Lifestyle

The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. We humans understand the importance of incorporating nutritious food in our diet. Good nutrition means that the body is getting everything it needs — vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids — to function well.A cat’s diet isn’t any different. “The foundation of health is nutrition,” says Ernie Ward, DVM, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and chief veterinary officer of Wild Earth Inc., a company that makes plant-based protein pet food in Berkeley, California. So, if good nutrition leads to better overall health, then the solution to helping a cat with skin problems is finding that perfect pet food, right? Not really. “There is no ‘right’ food for skin problems in cats, just like there’s no ‘right’ food for people,” says Heather Loenser, DVM, senior veterinary officer of the American Animal Hospital Association. “Instead of focusing on choosing the ‘right’ food, focus on making the ‘right’ choice by speaking to your vet.” Skin issue causes Skin problems can present as dry, flaky skin; bumps, redness and rash; and/or bald patches, to name a few. This can leave a cat scratching and grooming excessively. The likely culprit: a skin infection (fungal or bacterial) or allergies. Photography by: ©CasarsaGuru | Getty Images The causes of allergies can be broken into three main categories: Insect bites from fleas, ticks and/or mosquitoes. Atopy (environmental pollutants), which can include pollen, grasses, molds and house mites. Food sensitivities/allergies. “Insect bites lead the pack [in causes], followed closely by atopy with food coming in as a distant third,” Dr. Ward says. Is it really a food allergy? Despite common belief, food allergies are not prevalent in cats. In fact, food allergies affect just 0.1 percent of cats, according to 2018 Banfield Pet Hospital State of Pet Health Report. This means that although food allergies are possible, it’s more likely that a cat’s skin condition has a different cause. Taking your cat to the vet can help determine whether she has allergies. Photography by: ©simonkr | Getty Images “Food allergies in cats are quite rare so before going through the time, expense and risk potential stomach upset of switching foods, pet owners should seek veterinary care,” Dr. Loenser says. If a food allergy is suspected, a veterinarian will conduct a dietary elimination trial. Feline Food Allergens The most commonly identified allergens for cats are: fish beef chicken But, may also include pork, dairy products or eggs, according to the clinical nutrition service at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University. However, cats can also become allergic to exotic meats such as venison, duck, bison or kangaroo. This means that feeding less-common proteins does not necessarily prevent food allergies from developing, the clinical nutrition service further noted. Supplemental help When it comes to addressing skin problems, Dr. Ward’s first line of defense is omega-3 fatty acid supplements. “If I have a feline patient that has any type of dermatological disorder, I’m reaching for omega-3 fatty acids,” Dr. Ward says. “In its truest form, [these essential fatty acids] act as anti-inflammatory agents. They help reduce some of the itching associated with any type of allergies.” More importantly, omega-3 fatty acids boost the immune system and aid in skin healing, he adds. “The skin is the largest organ on a cat’s body, so we want to keep that barrier healthy so it can prevent other problems,” Dr. Ward says. Unfortunately, dry kibble does not have enough omega-3 fatty acids for optimal feline health, which is why Dr. Ward turns to supplementation. “These are highly volatile fatty acids,” he says. “Open the bag and they go rancid.” Canned cat food has higher levels, but unless it’s a therapeutic diet designed for skin problems, it’s still not going to contain enough, he adds. Omega-6 fatty acids (found in corn, grains and other sources) are another important component to feline skin health. However, it shouldn’t exceed omega-3 levels, a common problem since most commercial pet food contains more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, according to Dr. Ward. “In the wild, cats consume more omega-3 fatty acids through meat than omega-6 fatty acids,” Dr. Ward says. “[Commercial cat food] flips this natural ratio. Suddenly there’s an excess of omega-6 fatty acids, which can then become pro-inflammatory. [Supplementing with] omega-3 fatty acids help bring the ratio back.” Your veterinarian can help decide what particular brand and dosage, if needed, is best for your cat. Behind the label Antioxidants, which can protect against excessive free radicals produced in cases of chronic inflammation, and proteins also have important roles in maintaining skin and coat health. In most cases, though, a nutritionally complete and balanced pet food will already have the optimal levels of each, according to Cailin Heinze, VMD, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University. When choosing a cat food, don’t focus on marketing, such as flashy websites or in-store advertisements, online rating systems or reviews from other pet owners, because typically they are not based on science, Dr. Heinze says. “Expense also doesn’t add up to the most quality cat food,” she says. “The best food isn’t the most expensive, and the worst food isn’t the cheapest. It’s certainly not a linear relationship.” Photography by: ©AsiaPix | Getty Images One of the challenges about selecting cat food is deciphering what’s not on the label, according to Dr. Heinze. Questions to consider: How long has the company been around? Who is designing the diet? Do they have a lot of experience? Where is the research being done? Is the company using ingredients that are tried-and-true or is it using ingredients that are trendy? Also not on the label are specifics about the quality of a product and information about who actually makes the cat food, Dr. Heinze points out. For instance, if the label says XYZ Co. Cat Food, is it made by XYZ Co.? Does the company have its own factory and make its own food, or does it pay someone else to make it? “That can make a difference,” she says. “You can certainly have high-quality private label products, but you can also have private label products where there is not much transparency.” A cat owner’s best bet is having a conversation with his/her veterinarian, according to Dr. Heinze. In the end, it’s important for cat owners not to lose momentum in the healing journey. “Skin problems due to allergies can’t be cured,” Dr. Ward says. “It’s a life-long condition. Don’t let the skin problem backslide into a problem.” About the : Marissa Heflin has been a writer/editor in the pet and veterinary industry for 15 years, and publishing as a whole for nearly 20. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two very active boys. Their family is rounded out by a loving, gentle German Shepherd Dog and a sneaky yet adorable Boston Terrier mix. While Marissa would love to add a feline family member, the two dogs have currently nixed the idea. Learn more about healthy cat diets on : The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
August 02, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. Hauspanther Cat Toy Collection Colorful, unique and fun! These cat toys are as satisfying for cats as they are for people. Each toy encourages a different kind of play behavior from stalking and pouncing to chasing and tossing, keeping cats active and entertained. Abstract shapes, unique textures and sophisticated colors make the toys look like modern art on your living room floor. Who says cat toys can’t be beautiful? Toys include Atomic Flyers, Bamboleos, Cork Bomb, Kickers, Shakers, Stacks and Taffy Rolls. $5.99-$11.99. Hauspanther Collection by Primetime Petz; Colloidal Earth Silver Spray and Colloidal Dropper Colloidal silver’s plethora of health and beauty benefits include antimicrobial effects, increased energy levels and help with acne and eczema. This natural alternative remedy to medicine was also used as a natural antibiotic until the 1940s, when modern antibiotics arrived. Colloidal Silver can be used for humans, pets and even plants. The Colloidal Silver dropper can be used to treat ear infections, eye infections, ringworm and can help with wounds. $29.76 spray/ $24.58 dropper. Colloidal Earth; SeaMeal Powder Looking to support kitty’s skin and coat, digestive and immune health? Solid Gold’s new nutrition supplement for both cats and dogs is an easy-to-use powder that you just add to your cat’s meal twice daily. It includes superfoods like seaweed and flaxseed for healthy skin and coat, plus natural digestive enzymes for healthy digestion and natural sources of B vitamins, zinc, selenium, iron and magnesium to support the immune system. Made in the USA, both grain-free and gluten-free, with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. $23.99/1 pound and $84.99/5 pounds. Solid Gold Pet; Cat Mom Hoodie Shout your love for your cat to the world while keeping warm and fashionable at the same time with this unisex, lightweight hoodie. Super soft and cozy, made with 60% airlume combed and ring-spun cotton and 40% poly fleece. Strings on the hood are white. Comes in S, M, L and XL. $59. Shop Happies; Jackson Galaxy Convertible Cat Backpack Carrier Cat behavior and wellness expert Jackson Galaxy partnered with Your Cat Backpack to create a carrier that cat guardians will love to use for everyday activities, vet trips, hikes and more. It can be used either as a backpack or a traditional carrier. Features include a detachable shoulder strap, a removable mat attached by Velcro, a clip inside to attach a leash, and a bubble and screen attachment. Holds cats up to 25 pounds. Dimensions 15 by 11.4 by 17.7 inches. $225. Your Cat Backpack; Limited Ingredient Diet Does your cat have itchy skin, urinary tract issues or a loose stool? Or perhaps he’s just a fussy eater or has a weight issue. KOHA’s Limited Ingredient Wet Food just might have your cat asking, “Where’s the food?!” It’s moisture rich with high protein and low carbs, with only one meat per pouch/can so you can find the one that works for your cat. Also includes cranberry for urinary tract health, pumpkin for good digestion and New Zealand mussels for joint health. Comes in Shredded Turkey Entrée in Gravy, Shredded Lamb Entrée in Gravy, Shredded Beef Entrée in Gravy, Shredded Duck Entrée in Gravy and Shredded Chicken Entrée in Gravy. Available in single pouches, case of 12 pouches or case of 24 (5.5 oz) cans. $1.99-66.96. KOHA Pet Food; Custom Cookie Cutters Turn your kitty’s face into a custom-designed cookie. Just send a photo of your cat (or any other pet) and it will become a food-safe, biodegradable plastic cookie cutter. Purrfect for you or as a great gift for any pet owner. Use to create memorable cookies for birthdays and holidays. $27. BakersStreetCutters; Calm and Quiet Soft Chews Introducing a full-spectrum hemp product specifically for cats. These easy-to-administer soft chews help promote a calm demeanor in times of stress and anxious moments, plus provide support for healthy joints and mobility. These fast-acting chews contain L-theanine, L-taurine and broad (full) spectrum hemp in delicious chicken and catnip flavor. $14.99. Therabis; About the : Covering the pet world for more than 25 years, Melissa L. Kauffman has been an editor/writer for a wide variety of pet magazines and websites from the small critters to parrots to cats and dogs. Her advisory team of rescued pets — dogs Tampa Bay and Justice and parrots Deacon and Pi-Pi — help keep her on top of the latest and greatest pet health research, training and products, anything to give keep them in the high life they are accustomed to. Follow Tampa and his crew on Instagram @tampa.bay.pup.report while Melissa can always be found working on the next issue of Catster and Dogster magazines at caster.com and dogster.com. Find more cat-friendly products on : The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
July 31, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. Seven years ago, Jacquie Navratil was serving on the board of directors of an animal rescue organization in her Los Angeles neighborhood when she realized something: There were so many cats that needed help — but there were also many community members who wanted to help but didn’t know how to get started. “I noticed people would bring in cats and kittens,” Jacquie says. “They were never asked where the kittens came from, if there was a mother cat who needed to be fixed and not educated about how critical spay/neuter is. I also noticed many people couldn’t or but still wanted to help. Many didn’t have wealth to donate, but they did have a little spare time.” With that in mind, she and a small group of volunteers decided to set about making a difference. And thus, in 2012, was born. How Luxe Paws Is Different Jacquie Navratil founded Luxe Paws in 2012, and the organization has helped thousands of cats through TNR. Photography courtesy Luxe Paws. Serving the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Highland Park, Luxe Cats provides for community cats and enlists the aid of volunteers in those neighborhoods through their outreach efforts. “LA is home to an estimated 3 million homeless cats and just under 5 million people, which means every neighborhood has cats that need to be fixed,” Jacquie says. Jacquie points out that many people have demanding careers and busy personal lives and might not have a lot of time to help — but they want to make a difference. “By setting up a model in which people can do outreach to determine where the cats are, donate a few hours in the evening to help trap cats or volunteer to transport trapped cats to and from a spay/neuter clinic, it’s a big impact with a low investment of time,” she says. The area Luxe Paws serves is a study in contrasts. Some neighborhoods are filled with multi-million dollar homes owned by big-name celebrities, while some are very low-income, and a few are even dangerous, such as around Dodger Stadium, where coyotes prowl the streets and alleys looking for food — which can come in the form of unlucky outdoor cats. “Pet cats and teenage kittens are an easy meal for a coyote, so they’re naturally going to be drawn into backyards if there’s an easy food source,” Jacquie says. “Humans and coyotes aren’t a good mix, so by stabilizing the homeless cat population, we’re discouraging coyotes from lingering in our backyards.” One of the most important parts of successful TNR operations is getting buy-in from the community. Luxe Paws always gets permission from property owners or caregivers before they trap and fix cats. “Most people are overjoyed to know there’s help,” Jacquie says. “The greatest thing about a neighborhood-based approach is that it connects you with your neighbors for a lifesaving cause.” In addition to its TNR efforts, Luxe Paws works to foster and socialize pet cats and kittens found on the streets. “Easily 90 percent or more of LA’s rescues will only pull cats from shelters; they won’t take cats or kittens from the street,” Jacquie explains. “This means we have no outlet for the cats we find. Luckily, we’ve nurtured a small foster network” — not to mention partnerships with neighborhood businesses. Those partnerships allow Luxe Paws to conduct outreach events to promote its TNR work and host “adoption mingles” for cats socialized in Luxe Paws’ foster homes. Luxe Paws’ Growing Success Jacquie Navratil of Luxe Paws. Photography courtesy Luxe Paws. The results speak for themselves. “Our first year, we fixed 67 cats,” Jacquie says. “In 2018, we fixed 914, and in just the first 12 weeks of 2019, our team has fixed 237. We could do more; however, we’re limited by available spay/neuter appointments.” Luxe Paws uses , the only spay/neuter service provider in Los Angeles that fixes trapped cats for free. “We sincerely hope, as TNR grows in popularity, the public will help support people who trap and fix cats by funding free, easy spay/neuter operations,” Jacquie says. “People sincerely want to help, but they can’t unless there’s a service provider ready to fix the cats.” Luxe Paws gets its funding from individual supporters who donate what they can and businesses that want to help support TNR. “We front money from our own paychecks, we do bake sales and community events,” Jacquie says. “We list every penny we spend, and when the public sees how many lives we’re impacting every year, most are happy to skip Starbucks and throw in a few bucks to help.” Luxe Paws is working on becoming a nonprofit organization. Once it’s established, Jacquie hopes Luxe Paws will be able to nurture a collaborative effort to support small TNR teams across the city. Ultimately, Jacquie says, “LA doesn’t need more nonprofits; it needs a more impact-driven model to support people who want to invest their time into supporting spay/neuter. “To anyone who’s considering adoption, please seek out a rescue that’s TNR-focused,” she concludes. “Even if they’re not a nonprofit, a couple of cat lovers fixing cats is just as needy, and they’re out there in the trenches saving lives.” Thumbnail: Photography courtesy Luxe Paws. About the JaneA Kelley is the author of the award-winning cat advice blog Paws and Effect. She is a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association and an advocate for all cats, whether they live with people or in the community. Read more about good causes on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
May 14, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. Often, my cat behavior have a theme. A few weeks ago I had a run on cats who were upsetting their people because they were hanging out on and lounging on computer keyboards. The theme of last week’s consultations was how to stop cats from scratching furniture. One consultation stands out. Shelly lives with her husband, her five-year-old son and their three cats, Pantera, Bugatti and Enzo. The family lives in a cozy house, filled with antiques and lush carpets. Everyone, including the cats, loves the furniture. The three felines frequently focus their attentions on an antique chair and two ornate sofas. In addition, Pantera exercises her claws on Shelly’s favorite oriental rug. Shelly tried everything she could think of to stop the destruction, but with no success. She hung a scratcher from a door, placed a scratching post in one of the rooms and yelled at the cats. The only change Shelly noticed was that they scratched with more vigor after she yelled at them. Thankfully, Shelly is completely opposed to . But, now at a breaking point, she is seriously considering finding new homes for the cats in order to save her furniture. Reluctant to rehome them, but wanting unscarred furniture, she contacted me for advice on how to stop cats from scratching furniture. Scratching is an instinctive behavior Is your cat scratching the furniture? Here’s how to stop cats from scratching furniture. Photography by 5second/Thinkstock. Before we look at how to stop cats from scratching furniture, let’s look at . Shelly’s cats are not unique — all cats scratch objects. Even declawed cats scratch. The behavior is natural and instinctive, common to all felines. Why do cats scratch? Another thing to consider when learning how to stop cats from scratching furniture — why cats scratch in the first place. Scratching objects is one of the ways cats communicate. They have scent glands on the bottom of their . Every cat has a unique signature, which is “stamped” on the objects scratched. In addition to broadcasting information about themselves to other animals, scratching marks territory. The observable damage caused by scratching is also a visual signpost. Scratching is a displacement behavior. Often, cats who feel conflicted or will scratch. Sometimes when faced with choosing between conflicting behaviors, they scratch. They are not the only ones who are the masters of displacement behaviors. People are, too. We often scratch our heads, sharpen pencils, bite our fingernails, or do other interesting and sometimes annoying activities when we feel stressed or faced with difficult decisions. After , there is nothing as fulfilling as a slow stretch followed by a satisfying scratch. is often accompanied by scratching nearby objects. Scratching in the middle of a raucous play session may burn off excess energy while the cat determines what his next move is going to be. Cats also scratch to maintain their . Although cats do not really “sharpen their claws” when they scratch, scratching does help eliminate the old nail sheaths and promotes the healthy growth of new claws. Essentially, cats give themselves perfect manicures when they scratch. Although scratching is mandatory, Shelly’s cats do not have to focus their sharp attentions on the antique furniture and the oriental rug. How to train cats to scratch where you want them to In order to learn how to stop cats from scratching furniture, you need to get cats to scratch where you want them to. People like Shelly can have the best of both worlds. She can save her antiques and keep her cats. She will need to make the furniture off-limits, while simultaneously addressing the cats’ needs and reinforcing them for their good behaviors. Here are the three steps Shelly, and people like her, will need to keep in mind when it comes to how to stop cats from scratching furniture: The targeted furniture needs to become objects that do not feel good to scratch. Shelly should either stick double-sided tape on the scratched areas or cover them with sheets or fabrics that are not conducive for scratching. The cats need something more appropriate to focus their claws on. At the same time Shelly makes the targeted areas unavailable, she needs to place directly in front of the blocked areas. She should also place a horizontal scratcher on the carpet, on top of the area Pantera is shredding. Although scratchers need to be made out of materials that the cats love to scratch, they should not be the same texture as the sofas and carpets. Shelly needs to reinforce the cats whenever she catches them in the act of scratching the posts and horizontal scratchers. , and work well for reinforcing and rewarding good behavior. The reinforcement will also help insure that the cats will continue to favor the approved furniture and ignore the antiques. How to stop cats from scratching furniture — definitely don’t yell at them! Yelling at the cats may stop the behavior in the moment, but it does not train the cats to scratch the approved furniture, and it can have unwelcome , such as those observed by Shelly. Her cats reacted to her yelling by scratching the antiques and the carpet more intently. It will take Shelly a little time to assemble everything and to put the plan in place. In the meantime, she can protect her furniture by fitting nail caps on her cat’s claws. This is a temporary solution while she trains her three cats to bypass the antiques and focus their attentions on the scratching posts and horizontal scratchers. Tell us: Got other tips for how to stop cats from scratching furniture? Share them below! This piece was originally published in 2013. Thumbnail: Photography © noreefly | iStock / Getty Images Plus. About the Got a cat behavior question for Marilyn? Ask our behaviorist in the comments below and you might be featured in an upcoming column. If you suspect a behavioral problem, always rule out any possible medical issues that may be causing the behavior by first having your cat examined by a veterinarian. Marilyn can also help you resolve cat behavior challenges through a . Find the Cat Coach on ! Read more about cat behavior on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
May 07, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. I’m a big advocate for spay/neuter. It’s a crucial part of the equation for reducing the number of cats killed in shelters, and having your cat spayed or neutered improves , reducing the chances of injury and disease. But a lot of us encounter cat pregnancy at some point, whether through working at a clinic or shelter, an accidental liaison or deliberate breeding. So, how long are cats pregnant for and what should you expect week by week? Let’s look at the five stages of cat pregnancy: 1. Fertilization How long are cats pregnant for? Photography ©Doucefleur | iStock / Getty Images Plus. When answering the question “How long are cats pregnant?” let’s first discuss at what age . Cats reach sexual maturity as early as six months of age, with Oriental breeds generally reaching this stage the earliest. I’ve even heard of cats going into heat at five months old, which is a good reason to have your girl kitty spayed early. A , depending on how many toms successfully mate with the queen. The simple answer to”How long are cats pregnant?” is two months, or nine weeks. But that’s just an estimate. Depending on what source you consult, the answer to “How long are cats pregnant?” ranges from 58 to 72 days. 2. The early stage of cat pregnancy Another question you might have when thinking “How long are cats pregnant?” is — “Do cats get morning sickness?” You might be surprised to know that a cat can get morning sickness during the early stage of her pregnancy. For the first two weeks of her pregnancy, your cat may eat less because of the nausea, but by the third week she’ll start eating again and begin gaining weight. By the third week, you may be able to feel the lumps of her developing kittens. 3. The middle stage of cat pregnancy Now your cat starts gaining weight in earnest. The kittens are getting bigger, and depending on how many kittens she’s carrying, she may start looking like she swallowed a football. If you want to know how many kittens your cat is going to have, your vet may do an X-ray at this time. 4. Pre-labor Since the answer to “How long are cats pregnant?” isn’t an exact science, you might wonder how to tell when your cat is getting close to giving birth. The pre-labor stage starts about a week before your . Her nipples will be very visible at this point, and you may even see milk drops on them. She will start looking for warm and safe places to create a nest for her kittens. You can help her at this time by offering nesting boxes in the places she seems to prefer. Your cat will stop eating about two days before she goes into labor. 5. Labor and delivery It will be pretty obvious when your cat goes into labor. She’ll start licking her genitals and may even make noises of discomfort. If this is her first litter, she may pace and act anxious. She should give birth to her first kitten about an hour after labor starts. After that, the kittens should come every 15 to 20 minutes until the last one has been born. Generally, mom cat will clean up the kittens: She’ll lick them and eat the placentas to give her the extra nutrition she needs. Let her eat those placentas, even if you think it’s gross. There’s no need to panic or rush your cat to the vet when she goes into labor. Just keep an eye on things and make sure the delivery is progressing normally. The kittens need to be with their mothers for a minimum of eight weeks in order to be properly , but 12 weeks with mom is better. Once the babies are weaned, get your queen spayed as soon as possible. She can go into heat pretty quickly once she no longer has to nurse her kittens. Tell us: Did you know the answer to the question “How long are cats pregnant”? Have you had a pregnant cat or witnessed a cat give birth? What did you think? Thumbnail: Photography ©Doucefleur | iStock / Getty Images Plus. This piece was originally published in 2015. About the JaneA is the webmaster and chief cat slave for , an award-winning cat advice blog written by her cats, for cats and their people. She is a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association, and has been a speaker at the BlogPaws and Cat Writers’ Association conferences. In addition to blogging about cats, JaneA writes contemporary urban fantasy, and whatever else strikes her fancy. Read more about cat pregnancy and cats in heat on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
April 12, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. Was your cat stung by a wasp? Let’s check out one question from a Catster reader about a cat being stung by a wasp — and look at how to handle a cat who’s been stung by a bee, snake and spider, too, while we’re at it: A cat dressed as a bee might be cute — but a cat getting stung by a wasp or bee is anything but. Photography © Asurobson | iStock / Getty Images Plus. I need to know info on help, for future reference. Lizzie is a dilute and she is fine now, but just in case it should happen again, I need to know what I should I do if we have a repeat incident. Yesterday she was sitting on the porch railing watching the three of us chatting. My friend was standing near her when he was suddenly attacked by a wasp. He waved it off and got off the porch. Lizzie was not so lucky. The pissed-off wasp nailed her nearly in the eye. Bless her heart, her eye swelled shut immediately and teared horribly. We kept a very close watch on her the rest of the day ready to drive like the proverbial bat to the vet if necessary. I know with . But we have six cats and I vaguely remember you aren’t supposed to give it to cats. Is this true? If you can give it, what dosage? Children’s? If not, what can I do if my cat is stung by a wasp or bee? We also give Benadryl for snake bites. What do you give cats for snake bites? Was your cat stung by a wasp or bee? Here’s what happens. Bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets have complex venoms that cause pain and histamine release. In addition, histamine itself is a component of many bee, wasp and yellow jacket venoms. Histamine, in case you’re wondering, is a molecule that occurs naturally in the body. When it is released by the cells containing it, it causes swelling, itching and redness. Histamine is what makes a mosquito bite itch. Histamine is what causes noses to run and eyes to water in cases of hay fever. Severe release of histamine into the bloodstream can lead to , , intestinal ulceration, low blood pressure, anaphylaxis and death. How does a cat stung by a wasp or bee react? A cat stung by a wasp or bee reacts in one of two ways. Most cats suffer from localized pain and swelling at the site of the sting, such as poor Lizzie developed after the wasp stung her. This is normal, and may last for a day or two. Although Lizzie was stung on the face, cats are most frequently stung on the foot when they hunt for or step on stinging insects. Some cats are especially sensitive to bee stings. These cats develop the generalized histamine release that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, anaphylactic shock and even death. Treatment for a cat stung by a wasp or bee. Since histamine plays such a crucial role in bee, wasp, hornet and yellow jacket stings, it is not surprising that diphenhydramine (also known as Benadryl), which is an antihistamine, is used to treat them. When I treat a cat for such a sting, I administer roughly one milligram of diphenhydramine by intravenous or intramuscular injection. I also sometimes prescribe the same dose orally. (In cases of shock, epinephrine or steroids may also be necessary.) Such treatment usually leads to resolution of symptoms within hours. Don’t do anything illegal while treating a cat stung by a wasp or bee! Here’s the rub for our anonymous questioner when it comes to treating a cat stung by a wasp or bee. Unless your vet has specifically prescribed diphenhydramine for you to use in your cat, its use in the cat is illegal. Furthermore, it is illegal for your vet to send you to the pharmacy to pick up Benadryl, or for me to recommend that you administer Benadryl to any of your pets at home (and I therefore admonish you not to do it). Granted, if a person were to administer 1 milligram of diphenhydramine per pound cat weight after a bee sting, it likely would prevent symptoms from developing. And that person probably wouldn’t get caught. But it’s illegal, so it must not be done. Why is it illegal? There are some valid reasons. For instance, many products that contain diphenhydramine also contain pseudoephedrine or acetaminophen. If a person were to accidentally administer such a product to her cat, then life-threatening toxicity would develop. But the illegality actually stems primarily from a more basic issue: bureaucracy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits the use of any medication in a manner that is not consistent with its labeling. If you read the label on a bottle of Benadryl, you will see that there is no mention of its use in cats. Therefore, for Benadryl (or any medication) to be used legally in cats, a new label, i.e., a prescription label, must be provided. Veterinarians are required by law to issue a prescription for any medication, including human over-the-counter products, that is to be used in cats. Believe it or not, most vets don’t know this, and many of them risk their licenses on a regular basis as a result. Treatment for a cat stung by a snake But I have digressed. We have discussed the treatment for bee, wasp, yellow jacket, and hornet stings. What about envenomation from snakes? I am happy to say that snakebite is relatively rare in cats. In those rare instances, rattlesnakes are most likely to bite cats in the U.S. Although dry bites are possible, cats that suffer envenomation may develop swelling, tissue necrosis, blood clotting abnormalities and neurological irregularities. Antihistamines such as Benadryl do not directly treat snake envenomation, and there is nothing that can be done at home for cats who are bitten by rattlesnakes. Treatment for rattlesnake bites includes supportive care, intravenous fluids, pain killers, and sometimes antibiotics. These treatments should occur at a veterinary facility. Antivenom use is controversial. recommended its use in cats. , published at almost exactly the same time, found that antivenom did not significantly affect mortality, but did predispose cats to a condition (called type 1 hypersensitivity) that increased mortality tenfold. Fortunately, both papers found low mortality rates for cats afflicted by snakebite. Treatment for a cat stung by a black widow spider Sadly, cats bitten by black widow spiders generally do not fare as well. They are extremely sensitive to the spider’s venom. Black widows are found throughout the U.S. (except for Alaska), and they are prevalent in areas of human habitation. Their bite leaves almost no mark, so it can be difficult to diagnose cats who have been envenomated unless the owner witnesses the incident. Black widow spider venom is a neurotoxin. Benadryl has no direct impact on cats bitten by black widows, and no home treatments are effective. Symptoms of black widow spider envenomation include severe pain (with marked vocalization), severe GI upset, paralysis, drooling, seizures, and staggering. Death often occurs as a result of respiratory paralysis. Treatment must occur at a veterinary facility and is symptomatic: pain control, antiseizure medications, and intravenous fluids are administered. There is an anti-venom for black widow spiders that is considered safe for use in cats, but it is not commonly available. How to prevent stings in the first place. Is all this information on treating a cat stung by a wasp, bee, snake or spider a little frightening? Prevention is better than treatment for all of the bites and stings discussed in this post. Indoor cats are much less likely to encounter bees and wasps, and almost certain not to encounter snakes. Black widows are most common outdoors, but may spin webs inside under furniture or appliances. Such areas should be checked regularly for evidence of the spiders. This piece was originally published in 2015. Thumbnail: Photography © SetsukoN | iStock / Getty Images Plus. About the author Got a question for Dr. Barchas? Ask our vet in the comments below and you might be featured in an upcoming column. (Note that if you have an emergency situation, please see your own vet immediately!) Learn more about cat health and care on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
April 01, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. Sterling “” Davis’ mission, as his website says, is “to change the stereotypes of not only men in cat rescue, but also bridge the gap in communication between black communities and animal rescue/local shelters.” Sterling brings the work of to some of the poorest neighborhoods in Georgia’s cities, bringing together advocates from a variety of cat rescue and community cat advocacy groups, and even managing to wrangle a couple of cat haters into becoming TNR advocates. The humble beginnings of TrapKing Sterling Davis. Photography courtesy Andrea Weir/Devil Cat Studios. How did Sterling become such a vocal and committed advocate for community cats? “I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12 and a cat lover all my life, yet I never knew about shelters or TNR,” he says. “That made me think of how many other people loved animals and wanted to help as well but didn’t even know about TNR or rescue in general. Once I started working at a shelter just scooping litter, I realized how much of a void I could fill.” One of Sterling’s top priorities is working with communities of color, which, he says, have long been overlooked by TNR advocates, and, he says, there’s a lot of poverty and lack of understanding. “A lot of black people have told me that they can’t take care of themselves so they can’t support someone else or donate. They never looked at it as helping or taking care of their communities and the animals in it, and they never knew they could help for free.” And then sometimes there’s even just the matter of seeing someone like them being involved in TNR efforts. “Traditionally women have been the catalyst for rescue and community cat care, so it’s a matter of the black community being able to see someone like them doing this,” Sterling says. That holds true even for Sterling himself. “Jackson Galaxy made it a little more possible from a visual standpoint that a man could be a force in rescue.” How TrapKing Makes a Difference The TrapKing logo. Still, sometimes Sterling finds himself in situations where people don’t understand what he’s doing. “When I was returning some cats, a gentleman was filming me and very upset. He thought I was dumping random cats in his area,” he says. “I saw him recording me with his phone and told him to keep filming so I can explain what I’m doing and why. “Once I explained, I watched this guy — a black man — change his whole outlook. He never even knew the benefits of having TNRd cats in the community. I came back a month or so later, and that same guy had a trap and was doing TNR. He still didn’t like cats, but he respected that there was a better way other than euthanasia or trying to get rid of them.” Beyond the number of cats Sterling has trapped, neutered and returned to their communities, the thing that makes him the most proud is actually the people. “There can be so much competition or bickering amongst rescues; people take sides and go back and forth about who’s doing it right or who’s doing it wrong,” Sterling says. In the face of that, he has been able to build relationships with individual animal advocates like Samantha Martin of fame, “” Hannah Shaw, musician , and with in Chicago and in Savannah, Georgia. He’s even been able to convince some bird advocates of the benefits of TNR. “Ultimately, it’s not the cats that are the issue, it’s not the cats causing compassion fatigue and burnout; it’s the people in rescue, lack of resources, and how we treat or talk to one another,” Sterling says. “So many people have come to me to say they were burnt out and ready to give up until they saw me living out of my van, catching cats with a big smile on my face. I really love that!” More About TrapKing Sterling is currently touring with to raise awareness of TNR across the nation. His newly adopted kitten, Damita Jo, is part of the show, too. To find out more about TrapKing and the work he and his organization do, visit . Thumbnail: Photography courtesy Virgil Ocampo Photography for Show Your Soft Side. About the author JaneA Kelley is the author of the award-winning cat advice blog Paws and Effect. She is a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association and an advocate for all cats, whether they live with people or in the community. Read more about rescue on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
March 19, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. What do crazy cat ladies, haggard airline travelers, insane people, and gardeners have in common? For them, today, March 17, should be a day of revelry and celebration. I’m not talking about . (Although I admit I simply can’t let mid-March pass without slamming back a cold green one.) I’m talking about the feast day of St. Gertrude of Nivelles, who lived from 621 to 659. St. Gertrude, Patron Saint of Cats Two cats attempt to climb St. Gertrude in this stained glass window in the Belgian province of Limburg. Image by Wikimedia Commons / . Why, pray tell, would Catster readers be interested in St. Gertrude? March is Women’s History Month, and Gertrude is a strong historical figure. She’s the patron saint of gardeners, travelers, widows, recently deceased people, the sick, the poor, the mentally ill, and travelers in search of lodging. People call upon Gertrude for protection from mice and rats, fever, insanity, and mental illness. However, cat lovers revere Gertrude of Nivelles most of all. After all, gentle Gertrude is the patron saint of cats and cat lovers. Who says saints aren’t cool? Lord of the Rings fans will also delight in the fact that Gertrude was the daughter of Pippin of Landen. (Although the spelling of Dad’s name changes from source to source, he’s usually referred to as Pepin.) How did St. Gertrude Get to Be Associated With Cats? St. Gertrude is depicted in a stone relief on a canal known as Oudegracht in the Dutch city of Utrecht. Photo by Kattenkruid. There’s no single story that links St. Gertrude to her patronage of cats. However, writings confirm that she and her nuns kept cats to control the rodent population. Some people believe her patronage most likely originated from the claim that water from her well and bread baked in her oven were thought to repel mice and rats. (And I thought I was a bad cook!) Other accounts say she prayed for the mice to go away and they did. Because of the great mouse exodus, people referred to her as the patroness of cat lovers. She is often depicted with a cat near her or with mice running up her staff. The mice in her icons are said to represent souls trapped in Purgatory, whom she diligently prayed for. And we ailurophiles know that cats and mice go together like saints and heaven. St. Gertrude and Travel St. Gertrude pets a cat in this necklace by Etsy artist . Because Gertrude is called upon to help travelers, that also makes her the super patron saint of people who travel with cats. She’s certainly the name to invoke when approaching airport security carrying a feline. As someone who has had to walk through an airport metal detector with a struggling cat in my arms, I called for help from everyone I could think of. I certainly got no assistance from the Transportation Security Administration agent who was smacking her gum, primping her hair, and gossiping with her security company buddy rather than helping me return my razor-footed feline to her carrier. Unlike other federal departments, the TSA must not consider blood a hazardous substance, because the guard seemed unconcerned by the red droplets of hemoglobin that traced my steps like Hansel and Gretel’s glowing stones. In one legend, Gertrude promised a group of travelers that they would arrive safely from their ocean voyage. At sea, a large sea monster threatened to capsize their ship, but it fled when the pilgrims called upon St. Gertrude for protection. Because of her influence with the Almighty, perhaps she could intercede with the TSA on behalf airline travelers bearing cats. Because of this legend, medieval travelers drank a toast in her honor before starting their journey. Even today in Belgium, a drink-for-the-road is called a “St. Gertrude’s Cup.” St. Gertrude and Agriculture A cat petitions St. Gertrude in this statue located in the saint’s hometown of Nivelles, Belgium. Photo by Wikimedia Commons / . With her agricultural connections, nice weather on March 17 (Gertrude’s feast day) indicates it is time to plant the crops, unlike Groundhog Day, when sunny skies dictate six more weeks of crappy weather. Her patronage of gardeners and herbalists also extends to growers of catmint and cat grass, so be sure to call upon Gertrude before planting catnip. Since kitties love to dig in a freshly tilled garden and leave behind their own special fertilizer, perhaps an intercession by St. Gertrude will keep your vegetable patch free of puss poop. So, cat lovers, insane people, and especially crazy cat ladies, the next time you’re trying to cram a reluctant kitty into a carrier for a trip to the vet or you see the neighbor cat scratching around your herb garden preparing to plant something of his own, you can ask St. Gertrude for a little intercession on your behalf. After all, it’s good to have friends in high places. Here’s a prayer to her that I wrote a few days ago: A Prayer to St. Gertrude, Patron Saint of Cats Here’s a prayer to St. Gertrude that I wrote a few days ago: St. Gertrude of Nivelles, ask you I praySafeguard my kitties this and each day.Defend them from those who might wish them harm.Keep them at home safe from danger and storm.Instill in me wisdom to care for them well.Pray, fill me with strength never to yell.And Gertrude, a last thing I beseech from thee,Protect my sofa from claws and my carpets from pee.Amen. About the author Author, adventuress, and cat-rescuer is the editor-in-chief of , a shop-to-donate website that benefits animal charities. She’s also vice president of the . Her latest book, the paranormal mystery , was released in February. This piece was originally published in 2015. The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
March 18, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. Savvy cat guardians know that to stop cats from scratching furniture, one must provide . Cats love well designed scratching posts, and the placement of such alternatives to furniture can make all the difference. I’ve done this, and my cats don’t bother my new furniture at all. Cats are also clever about finding alternatives to scratching posts. My female Jamie loves to sharpen her claws on this plastic non-skid base for the cat water bowls. Its little stubs are just stiff enough to provide the texture that she likes. What if we took that concept in the opposite direction? Can you pick furniture that cats won’t scratch? Specifically, I wondered whether furniture containing more hard surfaces would do this, or furniture whose fabric has no “nap” (or obvious texture). There’s also microfiber. My husband and I bought a microfiber couch, and the cats show no interest in it. I asked several furniture experts and got lots of ideas. Responses varied, and some contradicted each other. Regardless, you will probably get some ideas for what to try. Cats won’t want to scratch furniture with full upholstery and recessed legs What fabrics will keep cats from scratching? Photography © liveostockimages | iStock / Getty Images Plus. Sean Juneja, co-founder and CEO of offers this tip: Look for fully upholstered pieces with wood or metal recessed legs. “The best fabrics are ultrasuede and leather, because a cat cannot claw into these,” Juneja said. Avoid fabrics that snag easily, such as tweeds. It’s also difficult to remove pet hair from these types of textured fabrics. Asked why full upholstery is important, Juneja said it keeps cats from clawing from any wood on the furniture. “While most prefer something they can shred, there are cats that prefer wood,” Juneja said, and recessed legs are not accessible because they are hidden and smaller. These leather and metal chairs along with a metal coffee table work well for the client who owns a cat. These chairs are covered with ultrasuede. Photo via Decor Aid And here is a leather couch and metal tables. Photo via Decor Aid Cat owners should choose furniture that holds its wear well Chandler Elmore of had similar advice on choosing furniture that “holds its wear well,” although he was less positive about leather. “The more a piece has of glass, metalwork and wood, it will wear better than leathers and suedes, which are typically decent materials,” Elmore said. He pointed out that the “absolute worst materials for furniture” include chenille, velvet, wool, linen, silk and tweed. Another expert advocates for leather, thin rugs and cat furniture Donna Arbietman of said she gets many questions about cats and furniture, and that while each cat is different, she offers these guidelines: Cats in general don’t seem to like leather as much as other materials. “Leather is easy to clean and maintain, so it is always a safe bet.” Arbietman suggested applying scratch guard to the leather. Shaggy and jute rugs are the “perfect playground for cats to trim their nails on and have fun, so stick with thinner rugs with less hair.” Provide your cats with cat posts and a cat bed nearby. “When cats have their own furniture, they will be less inclined to ruin yours.” Cat parents should pick chenille versus microfiber Mike McCann of says thin microfibers, which are often the least expensive items, are easily torn up by cats with claws. “ are meant to be easily cleaned of stains and spills, not endure punctures or last for extended periods of time,” McCann said. He said he believes that with cats, a is best: “It is more durable and will withstand more abuse from animals. It may be a little harder to clean, but it will outlast its cheaper microfiber counterpart.” This contradicts the advice of Kuni Furniture’s Elmore above. When it comes to furniture, cat owners should keep it simple Finally, recommends modular furniture made of wood and steel joinery. William Callahan calls it the world’s healthiest and easiest to maintain furniture for people and pets. “If a kitty (or a dog) destroys a table leg, just put a new one in its place,” Callahan said. None of this furniture is upholstered, making it easy to clean and repair. The bottom line on furniture that cats won’t scratch Not every piece of advice will work in every situation. These furniture professionals had many ideas, including two that contradicted one another. We know that cats vary too — some cats might claw leather, some might not. Tell us: Do you have any creative ideas or advice for choosing furniture that cats won’t scratch? What furniture have your cats scratched and what furniture have they left alone? Thumbnail: Photography by 5second/Thinkstock. This piece was originally published in 2016. Read more about cats and your home on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
March 08, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. We’ve got and shorthair aplenty, we’ve got and galore, you want , we’ve got 20 …. But today, we’re introducing you to not one, not two, but six fluffy cat breeds that will leave you itching for a pet, cuddle or all of the above. First, What Makes Fluffy Cat Breeds Fluffy? What makes fluffy cat breeds so fluffy? Photography by Dave Wetzel / Shutterstock. Before we get to meeting the cats, let’s cover the science … what makes those fluffy cat breeds so fabulously floofy? “A cat’s coat is comprised of three layers of fur,” says Sasha Gibbons, DVM at in Stamford, Connecticut. “The topcoat is made up of guard hairs. These are the thickest type of fur and are designed for protecting against the outdoor elements. Beneath the guard hairs are the awn and down, which provide insulation to the cat. Variation in the number of hairs in each layer result in varying coat thickness or fluffiness. For instance, a has no guard hairs, whereas a has a large number of guard hairs, as well as down.” And now for the main (or shall we say mane?) event … the felines behind the fluffy cat breeds. 1. Ragdoll cats naturally come to mind when thinking about fluffy cat breeds. Photography by Tony Campbell / Shutterstock. With a name like , don’t expect anything less than a plush princess with a personality as bright and shiny as her trademark . Named for her penchant to go limp in your arms ragdoll-style, this feline angel makes our list of fluffy cat breeds due to her silky-to-the-touch coat, which lacks the insulated undercoat of many long-haired breeds. This means her luscious locks are easier to care for, and reduces the chances of matting and shedding. Though she’s happy to hang with other kitties, her true love is humans – even meeting you at the door when you return home from your day to day! 2. Birmans make our list of fluffy cat breeds. Photography ©ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo. Known as the Sacred Cat of Birma, the Birman earns a spot among fluffy cat breeds because, similar to the Ragdoll, his lack of an undercoat gives him a silky, fuss-free mane. However, his true coat trick is something far more unique. Though born entirely white, as the Birman ages he develops darker-colored fur (lilac, gold and chocolate) on each of his , giving him a kiss of uniqueness that is all his own. The one commonality across the Birman board: the four white paws known as gloves. But don’t be fooled by his posh, debonair looks. The Birman is a ball of energy who loves to play for hours on end – his flowing locks sailing in the wind as he fetches and frolics! 3. The Nebelung is a lesser-known breed in this mix of fluffy cat breeds. Photography ©Tierfotoagentur | Alamy Stock Photo. Before you say it, no, the is not a … though she is a distant cousin of the ethereal feline, sporting a longer coat, and being as elusive as a crimson diamond. Rare in the cat world, the Nebelung is known for her shy persona and rightfully makes this roundup of fluffy cat breeds for her plume-like tail, Oriental-inspired looks, and fluffy-to-the-touch, medium-length fur. With a name that means “creature of the mist” in German, the Nebelung has yet to clinch recognition from the (CFA), but has been a member of (TICA) since 1997, with the hopes that the breed will soon become more commonplace in the cat world. Fun fact: the Nebelung is one of the featured (and very rare) Harry Potter Patronus options for users who take the Pottermore personality test! 4. Cymric Cymric cats are another unique breed on this list of fluffy cat breeds. Lilac-point Cymric ‘Ramsey’ 2011-04-06. Photography © Flickr user . Used under Flickr’s Creative Commons License. Some modifications have been made to fit the specifications of this site. First things first … the proper pronunciation is, say it with me now, kim-rick. A sister breed to the short-haired , some say the Cymric is part rabbit due to his cottontail, long hind legs and the fluffy-to-a-fault fur coat that nabs him a place among these fluffy cat breeds. Being part rabbit isn’t biologically possible, but a cute concept nonetheless. Bred to be tail-free, the Cymric, sometimes referred to as a ‘cabbit,’ has a double coat that is long and silky yet easy to maintain. Born to work as a mouser, the Cymric has fierce skills, and could easily be considered a watch cat, but that doesn’t stop him from loving to for a cuddle sesh every now and again. Fun fact: the Cymric, like the Manx, can be seen in four tail lengths: no tail, or rumpy; a rise of bone at the base of the spine, or riser; short tails, or stumpies; and normal-length tails, or longies. 5. Shorthair cats snag a place on this list of fluffy cat breeds! Photography © Seregraff | iStock / Getty Images Plus. Surprised to see a so-called shorthair in an article about fluffy cat breeds? That’s because the is a shorthair like no other. A mirror-image of a Persian (no, really), the Exotic Shorthair has been dubbed by the feline fanciers world as the Lazy Man’s Persian due to his plush, short coat that is teddy bear-esque but easy-peasy to maintain – meaning no matting, no tangling and far less combing required. Over-the-top affectionate, this fluffy feline (known for his rounded features), lives for love and never misses an opportunity to cuddle. Fun fact: Some Exotic Shorthairs have been known to hug their humans when pet, and may even sit on your shoulder! 6. Norwegian Forest Cats are an easy choice for a list of fluffy cat breeds. Photography ©GlobalP | Thinkstock. A star of Norwegian folktales and mythology for centuries, the , or ‘Wegie,’ is relatively new to the US, but has quickly captured the hearts of many with her beauty and social butterfly ways. Believed to have served as ratters for Viking explorers aboard ships, the Norwegian Forest Cat is known for the sumptuous coat that lands her on this list of fluffy cat breeds. Insulated and waterproof, the Wegie was bred for cold climates, making her fluffy fur a standout characteristic that is equal parts elegant and cozy to cuddle up to. Fun fact: In her native country of Norway, the Norwegian Forest Cat is known as the skogkatt, which translates to forest cat. Caring for Fluffy Cat Breeds How is caring for fluffy cat breeds any different than caring for other types of cats? Photography by Sylvia Adams / Shutterstock. Think that fluffiness has an effect on a feline’s health? Think again! Sure, these fluffy cat breeds may need a touch more TLC when it comes to than their short-haired counterparts, but more hair won’t negatively affect their health. Promise. “A common myth is that fluffy cats are at a higher risk of ,” says Dr. Gibbons. “Hairballs are an accumulation of fur in the gastrointestinal tract that can cause irritation and lead to vomiting. The occurrence of hairballs, however, is not related to the length or amount of fur a cat has. Hairballs result from an individual cat’s grooming habits and metabolism. Short-haired cats that overgroom themselves or groom their housemates are equally at risk of hairballs as long-haired cats. In the same regard, some long-haired cats will simply pass the fur in their stool without it getting stuck in the stomach and intestines. If your cat does have problems with hairballs, daily brushing, petroleum-based lubricants, and hairball diets or treats can be helpful in treatment and prevention.” Tell us: Do you have one of these fluffy cat breeds in your household? Is your cat fluffy but not one of these breeds (or a mix)? Tell us about him/her in the comments! Thumbnail: Photography ©Vadimborkin | Getty Images. Read more about cat breeds on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
March 07, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. Making an outdoor cat shelter is a project that saves cats’ lives. When John Medaglia built his home on a wooded street in rural Long Island, he didn’t realize the property was already inhabited. As a lifelong animal-lover, he was undaunted to find under his porch. He strategized on the best ways to help the cats. After making sure all the cats were fixed (via aka TNR), he quickly began building outdoor cat shelters. Surprisingly, outdoor cat shelters are as cost efficient as they are easy to make, and they’re a game-changer for community cats. How does something simple like an outdoor cat shelter save lives? Outdoor cat shelter made by John Medaglia. More details on this type of outdoor cat shelter, below! Photography by John Medaglia. “Outdoor cat shelters are literally the difference between life and death,” says Donna Baldridge, community cat expert. Donna has been running a successful feline feral program in conjunction with the for over a decade. The benefits of an outdoor cat shelter to the cats are multifaceted. “Cats seeking refuge from the elements can put themselves in dangerous situations – from being injured in a car engine to being trapped in a basement or accidentally locked in a shed; an outdoor cat shelter mitigates these threats.” She also emphasized that having access to an outdoor cat shelter dramatically reduces the risk of serious illnesses like . Upper respiratory infections, if left untreated, can result in and can be fatal. You don’t have to be a cat expert to be part of the solution to animals facing the death sentence in shelters across the country. According to ’s Cat Program manager, Monica Frenden, “.” Donna’s work with the North Fork Animal Welfare League is a testament to TNR’s lifesaving properties: the North Fork has a 97 percent save rate for dogs and cats. Managing a sterilized community cat colony requires a few straightforward ingredients: food, water and shelter. And you don’t need an architectural degree to make a fabulous outdoor cat shelter! It’s easy to build an outdoor cat shelter! Here’s how. Outdoor cat shelter. Photography by Denise LeBeau. Building a . Feline internet darlings shared a great minute and a half on how to create one. Materials needed for an outdoor cat shelter: Outdoor cat shelter. Photography by Denise LeBeau. Large plastic tote (with removable lid) Styrofoam cooler Straw Knife Assembling an outdoor cat shelter is as easy as 1-2-3-4-5: Outdoor cat shelter. Photography by Denise LeBeau. Cut hole in plastic tote Place Styrofoam cooler into tote Cut hole in Styrofoam cooler (align cooler and tote holes – this is the entrance way) Add straw for bedding Replace Styrofoam cooler cover and tote cover Outdoor cat shelter. Photography by Denise LeBeau. The removable lids on the tote and the cooler make changing the straw a simple task! “This one-hour project saves countless lives,” extols Donna. Get creative with your outdoor cat shelter Outdoor cat shelters made from dog igloos. Photography by John Medaglia. In addition to the tote/cooler/straw community cat outdoor shelters, there are other sliding-scale, cost-efficient items available to create perfect year-round shelters. “For the dozen community cats in my colony, I use mostly dog house igloos,” shares John. He buys used dog igloos off Craigslist for about $20 each. Other than the initial cost of the igloos, it’s mostly free as they’re lined with old bedding. “They’re great because they have a relatively small entrance but a large interior.” As John built his house, surplus materials were readily available. One of his community cat structures is constructed like a mini-house with a rubberized roof. For handier folks, John recommends repurposing . They’re not only free (ask your local retailers!), pallets are also good for using as a base for a variety of cat enclosures, especially for areas of the country that experience a lot of rain or snow. Pro-tips for outdoor cat care What are the dos and don’ts of feral cat care? Photography ©metamorworks | Getty Images. Caring for a community cat colony isn’t complicated but there are some best practices. The following pointers can help keep the outdoor kitties happy, healthy and safe: Place the outdoor cat shelters away from their feeding stations. (This helps keep wild animals away from slumbering cats.) Mulch piles can act as a natural heating source. (You can place the structures atop the pile.) recommends taking sick or old cats and kittens indoors if it’s below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are unable to bring a cat inside, adding additional bedding or insulation to the structures is advised. Also, increasing their feeding portions is a great way to ensure the kitties are getting the calories they need to maintain proper body temperatures! Clear snow from entrance and exit ways (.) While community cats can be secretive, the formula for saving them is no secret: creating outdoor cat shelters is a direct lifeline to saving the most at-risk companion animal demographic in the nation. For the cost of two lattes and an hour to spare, you can be a real savior for animals in need. Thumbnail: Photography ©Songbird839 | Getty Images. Read more about outdoor cats on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
February 27, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. Training a cat to walk on a leash enriches her lifestyle by safely allowing her to enjoy the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. It’s also an excellent way of revving up her exercise routine. There’s no question that a cat’s personality plays an important role in deciding if she’s game for a fresh-air challenge and being strapped into a cat harness. An adventurous cat will probably embrace a cat harness and the walks that follow, while skittish scaredy-cats may resist, preferring the view from the kitty condo instead. And, it goes without saying that it’s easier to introduce a cat harness to a kitten than to an adult cat. Either way, patience is key. Cats do everything at their own pace. Choosing a cat harness How do you choose the right cat harness? Photography ©cynoclub | Getty Images. A cat harness and a 4- to 6-foot leash is the best combo for training a cat to enjoy going for a walk. A harness sits comfortably across the shoulders, under the tummy and doesn’t place a direct strain on the neck area. Also, a cat harness won’t get in the way of your cat’s collar and ID tags — essential accessories for any outdoor activities. Many cats feel more secure in a harness. I have been leash-training my 5-month-old kitten, Tory, and, as a pet parent, I also feel more in control using a cat harness and thus more confident about embarking on outings, too. (Also it’s easier to wriggle out of a collar than out of a harness.) Fortunately, because of the growing trend to take cats outdoors, there is a good selection of harnesses available for both adult cats as well as young kittens. The H-style harness usually has the same thickness as a collar and goes around the shoulder area and around the tummy. A mesh-styled cat harness has a mesh band across the shoulders and a thinner ribbon band around the tummy. A harness that clips on the side of the cat and not under the tummy is much easier to use. They’re often sold in harness-and-leash combo sets. Let the training begin With a cat, it’s truly baby steps. Start by simply leaving both the cat harness and leash lying around the house for feline inspection. When I began the process with Tory, I let the leash drag along the floor and allowed her to “chase” it. Teaching Tory the “sit” command really helped her to focus and stay in one place long enough to secure the cat harness in place. Leaving it on daily for about 10 minutes for a few days is enough for a cat to feel comfortable wearing it. The next step was to clip the leash onto the cat harness and let her drag it around the house. After Tory was ignoring both the harness and the leash, I slowly started walking her around the house. There’s really no fixed rule as to how long it will take for a cat to feel comfortable to step outside the front door. And initially, it’s a really good idea to keep the door open so that she can safely do an about-turn and head back inside of her own volition. Where to take your cat on his cat harness So where do you go? Cats, if they are allowed outside on their own, will often go and hang out under a bush and watch insects, butterflies and birds from this vantage point. Others may like to prowl around, possibly climb a tree and observe from a height. So it’s not essential to take a feline for lengthy walks around the neighborhood. I have a neighbor who takes her cat outside her condo, and she sits and reads a book while the cat “roams” the area her extended cat harness and leash allows. This is a great option. Know the neighborhood when taking your cat out on a harness and leash Traffic, people and dogs can easily spook even a confident cat on a leash, causing her to panic and possibly attempt to get away like greased lightning. So scope out any route first and the best time of day. If it’s a popular path for unpredictable neighborhood dogs, find an alternative. Know what else lurks in your neighborhood in terms of wild life. Many suburban areas are popular feeding grounds for coyotes. It boils down to trusting your instincts and good old-fashioned common sense. We live on a canyon where coyotes roam in broad daylight. So I leash trained my cat, Ziggy, and am currently teaching Tory to enjoy sitting on a first-floor balcony that affords a great view of birds in nearby trees — not to mention those that venture close to the balcony. The leash training here involved teaching them to remain on floor level and not to attempt to jump up and walk around the top of the balcony ledge. Ziggy is now allowed out here without a leash but always under supervision. And eventually, Tory will be afforded the same privileges. I am more than happy to join them for a cup of coffee and a sunshine-infused dose of vitamin D. Feline personality traits: Is your cat game for a cat harness and the great outdoors? According to well-known pet detective , who has successfully searched and found lost cats, felines have four distinct personality traits. Determining your cat’s personality will help determine whether she’ll enjoy a cat harness and outdoor excursions. Curious or clown cat: A cat with a gregarious personality will happily greet strangers and is generally curious, unafraid and adventurous and will enjoy going outdoors. Care-less cat: Such cats are aloof and usually don’t care to be around people. However, a feline with this personality may enjoy going outside with you if there is no one else around. Cautious cat: A cautious cat is likely to be shy and may run for cover under a bush if someone else is on the path and have to be coaxed out. Xenophobic cat: Xenophobia is a fear or hatred of anything strange or foreign. Fearful cats are better off indoors. Enrich their lives with lots of fun indoor games. This piece was originally published in 2017. Thumbnail: Photography by AlisLuch / Shutterstock. About the author: is an award-winning multimedia pet lifestyle author. She has . She is also the co-host of the web series Pet Product TV. Sandy lives in Southern California with her family, including cats Fudge and Ziggy. Follow her on and . Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home. Read more about taking your cat outdoors on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
February 20, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. Author Terry Pratchett said, “In ancient times, cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” When you hear this phrase, do you automatically think of ancient Egyptian cat goddesses and cat gods? Probably. Do you think of any other cultures when it comes to cat goddesses, cat gods and worshipping cats? Probably not. But don’t worry, I’ve been guilty of this misconception, too: For many years, I believed that the ancient Egyptians were the only ones who revered, praised and even worshipped cats. But as I began exploring world mythology, I found that there’s a lot more to cats, deities and miracles than I first thought. Beyond all the folklore about , helpful cats, temple-guarding cats, prophets being kind to cats, and cats serving as omens and familiars, there are a tales surrounding cat goddesses and cat gods that we rarely hear about. Here are six tales about cat gods and cat goddesses that you might not know. Photography courtesy JaneA Kelley. 1. Freyja’s cat-driven chariot The Norse goddess Freyja, deity of love, fertility, war, wealth, divination and magic, rode in a chariot pulled by two giant gray cats given to her by the god Thor. Farmers left offerings for the cats in order to ensure a good harvest. 2. A shape-shifting Peruvian god Ai-Apaec, a god of the pre-Inca civilization known as the Mochica, was often depicted as an old man with a wrinkled face, long fangs and cat-like whiskers. He was said to have evolved from one of the ancient cat gods and to be able to assume the form of a tomcat. 3. A guardian of Chinese families A cat god called Li Shou appears in the Chinese Book of Rites. He was worshipped by farmers because he protected the crops from being eaten by rats and mice. 4. A Polish protector In ancient Poland, Ovinnik, who appeared in the form of a black cat, was worshipped by many farming families because he watched over domestic animals and chased away evil-natured ghosts and mischievous fairies. (Like most creatures of Slavonic mythology, they were great until you didn’t appreciate them or give them what they needed — then they did things like make mischief that could have tragic results.) 5. A shape-shifting Greek goddess Greek mythology tells of how the goddess Hecate assumed the form of a cat in order to escape the monster Typhon. Afterwards, she extended special treatment to all cats. 6. A Celtic goddess’ aides Ceridwen, the Welsh goddess of wisdom and mother of the famous bard Taliesin, was attended by white cats who carried out her orders on Earth. More on cat gods I couldn’t go into all the stories of gods and goddesses who shape-shifted into large cats, or this post would have been about a mile long. This has unfortunately excluded many stories about cat gods from Native American and other First Nations tribes, among others, and for that I apologize. I’d love to write another post about big cats and spiritual traditions if you’re interested, because the subject of jaguars, tigers, leopards and other large felids in folk traditions, religious beliefs and creation stories is definitely worth a read. Tell us: What are your favorite myths and folklore about cat gods and cat goddesses? Please share them in the comments! Thumbnail: Photography by EgyptianStudio on Thinkstock. This piece was originally published in 2015. About the author Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer, and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their cat advice column, , since 2003. JaneA dreams of making a great living out of her love for cats. Read more on Catster about cat gods and cat goddesses: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
February 19, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. My sister, Molly, and I love making fleece blankets for the animals in our local shelters. One of our favorite things is digging through the remnants bin at the fabric store looking for adorable patterns. Molly has taken it one step further by making little pillows. They’re cute and soft, and easy to make. And the kitties love them! What you’ll need: A DIY kitty pillow. Photography ©Molly Butler. Fleece Scissors Sewing machine and thread Catnip (optional) Instructions Cut two pieces of fleece in either a small square or rectangle. You can make any size you want. Make sure the fleece is right-side out. Sew three of the sides together using a 1/2-inch seam. Stuff the pillow with fiberfill. For an extra special touch, add a little bit of catnip. Sew up the remaining side. Trim the edges. To give the pillows a more finished look, use pinking shears to trim. Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home. Thumbnail: Photography ©Molly Butler. Discover more cat DIYs on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
February 12, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. As a cat lover and an art lover, I was intrigued when I heard about artist Gretchen Kish Serrano and her custom pet portraits. Her pieces combine her creativity with inspirations from classic artists. These vibrant works of art are not only beautiful, but they honor the bond her clients share with their pets. She specializes in cats and dogs, but she’s always open to commissioning other pets. Gretchen’s Pet Portraits Kish Serrano Pet Portraits. Gretchen focuses on three distinct styles: brush (inspired by the thick brush strokes and bold color palettes of Vincent Van Gogh); drip (inspired by the expressionistic drips and splatters with bold, over- lapping colors and thick surface texture of Jackson Pollock); and gild (inspired by the gilded works of Gustav Klimt — to mirror this style, she gilds using 23 kt gold). For over 10 years, Gretchen has been creating a pet collection of cats and dogs called , for all pet lovers, furthering her studies of master artists and their techniques, while honing her own skills and passion for art. She loves how peaceful cats make her feel, along with their adventurous spirits. She once had a black cat named Siris, who would nap on her sun porch, looking so peaceful and content. “Petting him always relaxed me,” she says. Connecting With Pet Parents Pet parents react to her portraits with pure joy. Her favorite comment was from a woman at an art festival, who said, “Your art makes me so happy. I’m so glad these works exist in the world!” Learn more about Gretchen at ; on Instagram ; and on Facebook . Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home. Read more cat news on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
February 07, 2019
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. While there are no hard statistics about in shelters, we know anecdotally that senior cats spend a longer time in shelters than younger cats. Many end up there because they’ve been given up by their family or their guardian has passed away. Why Adopt a Senior Cat? Cats are considered senior between the ages of 7 and 10 years. Photography by ©MaraniVideo| Getty Images. Senior cats may be overlooked by adopters, but they can often make the best fit for a home. “If you’re looking for something in particular — a , an independent cat, a cat who’s already lived with kids or dogs — you can find one with the temperament you’re looking for,” says Bunny Hofberg, founder of NYC-based nonprofit dedicated to rescuing seniors. While they may not receive as much celebrity support or attention on social media, there are cats, people and organizations working to spread the word about how very special senior cats are. 1. Crooked Tails Senior Rescue Brandy Ferig and Gina Hanson For the last three years Brandy and Gina having been running a self-funded animal hospice from their California home. They have provided hospice for 25 cats and dogs over the age of 10 who were living in shelters, allowing these would-be abandoned animals to live out their last days in a loving environment. They founded to care for these seniors, “because nobody else will,” Brandy says. “These poor animals live their whole life with family and when they’re sick and old, instead of being taken to a vet, they’re relinquished. I want them to have a stable home with all the things they need. Medicine, food and someone to sleep with so they feel secure.” Fifteen-year-old Atom, one of the two cats currently in residence, came to them having pulled out her fur and diagnosed with , , and megaesophagus. Today, “She’s off all her meds, fat, furry and demanding!” says Brandy with a laugh. Their plan is to expand Crooked Tails into a hospice compound comprised of multiple buildings including a hospital with a full-time vet on the premises, a cat house and a place for volunteers to stay. “Where Seniors Live in Love” is Crooked Tails’ motto. Gina and Brandy hope to receive the support they need to provide love, comfort and care to many more seniors in need. 2. Grandpa Mason Grandpa Mason snuggling with some of his kitten charges. Photography Courtesy TinyKittens.com. Grandpa Mason was a severely injured, battle-scarred, old feral cat trapped by s, a not-for-profit group based in British Columbia, Canada. When it was discovered that this senior had terminal kidney disease, he was given a new indoor home because of his special dietary and medical needs. Mason slowly blossomed in his new home, a home where his new mom fostered kittens. Surprisingly, it turned out that this formerly feral senior cat was a natural-born caretaker. Says Shelly Roche, TinyKittens founder and snuggler-in-chief, “He lets them nurse on him and gives them baths whether they need them or not!” While he has helped the kittens with his nurturing, they’ve in turn helped him become a happy, high-energy cat. “He’s getting to experience the care-free kittenhood he missed out on the first time around, and he is taking full advantage!” Shelly says. “Mason is showing us each day that even if you’re old, sick, scared or different, you still have value,” she says. His story has inspired people to adopt former ferals and seniors. The always squee-worthy and sometimes hilarious photos and videos of Grandpa Mason and “his kitties” have attracted over 75k Facebook followers (). 3. The Grannie Project The Grannie Project’s Juliet and Kate starred in Facebook page. Photography Courtesy Amanda Cox. After their owner passed away, 20-year-old feline siblings Kate and Juliet found themselves in a high-kill shelter. It was there that Amanda Cox saw and adopted the loving pair, a decision that would change her life. Having seen all the senior cats at the shelter she couldn’t save, Amanda started a Facebook page sharing photos and stories about Kate and Juliet (), who have since passed. “Instead of preaching to people, I wanted to make people fall in love with these girls to see that their lives had value,” Amanda says. Today, with almost a million followers, the page has become a forum to help connect senior cats with adopters. The popularity of the Facebook page led Amanda to establish , a nonprofit with a mission to rescue, adopt and advocate for senior pets. Located in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the organization has saved more than 200 senior cats. “Senior cats make great companions,” Amanda says. “But they don’t stand a chance in a shelter where kittens are coming in by the armload.” She speaks to how easy it is to provide a home to a senior cat. “All they want is a soft bed, food and a sun spot to lie in.” When asked how Kate and Juliet most impacted her life, Amanda says, “The rescue is the biggest way. It has given me a purpose and allowed me to give back to my community.” Tell us: Do you have senior cats? What senior cat rescues do you support? Thumbnail: Photography Courtesy Brandy Ferig About the author Tamar Arslanian resides in New York City with her two rescue cats, Kip and Haddie. She is the founder of and author of HarperCollins’ Shop Cats of New York, a Cat Writers’ Association Muse Medallion winner. Find her on Instagram and Facebook at and . Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? ! Read more about senior cats on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
November 08, 2018
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. A friend in Hawai’i during dinner a few years ago mentioned that a black cat had crossed his path the previous day while he was en route to some big, math-related test for his big, math-related master’s degree. When he specified that it was a black community cat (the ), our group gave up three simultaneous reactions to black cats. “Aww!” I said, because I’m me. And because I enjoyed the company of the University of Hawai’i community cats more than most students. “Uh-oh!” my born-and-raised American friend said “Oh!” said my Japanese friend — with a smile. Most understood my American friend’s reaction — “Did you feel jinxed for your test?” some people asked — but I preferred my Japanese friend’s response: “But that’s good!” Black cats and luck — an overview Black cats are lucky in a lot of cultures. Photography ©earth2015 | Thinkstock. Unlike much of the western world, Japanese culture sees a black cat crossing your path as a good omen. In fact, black cats are generally seen as good luck in Japan and much of Asia. My Chinese mother, the Feng Shui master, specifically put her black cat’s bed on the north side of her home to ward off evil. “Tiptoe is a very lucky cat,” she said. “Good luck follows her.” I think Tiptoe just likes that her bed is nearest the coveted space heater in the winter. Halloween is near (plus — October 27 is Black Cat Day and October is ), and although black cats are associated with the day, black cats still get a bad rap. , and some shelters don’t adopt black cats for all of October. Abuse of black cats, sadly, is one of the real horrors of Halloween. So are black cats good luck? Let’s look at these good black cat luck superstitions around the world: 1. Black cats bless marriages Black cats are known to bless marriages. Photography by ueuaphoto / Shutterstock. English superstition says that giving a bride a black cat on her wedding day will bring her good luck in her marriage. It’s also thought that newlyweds with a black cat in their home will have a long, happy life together, and the black cat will ward off evil spirits. In much of the UK, the black of a cat is a lucky color. While I don’t necessarily condone giving cats as gifts, newlyweds or spouses-to-be should rejoice in sharing their home with a black kitty. If you’re a woman still looking for that special someone, Japanese superstition says a black cat will bring a single woman many good . 2. Black cats draw wealth and prosperity You might have seen the that populate Japanese culture. Those little cat figurines with the raised paws are meant to draw good luck, wealth and prosperity to their owners. Often they are white, but Lucky Cats also come in black. A black Lucky Cat not only brings luck but also frightens away demons, evil energy, and stalkers. (Yes, stalkers.) 3. Black cats make safe homes and good harvests Also, as my Feng Shui-inclined mom says, black cats possesses strong powers of good. If you keep your black cats happy and safe, they will keep you happy and safe. If you don’t have a black cat in real life to guard your home, a black cat figurine facing north will keep bad energy and spirits away. And while we’re on the subject of gods and demons, in Norse mythology the goddess of love, fertility and beauty, Freya, rides on a chariot pulled by two black cats. To win with Freya, farmers would leave bowls of milk for her companions in their fields. Freya would then bless them with a good harvest. 4. Black cats in the audience help a play Cats are excellent audience members. Just ask my cat Brandy when I am moved to dance when my playlist cycles through to “.” To theater folks in many cultures, there is no better audience member than a black cat. If a black cat finds its way into your audience on opening night, your play will have a long and prosperous run. 5. Black cats lead to treasure It’s also been long believed that black cats invite not only fortune in the way of good luck, but also in the way of wealth. French peasants long believed that if a black cat was released at a crossroads where five roads intersect, the black cat would lead them to treasure. 6. Respecting a black cat brings fortune And in the south of France, black cats have been called “matagot” and are known as “magician cats” or even “money cats.” If shown the proper respect — like being given the of dinner, having a nice bed to sleep in or having a home even after their owner’s death — the matagot will reward their person with wealth and good luck. (This belief does have some ties to black cats and negative connotations of witchcraft, but I choose to look at it as those who do not treat their cats well get their comeuppance.) 7. Black cats give sailors safe travels English sailors could probably have used a matagot in their home to bring them some extra wealth. In ye olde times, black cats were thought to be so lucky and such and assurance that sailors would return safely home from sea that many black cats cost so much as to be unaffordable for seafarers. Black cat or not, I’m sure most of our feline family members would agree that having the first bite of our dinners is well within their rights. Tell us: How has your black cat brought YOU luck? Thumbnail: Photography by Vincent Mounier / Shutterstock. This piece was originally published in 2015. About the author: Louise Hung is a morbidly inclined cat lady living in Hong Kong, with her cat, her man, and probably a couple ghost cats. You can follow her on or drop her a line at IamLouiseMicaela@gmail.com. Read more about cats and luck on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
October 29, 2018
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. Choosing the right kitty isn’t as simple as picking out the most adorable whisker face you can find. You need to consider how your lifestyle is able to meet the needs of your chosen feline pal. It’s not as much your age but your stage in life that plays a role in deciding what type and age of cat is the best fit for you. If you’re a single professional What cats are right for single young professionals? Photography ©ElenaNichizhenova | Getty Images. Are you on your own, trying to make your mark in the world and focused on your career? If you’re away from home for many hours at a time, a kitten or high-maintenance breed like a , or might not be the right cat for you. A young adult cat, who has already been socialized and through her wild and crazy kittenhood, of a lower-maintenance breed is a smarter choice. Of course, your adult cat will need plenty of places to nap, things to climb and stimulating toys to play with, too, so she won’t get bored while home alone. A bonded kitty pair who can keep each other company might be the best fit for an on-the-go single person who might work late hours — and socialize late hours, too. If you have young children What cats do best with small children? Photography ©AkilinaWinner | Getty Images. Families with babies or toddlers can be a wonderful environment for an easygoing older cat or for a young adult, gentle breed cat like a , or . Toddlers might be a little too aggressive to be around very young kittens, and parents of young children may be a little too occupied with the kids to give needy kittens the handling and socialization they need. Older adult cats can also be good with younger children, as they tend to be calm and don’t get stressed as easily as a very young cat. also tend to sleep quite a bit, and anyone looking on YouTube has seen plenty of cute babies and cats slumbering peacefully together. If you have older children Once the kids get older and can be taught how to handle them, and young cats can be a great addition to today’s modern family. My friend, Linda, and her family just adopted their very first kitten, after previously adopting all adult cats. Everyone from Linda’s husband to her 13-year-old son is fascinated watching Paws and his tiny kitten antics, not to mention his rapid growth! Even their adult cats and dog are captivated by the tiny bundle of fluff. Kittens can teach kids responsibility and how to take care of another loving being, not to mention they are great fun to play with, too. Those more energetic breeds of any age like Maine Coons, Bengals and might also be a good choice as a family cat. if the cats are your kids A kitten is a wonderful choice for someone established in his or her career who doesn’t have kids at home or travel a lot. At this life stage, you have some good parenting, pet or just plain life experience, which will come in handy. Kittens need lots of supervision to keep them out of trouble, as well as plenty of love and handling to become loving, social creatures. They also need someone who has patience to spare as they explore their environment (and get into things, too!). Adult cats from some of the more affection-needy breeds like the , or the are also perfect for the single person or couple who has the time and love to devote to them. may also be a good choice, since these cats may require closer observation in order to discover any medical issues that may come up as they age (and someone who can afford the vet bills). If you’re a retired senior For a retired senior adult, the best feline fit depends on his or her lifestyle. There are very active seniors who spend a lot of time out of the house, traveling, doing community service or hobbies like golf, and they might not be a great fit for a kitten but rather an adult low-maintenance breed or two. An older, calmer kitty is great for someone who is more of a homebody looking for a cat to sit by his or her side keeping them company while they watch TV, or they might enjoy the extra energy that a tiny kitten brings. Once you decide to bring a cat or kitten into your life, no matter what age or breed you choose, give her lots of love and attention, along with everything else she will need to live a long and happy life with you. Tell us: How does your cat fit in with your life stage / lifestyle? Thumbnail: Photography ©Squaredpixels | Getty Images. Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? ! About the author: Rita Reimers’ Cat Behavior Coaching has helped many cat owners better understand their feline friends. Visit to read her cat behavior blog or to book a cat behavior coaching session. Rita is also the CEO/owner of . Connect with her on Facebook and on Twitter . Read more about adding a cat to your life on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
October 10, 2018
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. While in many parts of the world , in the United States it’s no secret that black cat superstitions still abound and that black cats still have a PR problem. It’s said to be a bad omen if one crosses your path, and they’re the classic witch sidekick. According to a 2013 study, there are more black cats in general due to the fact that black is a dominant gene trait. Since there are more of them who need homes, and they have to overcome outdated stereotypes, black cats can use all the help they can get. Here are a few people, organizations — and a even a cat — doing exactly that. Famous black cats like Sophie the Model work to shut down black cat superstitions The lovely Sophie the Model was made for the spotlight. Photography Instagram: . When Jennifer Miller found a kitten under a dumpster, she intended on fostering her until she placed her. Now, 220k Instagram fans later (), it’s clear that didn’t work out as planned! She says Sophie is, “The best thing that happened to our family.” It was only after adopting Sophie that Jennifer became aware of the misconceptions associated with black cats. Through Sophie’s social media pages and public events, she hopes to open people’s eyes to how wonderful black cats are. To say Sophie was made for the spotlight is an understatement. As Jennifer puts it, “She was a model in a former life, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Jennifer brings Sophie’s distinct personality to life through her photographs and channels her voice through captions. When people leave negative comments about black cats, she sees it as a teachable moment. But she’s happy to report she also receives comments and messages from people telling her Sophie inspired them to adopt a black cat! Black cat photographers shut down black cat superstitions Taking pictures is a good way to capture a cat’s personality. Photography ©Erica Danger. Julia Umansky, manager of client services at the says, “A great photo can not only showcase an animal’s personality and playfulness but can motivate potential adopters,” noting a rise in adoption inquiries after fun, new images are posted. “It’s key for a photograph to speak to people — even more so for black cats because of all the silly myths,” says Lori Fusaro, staff photographer at ( on Instagram). “I make sure their ears are up, their eyes are bright and friendly … and they are making contact with the lens so when potential adopters see the photo, it’s like they’re looking right at them.” Cat mom Erica Danger ( on Instagram), Lori’s photography assistant, has had a soft spot for black cats since her first black rescue cat, Banjo. In addition to her work at Best Friends, she photographs cats in foster care and at cat cafes to help them get adopted. “If a cat is playful, I get a good shot of him in action to capture that side of his personality.” Nonprofits like Lulu’s Locker shut down black cat superstitions Co-founded by Dawn Isenhart-Copp, , is a volunteer-run nonprofit in the Chicago area working to help overlooked and often misunderstood animals — like black cats — get adopted. The group has a wide network of foster homes as well as a small adoption area that’s set up like a home with a kitchen and bathroom. This allows potential adopters to interact with the cats and get a sense of their personalities and how they behave in a real-world setting. This can be particularly helpful for black cats. Dawn recounts the story of one couple who came in to see a specific cat but ended up adopting a black cat named Tilly, “Because she was more the personality they were looking for. She went right up to them and snuggled.” Books like All Black Cats Are Not Alike shut down black cat superstitions All Black Cats Are Not Alike by Amy Goldwasser. Photography ©Chronicle Books. A book by writer Amy Goldwasser and her husband, illustrator Peter Arkle, take black cat stereotypes head-on. The couple, “Decided it was time for the first lovingly hand-drawn, hand-lettered tribute to the wild range of personality, charisma and character of 50 highly individual all-black cats.” Included in the book is the couple’s former cat, Sonny, and his successor, Mimi. Through his illustrations, Peter adeptly highlights distinguishing details of each cat, from their fur’s distinct hue to face shape, eye color, expression and the errant white whisker. Amy further reinforces the individuality of these ebony-furred felines. “We both believe the humor lies in the specifics: For example, it’s a funnier, more special, more memorable, more loving portrait to know that this particular ABC [All Black Cat] is into butter or the cable box or the ice maker than it is if they’re into mice or catnip.” Besides being an entertaining read with frame-worthy artwork, the book leaves no doubt that black cats are incredible characters with a wide range of looks and personalities. So what can you do to help shut down black cat superstitions? Bring some magic into a black cat’s life, and adopt or foster one. Nothing’s cooler than having a mini house panther! Support rescue groups that focus on helping black cats, like Black Cat Rescue and Lulu’s Locker Rescue. Volunteer at a local shelter by taking photographs or writing descriptions for black cats to bring their distinct personalities to life. Post photos of your black cats on social media, and tell everyone how amazing and unique they are! Tamar Arslanian resides in New York City with her two rescue cats, Kip and Haddie. She is the founder of and author of HarperCollins’ Shop Cats of New York, a Cat Writers’ Association Muse Medallion winner. Find her on Instagram and Facebook at and . Thumbnail: Photography ©Best Friends Animal Society/Lori Fusaro. Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? ! Read more about black cats on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
October 01, 2018
The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com. As I worked on my laptop, my cat leaped up and placed her furry black butt on my keyboard. She was hungry and, deadline be damned, wanted to be fed NOW. Immediately, my screen went black. I didn’t get a panicky feeling in my chest until after I’d removed her from the laptop and couldn’t get my screen back. I tried jiggling my mouse, hit the space bar, frantically pounded on the ESC key. Nothing. Finding answers to tech problems A lot of cat owners go online in search of IT help when their cats put them in a tech crisis. Photography ©Drazen | Getty Images. As I do with all tech questions I have, I went to Google. On my smartphone, I typed in “cat sat on keyboard now screen is black” and found a solution to my problem (see below). I was relieved at how quickly and simply my IT problem was solved, but what struck me most was that I wasn’t alone. Apparently, many, many people have gone online in search of IT help when their cats have put them in technology crisis mode, because I found a ton of similar hits, some of which read like this: “Help! Cat sat on keyboard!” “Cat ran over keyboard and my screen has turned black and white.” “My cat sat on the keyboard and now everything on my screen is GIANT.” “Cat walked on my laptop — now a sideways screen.” “Cat walked on the keyboard again.” There are IT support forums all over the internet tackling requests like mine. According to the most recent pet owner’s survey of the , 47.1 million households in the United States have at least one cat. That’s a lot of potential for cat-related IT mishaps. (Just a thought: This could be how cats will execute their world domination plan.) In order to help the countless human companions of cats with the anxiety and sheer panic caused by IT — dare I say it? — cat-tastrophes — here are the four most common cat-related IT mishaps and their simple solutions. 1. Crazy things happen when you type Your text appears in all capital letters or it randomly highlights or even disappears, and your windows keep minimizing. This insanity is caused by “sticky keys” says Jaco Toledo Gerrish, a systems engineer with a technology blog at . It’s caused by hitting (or in this case, probably sitting on) the shift key five times in a row. To fix this in Windows, says Jaco, tap the shift key five times. You should hear four beeps, and the sticky keys feature should turn off. (This feature is enabled by default in Windows but not on Macs. Mac users will have to manually enable it.) 2. Your screen is sideways or upside down This is probably the most common cat-caused IT problem, say IT support specialists. It happens when your cat miraculously hits the Ctr, Alt (Option) and one of the arrow keys all at the same time. Your screen will flip in the direction of whichever arrow key your cat lands on. To fix it, you need to hit the Ctrl, Alt (Option) and Up Arrow keys all at the same time. 3. Your screen goes black What do you do when suddenly faced with a black computer screen? Photography ©Oleksandr Briagin | Getty. A blackened or darkened screen is likely caused by your cat hitting the decrease brightness key, says Marcel Vachon, owner of , a tech consulting company based in Maine. Marcel has experienced this situation firsthand. When his cat, Butterscotch, interfaced with his keyboard and his screen went black, he didn’t know what happened at first. (It is reassuring to know that even IT specialists have that moment of bewilderment when faced with trying to determine just what their cat did to cause whatever is happening on their computers.) In this case, simply tapping on the increase brightness key will restore your screen, he says. 4. What once was black is now white Your cat has somehow inverted the colors on your screen. To restore your regular colors, use the magnifier feature, which has an option for turning on color inversion, and thus restoring your screen colors, says AJ Santos, owner of technology services company in Orlando, Florida. Press and hold the Windows key and then press and release the + (plus) key. Release the Windows key. The magnifier should be on now, which you’ll notice because everything on your screen will be really large. To return your screen to normal size, press and hold the Windows key and press and release the – (minus) key until the screen reduces to whatever size is acceptable to you. To turn color conversion on and restore your normal screen colors, press the Ctrl, Alt and i keys. On Macs, the option for inverting colors is in the Accessibility Options. Shortcut should be Option + Command + F5. See the display option here: . Tell us: What crazy tech / computer issues has your cat caused? How did you fix them? Thumbnail: Photography ©DjelicS | Getty Images. Stephanie Bouchard is a Maine-based freelance pets writer trying to protect her laptop from further cat incursions. Find her at . Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home. Read more cat news on Catster.com: The post by appeared first on . Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren't considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Catster.com.
September 28, 2018