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american-long-hairjpg.jpgThe Irish have it right! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I wanted to tell you about a CD that's coming out called, Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers! Look for some of your favorite Irish songs rewritten about cats. Like When Kitty Eyes are Smiling, Lord of the Pounce, and others. If he ever gets the CD done, it will be really funny.

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Pictures_of_cat_groomed_and_posing.jpgDon't forget about lonely kitties waiting for a home at the shelter this valentine's day. There are lots of ways that you can help out your local shelter and brighten the lives of sad and abandoned cats.

Just before Christmas, I told you about ways to Help Animals for Under $10.00. But now that the winter is dragging on, and shelters are overrun with abandoned animals due to the recession, the least anyone can do is help them out a bit. So instead of getting the really expensive chocolates for your sweetie, get a smaller box and put the rest of the money toward some new safe toys, or grooming tools or scratching posts or anything that your local shelter might need.

It's hard when money is tight, to think about everyone and everything that needs your help. You get stretched every way and every dollar has to go so much further, but this is such an easy way to help out, and it doesn't have to cost much.

Make it a Happy Valentine's Day for all the lonely kitties in your community.

picture_of_black_cat_lounging.jpegShow your Valentine how much you love them by choosing a cat inspired e-card from Cat Channel.

Just choose a card and fill in the information, basically, your name, your email address, your Valentine's email address and a message. You can choose to opt in to receive Cat Channel's newsletter if you want.

Happy Valentine's Day!

picture_040.jpg2008 was an exciting year for Facekitty, lots of cats were saved and fed due to your signatures, donations and clicks. Thank you on behalf of kitties everywhere.

And thank you for your continued support, your emails and comments, your questions and advice. It really helps to hear from you, so I hope to hear more from you in the new year.

Now we turn our thoughts to 2009 and what the year holds. I have lots of ideas for posts about cat food, common cat illnesses, working on making your relationship with your cat even better and keeping you up to date with news in the cat world.

I'm also working on some special projects that I'll tell you about a little later in the year, but I'll give you a hint, one involves cat food, and another involves a website. Enough said, for now.

If you have any suggestions, thoughts or ideas you'd like to suggest, don't hesitate to comment and tell us what you think. The New Year is a time for reflection and a time to make things better. So I'd love to hear from you, tell me how we're doing so far and what you'd like to see in the future.

Have a Happy New Year and we wish you every happiness in 2009.

Merry Christmas to all of you, I hope you had a safe and happy holiday.



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Neo loved his new toys, well maybe he loved the wrapping paper and boxes more than the actual toys, but he had a great day anyway. These first pictures are of Neo examining his present.



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I wrapped a little bit of catnip in with the toy and once he got a whiff of the cat nip, he wanted to get that present opened!



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The toy was a wind up toy that made clicking noises and unwound itself when it was tapped. Neo likes smart toys like that, he likes toys that do things to get his attention. Around noon, he disappeared for the rest of the afternoon. I found him curled up on a sweater on my bed, he looked like he was in a deep sleep. He had a busy morning playing with his new toys as you can see.



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Merry Christmas everyone!

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Picture-9.jpgIf you love poinsettias during the holidays and you love cats, maybe there is a way to enjoy both this holiday season. According to the ASPCA Poison Control Center, Poinsettias are not nearly as toxic as we've been made to think.

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In 1820 a beautiful red-leafed plant was brought to the United States from Mexico. Not long after, the plant became a popular Holiday plant with it's vibrant red color, now in pink and white too. But early in the 1900's it was believed that eating a poinsettia leaf was the cause of death of a 2 year old. No one knows for sure what the cause of death was, but the Poinsettia got a bad reputation after that.

The rumors grew and grew over the generations, but the ASPCA claim the rumors have exaggerated the toxicity of the plant. In reality, the Poinsettia is not a healthy choice for a cat to snack on, it will still cause stomach upset, diarrhea and vomiting, if ingested. Not pleasant at all, but the worries that it will cause death in an otherwise healthy cat is simply not true.

Picture-8.jpgThe most common problem was stomach upset that included drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, but veterinary treatment isn't necessary unless your cat has an illness that could be complicated by ingesting Poinsettia. But if you think your cat has eaten some poinsettia, always consult your vet, they know your cat better than I do.

Stomach upset is not what we want this holiday, from any of our furry friends, so it's best to keep the poinsettias out of reach of your cat, but they aren't as bad as we once thought, so go ahead deck your halls, carefully.

You can check out a fairly complete list of common plants that are toxic to cats that the ASPCA has published. You'll note on that list are three other very common plants associated with the season, holly, mistletoe and lily, especially the stargazer lily - all of them can cause serious gastrointestinal disorders, and alter mood, mistletoe can cause heart failure, and lilies can cause kidney failure. These three plants are far more toxic to cats than the poinsettia. As a matter of fact, the poinsettia doesn't even appear on this list at all!

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cat.jpgAlthough you can make donations anytime of year, now is the perfect time to make tax deductible donations to one of these charitable cat and animal organizations before the fiscal year is over. At this time, most charitable organizations are working out their budgets for the upcoming year so any donations of money and donations of time, services or items on a wish list are always welcome.

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Yesterday, I told you about my favorite humane places to shop online where proceeds go toward helping cats and other animals. BUt today, I'd like to tell you about some of the places that can use your tax deductible donation money to continue that work. It benefits everyone, saves you some money to the IRS and it helps cats. It's a win-win!

1. Cat House of the Kings is a no cage, no kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption centre for cats and some dogs. It is completely non profit organization that gets no government or public funding, it relies completely on donations made directly to the cat house on the kings. All donations are tax deductible.

2. Alley Cat Allies is a nationwide advocacy organization for the protection and humane treatment of cats, especially feral cats. There work has helped countless cats over the past 20 years and with continued community support. Make donations of as little as 5.00 to as much as you can afford, you can even donate your old car!

3. Feral Cat Project promotes a trap, neuter, release program and will help you start your own clinic. They work with people who are feeding strays to make the cat's lives a little more comfortable while they continue to live out their days as feral cats. Some cats are adoptable but all of them need donations, time and supplies.

4. ASPCA - The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a large national humane organization founded in 1866. By donating to the ASPCA you are actually helping all cats and animals across the nation. The ASPCA fights against animal cruelty to all animals, not just companion animals. So when you donate, your money is going to support animals of all types.

5. PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Donations to PETA help animals suffering and dying in laboratories, factory farms, fur industry and in inhumane circuses. Become a member, make a monthly or one time donation or get involved by becoming aware of the products you buy and the impact they have on animals.

Tell me about any local organizations that you donate your time, money or supplies to in the comments section below.

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pictures_cats_holiday_gifts.jpegThere are several non profit organizations dedicated to cats and other animals who offer really great gift ideas for the cat lovers on your list. Giving gifts to cat lovers can also improve the life of other cats. Choose from these national organizations or visit your local shelter for gifts and to make donations in honor of the cat lovers in your life.

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At this time of year, when it gets a little bit colder and the Holiday season approaches, I start thinking about those less fortunate than myself. That includes the felines of the world who do not have a soft bed, a warm home, healthy food, proper medical care and a loving owner. I know I spoil Neo, special meals on holidays, treats everyday, special play and grooming time most days and special cuddle time every night before bed. But some cats have had a really tough life filled with abandonment, abuse, malnutrition, disease, and a host of other challenges.pictures_cats_humane_society.jpeg

Anyone can make the life of these unfortunate cats a little better by making a donation or buying merchandise from these non-profit organizations. Some of my favorite places that do great work with cats are listed below.

Tabby's Place is a cage free cat sanctuary that provides refuge to cats in hopeless situations. Most of the cats who reside at Tabby's Place are from animal shelters who were scheduled for euthanasia. You can sponsor a special needs cat or make a donation in honor of someone.

Rescue Cats of Georgia is an all volunteer organization that has lots of great gifts and 100% of your purchase goes toward helping cats in the facility.

Animal Rescue Site has great gifts for animal lovers and you can click to give free food and care to homeless pets. I have them send me an email (from the hunger site) and I click to give everyday.

Best Friends Animal Society mission statement is No More Homeless Pets in Our Lifetime. Become a member, give a donation on behalf of an animal lover in your life or sponsor an animal.

ASPCA Online Store is always a great choice, unique gifts, huge selection and you know that the ASPCA is always fighting for needy cats and dogs nationwide.

PETA has great gifts from clothes to snacks. You can buy gifts for your pet, for pet lovers or animal lovers in general. They support all types of animals.

If you have favorite online charitable organization, comment below and share your information. I'd also like to hear about your local shelters and their holiday promotions too.

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pictures_cats_christmas.jpegNeither do dogs, fish, hamsters, gerbils, birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, and any other member of the animal kingdom. Holidays are a time when people seem to think that giving a gift of a pet to someone is a great idea. But unless you are absolutely sure that the recipient wants that exact animal with that exact personality and those distinct features, you're better off giving a sweater (but not a wool sweater because those poor sheep suffer when they are sheered!)

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Cats and other animals require love, attention, training, medical care, and supplies that can put a strain on someone if they are given a pet they don't want. As a matter of fact, most of these pets get returned to the shelter or abandoned because the owner just wasn't ready to take on the responsibility of owning a pet. Or they wanted a different animal. And even worse, the pet gets handed around from home to home because no one wants it. The animal suffers trauma and acts out from behavioral issues which leads to injury and abuse. picture_cat_christmas_tree.jpeg

What started out as a nice idea has turned into something ugly and irreversible with the poor animal being the one to suffer. PETA has a great article on Why Animals Do Not Make Good Gifts. If you or someone you know is thinking of giving an animal as a gift this holiday, please have them reconsider.

On the other hand, if a family wants to adopt a cat and they are all willing to make the commitment to the animal, then by all means, go ahead, brighten the life of some neglected cat by visiting the shelter and bringing home a pet that everyone will love and take care of.

pictures_cats_kittens.jpegOwing a pet is a long term commitment so it is best if people make the decision to get one on their own. If you really think someone wants a pet, give them a gift certificate to a local animal shelter. Then they can pick out the animal or supplies and services they'll need to take care of the animal responsibly. Most animal shelters will spay or neuter so you could get the shelter to provide that service for your loved one's pet when they do get one, rather than giving them an animal this year.

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pictures_cat_snow.jpegWinter is hard on people and even harder on animals. Each year, 100's of cats die simply because their owners get too busy at this time of year to remember to take a few precautions. Here are 10 ways to keep your cat safe this holiday season.

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1. Make sure your outdoor cat is wearing ID tags. I know I've said this before...once or twice... but I can't stress enough how important this is. Your cat can become disoriented or frightened and end up far from home. Without ID tags his chances of getting home again are slim.

2. Make sure your cats are visible at night. If you must send your cat out in the dark, make sure his collar is reflective or shiny so that others can see him and you can find him if he gets lost or scared.pictures_cats_Santa_hat.jpeg

3. Limit the time your cat spends outside, their little ears can freeze and fall off - I've seen it, it's painful and very sad to see a cat missing his ears because he was out in the cold too long. Not to mention they can freeze their paws and tail too... then hypothermia sets in and then it's a sad day for everyone after that. I suggest no longer than 15 - 20 minutes at a time, even if your cat has a thick coat.

4. If you have to go out of town, make sure your pet sitter knows when and how much to feed your cat, where you'll be if they need to reach you and if your cat has any special medical needs.

5. Watch what your cat is eating, chocolate is poisonous to cats and pastries or other candies can be very dangerous. Neo loves crackers, so I have to be careful to keep them out of his reach so he doesn't eat too many. He doesn't throw up, but they make him constipated so the day or two after eats crackers are rather unpleasant for him and for me because he gets bad, smelly farts and rubs his bottom on the floor to clean it off.

pictures_cats_christmas_tree.jpeg6. It's nice to start a fire, or light some candles, but so many cats are intrigued by the flames and get too close, burning their whiskers, fur and skin. I had a cat named Chloe who loved candles but she got too close to the flame and singed off her whiskers - they took months to grow back, as a matter of fact they never really grew back properly at all.

7. Holiday decorations, bells, balls, plants and garland all pose threats to your cats health. Small parts can be ingested and cause choking, or a bowel obstruction leading to painful and expensive surgery. But of the utmost importance is do not use tinsel or poinsettias - tinsel is a choking hazard and can actually cut your cat's throat and stomach with it's sharp edges and poinsettias are poisonous to cats.

8. Make sure you instruct your house guests to be mindful of your cat. Tell them the outdoor schedule so they don't unknowingly freeze your cat. Make sure they keep their toiletries and medicines carefully closed and out of reach. Neo loves my vitamins, they roll around and he thinks it's fun to play with them, but they are dangerous for him so since I realized that he likes them I keep them away from him.

Pictures_cats_holiday_lights.jpeg9. Another thing about house guests, is to make sure that children and people who are not familiar with cats are supervised when playing with your cat. Your cat could be injured by rambunctious children or by toys that are not suitable for cats.

10. Keep winter chemicals away from your cat. Antifreeze kills cats with even a small amount. Salt for icy streets is poisonous if they ingest it, and they will ingest it when they lick it off their paws. Switch to environmentally friendly choices like antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol or natural de-icers that are safe for pets and children.

Comment below if you have other ways to keep your cat safe this holiday.

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