Why Adopt a Cat?

2012-06-02-00-51-58

 

Last week was the biggest adoption event of the year, so I want to tell you my experience with my adopted cats.

“Cats are independent and don’t care if you are there or not.” I hear this from people all the time.

Another blanket statement I hear is, “Cats don’t show love and they have minds of their own so you can’t get them to do what you want to.”

Both of these statements are true…sometimes. I happen to know that cats can and do show love; and some are even dependent on their person…if they deem that person is worthy. I have one that won’t leave me alone and one that comes up on my lap only at certain times of the day.

Cats are smart, too. Why, my cats even mind! I have taught them to”go” when I’m in the kitchen. (There is nothing worse that to have a cat under foot.)  I have also taught them to “get out of my way” and to “come” (although they are still working on that one).

What made me a cat person you may ask? I’m glad you asked.  When I moved into my new home, I wanted someone with whom I could share my life.  I really wanted a dog. After all, I always had dogs. But, alas I didn’t have a fenced-in yard for a dog to play in. So, reluctantly, I adopted Monkeyface, a gorgeous Maine Coon, from a rescue. I found myself adopting another to keep Monkeyface company.

I started volunteereing at the rescue. Soon the founder put me in charge of writing monthly columns in two local paper.  I did a lot of research on cats and wrote about breeds, history, behavioral issues, and more.

People would ask me about cats behavioral problems, etc.  so I gave them the best information that I knew. Pretty soon, I heard someone refer to me as ‘cat lady’.  A name of which I am very proud.

Now, understand that I’m no expert.  I just know what I have read over the past twenty years.

Sadly, cats have had a  bad rep handed to them, but all cats are not alike.  They, just like dogs, have their own personalities, all are special in their own way. You cat people know what I mean!

Yes, I believe that cats will love, mind and even worship their person, just like a dog…well almost. If you still need convincing, just keep coming back to Harry the Wonder Cat’s blog!

 

 

What You Need to Know About Feline Diabetes

On computer desk

 

When my first cat, Monkeyface, was diagnosed with feline diabetes, I was devastated.  I had waited too long to take him to the vet, thinking it was just old age.  He was 11 years old, and that is pretty old for a Maine Coon.  They can get to be 45″ long and weigh up to 30 pounds, and their small hearts have to work pretty hard to pump the blood through their big bodies.  They tend to succumb to heart failure.

Monkeyface was 20 pounds when he was healthy.  His fur was full and beautiful and his eyes were bright. When I finally figured out that he was sick, his bright eyes were dull, his luxurious coat had lost is sheen, and instead of being the big, healthy cat that I knew, he had lost so much weight that he became a shell of his former self … he was sick. I took him to the vet.

When he was finally diagnosed with feline diabetes, it was too late and I had to put him down.  That was thirteen years ago and to this day,  I still feel guilty.  After all of the love and companionship he gave to me  I failed him so miserably.  If I had only known the signs of the disease, I might have given him more time.

The symptoms which Monkey displayed were constant thirst; change in eating habits, either eating less; weight loss; fur losing luster; and lethargy.  Some other symptoms that Monkeyface didn’t have are UTI, eating more than usual, sweet smelling breath, increased urination, and urinating outside the litter box.

The exact causes of feline diabetes are not known, but it is more likely that overweight and /or older cats are susceptible to it.   Some other conditions that may lead to diabetes are hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis and/or abnormal protein deposits on the pancreas.

Feline diabetes is all about the insulin, a hormone that helps move sugar from bloodstream into the cat’s cells.  As with humans, there are 2 types of feline diabetes. Type 1 is brought on by a lack of insulin and is most uncommon and rarely treatable. Type 2 occurs when the cat produces the hormone, but the cells become resistant to the insulin put out by the body. This type is treatment if caught in time.

Feline diabetes does not have to be a death sentence.  In some cases, shots are used to balance out the insulin and in some rare cases pills might work.  If your cat starts to show signs of feline diabetes, take him to the vet immediately and you may save his life.

Our thanks go out to:

ASPCA

Web MD

Cat

What You Need to Know About Your Cat and Christmas Trees

I posted this last year at this time and I feel that it is an important lesson, so I am posting it again.

I was astonished to learn the statistics regarding Christmas trees.  According to National Christmas Tree Association,  there are approximately 350 million Christmas trees planted by farmers in the U.S. alone.  Of those 350 million, 25-30 million are sold.  These numbers pale compared to people who buy artificial trees, which amounts to 80% of those who decorate Christmas trees.

You may be wondering what Christmas trees have to do with your cat.

The obvious answer is that if your cat is prone to climbing, or as I like to put it, be a “tree baby” (pun intended), there is a chance for injury.  There are other reasons, too.

  1. The sap from the tree is toxic to your cat.  The sap can be found not only on the tree and needles themselves, but the water that the tree stands in.  
  2. Along with pine poisoning, comes the threat of the pesticides and fertilizers used in growing the tree, and chemicals that are used to enhance the look of it.  These can cause kidney and/or  liver failure, muscle weakness, labored breathing and digestive issues.  
  3. There is another danger with the needles of the tree.  These needles could easily become lodged in the cat’s throat, or rip her intestines, etc. 
  4. Then, you have the ornamentation of the tree.  Tinsel and those shiny bulbs look like cat toys and are a huge temptation for the cat.  If she chews on the tinsel, chances are that she will swallow it and it may wrap itself around the cat’s intestines.  Some of the ornaments used on the tree are made from breakable material and can cause damage to the cat’s paws if stepped on and, of course, cut internal organs if swallowed.

Unfortunately, with the exception of the sap poisoning, artificial trees have the same dangers as do their live counterparts.

Solution: Raise your tree off the ground and out of reach of your little ones.  You may think that it takes away from the beauty of the season, but better that than spending hundreds of dollars towards vet bills.

Have a happy and safe holiday!

National Christmas Tree Association

Boston CBS Local

Pets on Mom.ME

How to Fill your Cat’s Stocking for $20 or Less

I don’t know about you, but my cats are my family, and as such they deserve nice gifts for the joy they give me all year round.   Now, I could go all out and spend too much money for things that they have no interest in, or I can use my imagination and a $20 bill.

First, I will start off my saying that, like children, if you put all of the new toys out to play with on Christmas morning,  chances are they will become get bored with them by Christmas night.  My advice is to hold back, only giving them a few toys at one time, until they get bored with them.  Then, pick them up and replace them with some of the new toys that you have in reserve.  That way, it’s Christmas all over again.

Some of the toys you can pick up in the local pet shop.  However, they usually jack the prices sky high to cover their overhead.  That being the case, the only time that I go into the pet shop is to look, not buy.

Your next option is the Internet.  Now, there are a lot of places out there that charge just as much as the pet shop does, but if you scour the pet outlets on the Net, chances are you will find deals.  Two stores that I shop at are Amazon, and Chewy .

Here are just a few toys that are on the cheaper side and your cat is sure to love them just as much, if not more, than the expensive play things.

You can find anything at all at Amazon.  

 

These are great. My cats will sneak up on them, pounce and run around, holding the mouse by its tail.

Hartz Just For Cats Frenzy Toys

 

 

 

These are great for cats that love their catnip.  They are refillable so your cat will have hours of fun.

Feather Mouse

 

 

 

 

 

Every cat loves their feather wand.  I can’t wait to try this!

 

Cat Toy Variety Pack with Feather Wand

 

 

Chewy is also a great place for cats.  Here are just a few of their toys.

 

These are going to be in Mimi’s stocking for sure!

Colorful Springs Cat Toy

 

 

 

 

 

This little mouse squeaks at your cat.

Play-N-Squeak MouseHunter

 

 

 

I haven’t tried this one yet, but the reviews are out and 95% of the cats that tried it absolutely flipped over it.

Cat Dancers

 

As you can see, cat toys don’t have to break you this Christmas.  These are just a few of the best loved toys.  There are so much more out there to try.

Then there are toys that you can make with a little imagition and a lot of love. I suggest that you watch your cat play. Do they like to stalk, pounce and jump high in the air, like my Mimi? Or are they lazy cats who only grab the toy from where they lay and chew on it, like my BoBo?

For cats like Mimi, a ping pong ball works great to help get their energy out. Bounce it and see them go for it. The higher you bounce the ball the higher they will jump. Another good one is a lazor pointer. Now you can get them from any pet store, but why not use your flashlight on your cell phone (assuming you have a cell). A substitute for a ball is a cork. I keep several on hand just in case she gets too rambunctus and it goes under the stove or refrigerator. I had both of the appliances replaced last year and was slightly embarrassed when the installer found all of the corks that had gotten away from the cat.

BoBo is a bit different. He’s older and has always been a lazy hunter. For these types of felines, you need to be resourceful. You may be able to entice them with a feather attached to a stick, straw or anything that is tubular in shape. Bo even goes after the lazor, but only if you point it right in front of him. Just as long as he doesn’t have to get up, he’ll play.

Help your cat have a merry Catmas!

Until next time, let’s play!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are You Thankful For?

Like the rest of America, Harry the Wonder Cat is counting his blessings today:

  1. Food
  2. Food
  3. Food

Who says cats are single-minded?

Happy Thanksgiving,

Harry and the Gang