give your cat a gift that they will love. When you select a strong, well-made design, the cat will be able to use their condo for the long term, enjoying every bit of it. It is their secret hide out. It is a fantastic place to catch an afternoon nap. It can be a good lookout, to keep them apprised of what is happening around them. They can scratch all they would like to without being shooed away.

C7F1AF41-7F29-4482-ACD4-3EAF4A55788F.jpgGiving your pet something like this does a lot for them, but it helps to keep your home your own. Other styles of cat toys and scratching posts are tacky and unattractive in most homes. You will not be embarrassed to keep these in your living room, though. The more modern cat condos are far better made and will last for a long time.

Cat condos are a great investment for your pet. Go ahead and let them enjoy the sunshine by perching on top of their condo. They will even stay off your pillow and out of the dog's way when you invest in these condos.

You can purchase cat condos right online. You do not have to spend a lot of money to get a great looking and durable condo. Best of all, a well-made condo will last and be loved for years to come.

Give your cat the gift of a quality modern cat condo.

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Article by Mark Neustedt.

Pictures_of_cat_groomed_and_posing.jpgAre you in the market for cat condo furniture? If so, you would not be alone. There are more people than ever investing in furniture for their pets. It used to be that a cat owned nothing more than perhaps a heart shaped medallion hanging from its neck. Today, your pet can have far more, even a condo to call his or her own. The good news is that these condos are a great investment not only in your pet's eyes (they will love them) but also in their well-being.

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How To Buy The Best

20F22E49-F809-4B0F-BED7-428EF2865E45.jpgA quick look online will reveal a range of different types of cat condo furniture. While there are many different options to invest in, not every piece of furniture is worth your investment. Here are a few tips to choosing the very best furniture for your pet.

*Choose furniture that is designed to last. If you go with the cheap, plastic cat products on the market, they will last perhaps as long as it takes you to build them. They are easily torn apart by the average cat. Instead, choose cat condo furniture that is strong and durable. Some of the best have steel frames, which not only add to the durability, but also to the stylish look of them.

*Look at the design of the furniture. Is it fitting to your cat's interest? It should have someplace your feline can scratch, such as a foam padding. It should have a nice place for your pet to nap. Cats love dark, small spaces where they can hide out and sleep well. What about a perch, or a way to get up high in the room so that they can look down on their surroundings? When choosing cat condo furniture, choose something that gives your cat plenty to do no matter what type of mood they are in.

*Your home does not have to suffer! When buying this type of furniture, keep in mind that it should become a part of your home. In other words, it has to look great as part of your home's furniture, as well as be a fun place for your pet. You can accomplish this in various ways. Choose cat condo furniture that is stylish, or even that matches your home's décor.

57AC9572-0EAC-4B6D-8277-7A55DF690D5F.jpgThis may sound like a big wish list but the fact is, there are many fantastic options to select from that meet these qualifications. Cat condo furniture should be a process that is much like buying other furniture in your home. What works for your pet's needs? The good news is that it can be a lot of fun to check out the options available. Many pet owners love making these additions to their homes since they are affordable and rewarding to their pet.

The quality modern cat condo is the perfect fit for any homes decor.

Article by Mark Neustedt

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pictures_cats_names.jpgCat behavior is more difficult for most people to understand than dog behavior, because they communicate so much differently. If you experience behavior problems with your cat, like biting, scratching, excessive meowing or avoiding the litter box, eliminate any physical causes and then patiently retrain your cat, to try to eliminate the undesirable behaviors. Remember, there aren't bad cats, just uninformed cat owners.

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It's best to deal with problem cat behavior one step at a time, lest you frustrate your cat with too many do's and don'ts. That would make it difficult for her to learn just what you want from her. Start with the most serious problems first, like chewing electric cords. Take care of one problem before you start work on another.

If your cat behavior is problematic because she is seeking more attention, you probably are hearing excess vocalization from your feline. She has underlying causes for this behavior, and they may be emotional, physical or both. Make sure she doesn't have some pain issues before you punish her for excessive meowing. She might be in heat, or there might be another physical cause.

If your pet's cat behavior includes being aggressive towards people, this may have been caused by poor training when she was a kitten. Or it could be a fear response, and she may have been mistreated or neglected when she was young. You, as your cat's caregiver, will need to learn what you can do to prevent aggression, how to take care of it when it occurs, and how to slow this behavior down.

pictures_cats_love_2.jpgCats are territorial animals, so expect some uproar if you introduce a new cat into your home. Sometimes they will settle down quickly, and sometimes you will need to separate them - as unpleasant as that idea might sound. Usually, after the first few cat-fights, your felines will fall into a pecking order, and the fights should be fewer then.

If you experience cat behavior in the areas of destructive chewing and scratching by kittens and cats, it is a dangerous habit for them and it causes damage to your belongings. Address the causes before you start flinging slippers at your cats - they may be expressing boredom, curiosity or even a deficiency in their nutrient levels. If your cat scratches you or your furniture, check out all your options before considering de-clawing. This is no more humane than removing your own fingernails would be. You can even buy thin plastic claw-covers in bright colors, to keep your cat's scratching from destroying anything else.

Many cat behavior problems are actually related to health issues, or caused by the inadvertent miscues of your cat caregivers. Make sure to give your feline the benefit of the doubt, and work patiently with her when correction needs to be administered.

Article by Jenny Styles

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cat-napped_pictures_of_cats.jpgStudies have shown that 30% of cats over 8 years of age, and a stunning 90% of cats over 12 years of age, have arthritis (osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease). These figures should give the veterinary community, which doesn't give nearly as much thought to arthritis in cats as it does to dogs, something to think about. What is generally perceived as "slowing down" or "a little stiff" may be a sign of significant joint deterioration, and probably causes some degree of discomfort in most older cats.

Arthritic cats often gradually stop jumping up as high as they once did, and may be reluctant to use the stairs. (Arthritis can cause litterbox problems if there is not a box on every level of the home.) Providing "steps" (a box or stool, for instance) up to a bed, chair, or other favorite high spots may be greatly appreciated by an older cat.

Cats cannot adequately metabolize many of the arthritis and pain medications commonly given to dogs, such as carprofen (Rimadyl). Moreover, ibuprofen (Advil), naproxyn (Aleve), and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are all highly toxic to both cats and dogs. Meloxicam (Metacam) is a newer NSAID that is commonly used for post-operative pain but only for a short time. Some experts claim it can be given long-term at a very low dose, but others are wary of the significant potential for kidney damage in cats. Aspirin can be used, but the dose and schedule are extremely limited; never give your cat aspirin without your vet's advice.

The good news is that there are simple, inexpensive nutritional supplements that are very effective and, most important, very safe. Supplements for arthritis include: glucosamine sulfate (250 mg per day), and MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane) (200-400 mg per day). Both of these supplements have excellent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

pictures_cats_arthritis.jpgGlucosamine supplies the basic building blocks of cartilage and helps maintain the fluid that cushions and nourishes the joints, and MSM provides elemental sulfur for the body to make certain amino acids and other compounds. But they are not quick fixes-it may take 3-5 weeks for improvement to be noticeable (MSM may take less or more time), and they must be given daily without fail to prevent return of pain. They may not work in all cats. But many guardians notice significant improvement in their cat's activity and flexibility. Glucosamine is often packaged together with chondroitin, another cartilage compound. However, the evidence is less clear that chondroitin is effective, and it is much more expensive. Plain glucosamine (sulfate only, not hydrochloride) is adequate in most cases.

Another cartilage building block, hyaluronic acid, is also available in oral form. This is the basic ingredient of Adequan, a drug commonly injected directly into affected joints. However, these injections need to repeated regularly and there is always a risk of infection. Hyaluronic acid now comes in oral capsules, but the most effective form appears to be a saline-based liquid called "Hyalun." A cat would need at most a few drops per day, although if you also have dogs (or if you have joint problems yourself!) it is a good way to go.

Some herbs, such as Boswellia (frankincense), appear to be effective anti-inflammatories, but few herbs have been thoroughly studied for safety in cats. Boswellia is traditionally used in combination with other herbs in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Since some herbs can be extremely toxic to cats, it's best to consult with a veterinarian trained in the use of western or Chinese herbs (see below).

The antioxidant algae blend, BioSuperfood (read more about this in the Little Big Cat Free Article Library) may also minimize the inflammation and pain of arthritic joints.

Omega-3 fatty acids also have excellent anti-inflammatory properties; we recommend Nordic Naturals pet products for their purity and safety.

white_cat.jpgFrom a holistic viewpoint, no physical condition is simply physical. In energetic terms, disease, including arthritis, starts on the energetic plane and progresses through the mental and emotional spheres before manifesting itself in the physical body. One way to address this is through the use of flower essences, which can heal the imbalances on the mental and emotional planes. Another way to look at this is that mental "stiffness" ultimately contributes to stiffening of the physical joints. Our sister company, Spirit Essences, has developed an essence remedy called Creak-Away that's designed to keep the animal mentally and emotionally "flexible" and minimize the energetic stresses that contribute to the development of arthritis.

Acupuncture, chiropractic, herbs, homeopathy, specific nutritional strategies and other holistic treatments may also be helpful for arthritic cats. For a practitioner in your area, visit or call the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association at (410) 569-0795.

Dr. Jean Hofve is a retired holistic veterinarian with a special interest in nutrition and behavior. Her informational website, http://www.littlebigcat.com, features an extensive free article library on feline health and pet nutrition, as well as a free e-newsletter. Dr. Hofve founded Spirit Essences Holistic Remedies for Animals (http://www.spiritessence.com) in 1995; and it remains the only line of flower essence formulas designed by a veterinarian. She is a certified Medicine Woman within the Nemenhah Native American Traditional Organization who uses holistic remedies as a part of body-mind-spiritual healing.

Pictures_of_cat_groomed_and_posing.jpgSupport the ASPCA and make an online purchase of their orange products and save 20% - great spring and summer tees and tanks, wrist bands and mugs and bags. All proceeds go toward helping animals in need. Visit the Go Orange - ASPCA Store for details.

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