Seasonal Cat Stuff: October 2008 Archives

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Whether you believe in superstitions or not, it's a fact that black cats are associated with Halloween, witches and all things evil. It does make a certain kind of sense, cats are nocturnal and their eyes shine in the dark, making them a perfect animal to fear and tell stories about during this day full of spirits and sprites, and devilish doings.

The tradition of cats and Halloween dates back over 2000 years to the ancient Celts. These ancient peoples lit bonfires to signal the end of summer and to help send those who died the previous year into the after life, usually with a sacrifice of a cat to the Sun God. They dressed in costumes to trick the spirits so they wouldn't bother the living.

A few hundred years later when Christians replaced earlier rituals. People who continued to participate in pagan traditions were hunted as witches along with nocturnal and misunderstood animals, like cats. During this time, cats were the main target because early Christians believed that witches could shape change into cats. Especially black cats. So cats, along with their owners were killed en masse. Halloween_cat.jpg

But this witch and cat hunt backfired, with the deaths of so many cats, carriers of the black plague - rats mostly - began to multiply leaving the human population to suffer and die in huge numbers. In the UK, people began to recognize that cats had been saving them from the plague so cats became revered and a symbol of good luck.

Unfortunately, in North America the opposite is true. Witches were hunted and their cats were killed also. Throughout the years cats continued to be a symbol of witchcraft and superstitions started to grow around cats, making them a permanent part of Halloween. pictures_cats_jackolantern.jpg

Because of all of this history and superstition, black cats are considered bad luck and shelters all over the world have such a hard time adopting out black cats. Superstitions still haunt Black Cats.

Even to this day, cats remain one of the most popular symbols for Halloween. During this time of year, many cats go missing and have ended up being used in satanic rituals or fatal pranks. If you are a cat owner, it is always best to keep your cat indoors around halloween, a few days before and a few days after to keep them safe from the wandering trick or treaters and from strangers who might want to use a cat in some torturous way.

So now that we know that cats were a part of Halloween for centuries, I wish you all, humans and Kitties, Have a Happy Halloween!

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Pictures_cats_servel_pumkin.jpgWith all the yummy sugary treats around this time of year, it's easy to want to share with your kitty, especially if he has a bit of a sweet tooth! But please, for your cat's safety, no chocolate or candies or anything that comes in a wrapper.

1. No Chocolate. Chocolate is toxic to cats so it is extremely dangerous to give them any even in small amounts. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. Taken in large quantities, chocolate can kill your cat.

It contains caffeine, cardiac stimulants and its a diuretic, all of which can seriously harm your cat and the problem is that the symptoms don't show up right away, so by the time your cat starts having seizures, its too late.

If you think your cat has eaten some chocolate, take him to the vet right away and if you can, bring the chocolate and wrapper with you so your vet can see how much and what kind of chocolate it was.

2. No Candies. Cats may want to lick a sweet hard candy or chew on some gummies, but don't let him! The artificial sweetener xylitol can cause stomach upset, problems breathing even coma and possibly death if taken in large quantities. And sugar can cause Kitty to be hyperactive and irritable. Pictures_cats_pumkins.jpg

The artificial sweetener xylitol is actually a sugar alcohol, and cats can't metabolize alcohol so they usually end up with a sudden drop in blood sugar and slip into a coma.

If you think your cat has had something with an artificial sweetener in it, get him to the vet immediately with the candy and the wrapper, if possible.

3. No Candy Wrappers. Those shiny packages are very tempting as they flash in the light. Cats will surely want to play with them, but don't let them. Cats are attracted to the shiny, crunchy foil and plastic wrappers, but if swallowed, your cat can be in grave danger. INtestinal blockage can be fatal if not treated immediately.

If you think your cat has swallowed something like this, don't wait around for him to poop it out, call your vet now, this is not something you can take care of by your self. Your cat might have to have surgery to remove the item. So think twice about letting him play with candy wrappers. Pictures_cats_pumkin.jpg

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.

 

If you're new here, please consider subscribing to my feed. If you love cats, you'll enjoy the posts we place online every day.  Thanks for visiting!

Cat_ID_Halloween.jpgIt's not too late to get your cat's ID ready for Halloween night! Protect your cat from becoming a stray cat, or worse. Get him microchipped, or have an easy to read collar and tags in case he sneaks out Halloween night.

You know how it is, little kids are coming to your door and there comes a time, when you get so many kids, you won't be able to close the door for a while, and that is the moment when Kitty decides to take a stroll in the neighborhood.

It couldn't be a worse night to be out, strangers in weird clothes, thinking they are invincible or maybe getting a little too into their character scare away your cat, or do things I can't mention here

The next thing you know, your cat is lost, and you don't know how long he's been gone. This is one time when the cat probably won't come back, unless he has proper ID.

In addition to making sure his ID is up to date, put him in a comfortable room with the door securely closed during peak Halloween Trick Or Treater time. He'll hate it. You'll hate it. But just think, instead of pounding the pavement calling his name with tears streaking down your face, you'll be able to give him lots of love and attention to make up for his confinement.

Keep your cat safe with proper ID and safely tucked indoors on Halloween night.

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news. 

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Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian friends! I hope your weekend was safe and happy.

Picture_Cats_thanksgiving.jpgThe weather was beautiful and the fall leaves are brilliant reds, oranges and yellows. I couldn't have asked for a better day. Neo spent most of the day outside, in the sun watching birds and chipmunks. Then he came in had two servings of turkey dinner and now he is sleeping soundly with a big round belly up in the air!

Here is a recipe for homemade turkey cat food in honor of thanksgiving. I left out the spinach because Neo ate a lot of grass today while he was outside. Ok, for this recipe you'll need:

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked

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2 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 pound raw turkey giblets chopped fine

1/4 cup grated carrot

1/2 cup chopped spinach

Combine water and rice and bring to a boil, cook according to package directions. Just before the rice is done, stir in oil, giblets, carrot and spinach. Cover and cook for 10 - 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then serve. You can store unused portions in an airtight container for two days in the fridge or up to two months in the freezer.

Delicious!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news. 

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As a follow up to my post yesterday about getting your cat into a Halloween costume, check out this video that shows several cat in costume. Maybe you'll be inspired.

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news. 

If you're new here, please consider subscribing to my feed. If you love cats, you'll enjoy the posts we place online every day.  Thanks for visiting!

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If you haven't already done so, it's time to think about how to dress your cat for Halloween! As you can see in these pictures, Neo is going to be wearing a green sequined bow-tie and if I can get him into a little vest and matching hat the look will be complete! My little furry Gentleman Caller - you know what I mean, from the 1940's, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams....No? ok, well he's cute in his tie anyway!

Neo is a real sport about dress up time. He'll do anything if I pet him and talk nicely to him and give him treats. Training him to tolerate a harness paid off for Halloween too! If your cat is used to a collar or harness, or it your cat is just really easy-going, you can probably get away with putting him in a costume.

But there are a few things you should and shouldn't do to make the evening fun for your cat too. Besides we don't want to anger kitty, he knows where you sleep. No, he won't hurt you, but he might start displaying some unwanted behavior if you upset him - think kitty pee on your pillow, stuff like that. Ok so here goes:

1. No dresses. Their hind legs get caught in them and it trips them and they fall. While this can be very funny for you, it's not fun for kitty.

2. Leave the ears out - cats rely on their ears so covering them will only irritate your cat and he'll spend the whole time trying to get the hat off of his head.

3. Hats and head pieces work best on kitties who wear collars, they are used to something being around their necks so securing the hat to their head is usually no problem.

4. Don't let kitty outside while in costume. This is bad for several reasons, it's a distraction so he could be fussing with his costume while a car is speeding up the street. Not good.

5. And just so we're clear, a cat outside on Halloween night is a recipe for disaster, there are too many idiots out looking for a laugh and they can do some pretty extreme things to your cat. In costume or out of costume, keep your cat in that night and save his life.

You can browse cat costumes at Annie's Costumes and at KittyCity. And view some pictures of cats in costume from 2007. My favorite is the pissed off pink fluffy bunny cat costume but I think it's been photoshopped!

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news. 

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