Purrfect Feline Petz
Cat Breeds – The Exotic Russian Blue
Named both for its supposed place of origin and for its stunning blue coat, the Russian Blue is one of the most beautiful cats in the cat fancy. Little is known for certain about the origins of the breed, but there are plenty of legends about this wonderful cat, including rumors that it was the favored cat among the Russian czars.
The Russian Blue is of course known for its luxurious coat of blue fur, and this is easily one of its most endearing qualities. The coat of the Russian Blue is short and dense, and the tip of each blue hair is silver. This silver tipping provides a special shine seen on no other breed of cat, and it gives the Russian Blue a look all its own.
The Russian Blue is also one of the most gentle of all cat breeds, and one of the most affectionate as well. This breed is content to sit with its human for hours, and makes a wonderful lap cat and a great companion. It is no wonder these magnificent cats were favored by rulers and royalty.
Trimming kitty nails is quite a bit different from doing the same for a dog.
|Cats have retractable claws, for one, and they don't always appreciate someone applying a bit of gentle pressure to their toes to expose the claws.
Also, cats are very sensitive to the energy around them, and if there's tension or nervousness in the air, their first instinct is to bolt. If a cat who wants to bolt is being held, he may try to claw his way free. Some very determined kitties can be nearly impossible to restrain, in fact.
Step One: Center Yourself
The best way to start the nail trim is to make sure you're calm and not nervous, because your emotional state will be transmitted to your pet.
Step two is to have someone assist you – a cat cuddler. Cuddling kitty during a nail trim is a must-do. It keeps your cat from bolting and makes her feel a bit more secure. Most dogs can be distracted by treats. They become so focused on the little snack they hope to get that they barely notice their nails being clipped.
But the majority of cats don't respond to treats as rewards for desired behavior. They seem to understand you're trying to distract them, and they don't go for it. They stay focused on whatever it is you're trying to do with them.
If your kitty seems nervous at all, I recommend you do one nail at a time. Clip and stop. Clip and stop, and so on until all the nails are trimmed.
If your cat is really stressed or fighting you or the cuddler, take a longer break between paws. Even wait a day. The goal is to get your pet as comfortable with the procedure as possible, so whatever you can do to reduce his stress and yours is the way to go.
Don't Forget the Styptic Powder
Styptic powder provides clotting action in the event you trim a nail too close and draw blood. The powder will immediately stop the bleeding. When I shine the light on a nail here in a moment, you'll be able to see it's really fairly difficult to clip into the quick if you're being careful.
My nail model is Tyler, a guest today at Natural Pet. His dad volunteered his services for this video. Tyler wants you to know that he, Tyler, did not volunteer himself!
You can see as I gently push on Tyler's toes that his claws extend. And now my helper is going to cuddle the cat to control his movements and help him feel safe.
As I shine the light on one of Tyler's nails, it's easy to see the clear tip of the nail, and behind it, pink skin with veins.
Don't trim the pink – don't even get near it with your clipper – just trim the clear end of the nail.
I'm actually using guinea pig nail trimmers, and I'm just snipping off the really sharp tips at the end of Tyler's claws. This will prevent rug snags, damage to his paws, shredding of furniture around the house, and injury to the other kitties Tyler shares his dad with.
Clip and Stop. Clip and Stop.
Tyler's doing a good job during his nail trim, but has decided that's enough for now. So we'll stop, give him a breather, and then finish up.
If you trim your cat's nails regularly, there's really no need to do all four paws at once. You can let your kitty set the pace – do a couple of nails, then stop. Do a paw a day if that works out for you and your cat.
You've probably noticed
your kitty likes to be in
control. It's in his DNA. So
allow him to feel some
control during nail trimming
with the clip and stop
method. This will keep it
positive for the cat, and
will also reduce stress
around the entire activity
of nail trims. Since it's a
procedure you'll want to do
regularly throughout your
pet's life, the more
comfortable he is with it,
Are Hairballs an Unpleasant Fact of Life for Your Feline?
|There are a number of ways to
temporarily remedy a hairball problem --
some more advisable than others -- but
if a cat is suffering with frequent
hairballs it's important to rule out
serious underlying conditions as a
possible cause for the digestive
This is especially true if the hairballs
are a new problem in a mature cat.
Sudden GI issues in a middle-aged or
senior kitty should always be thoroughly
Dr. Becker's Comments:
Hairballs, known in the scientific
community as bezoars or trichobezoars
(which certainly doesn't make them sound
a bit more appealing), are a common
complaint among people owned by cats.
Not only can the problem cause a nasty
mess on floors and furniture, it often
seems the effort required to regurgitate
those gooey masses is very uncomfortable
for the poor kitty.
How Do Hairballs Develop?
Hairballs have an obvious cause: kitties
swallow a considerable amount of their
own hair when they groom themselves.
Some cats groom themselves and all the
other cats in their household, making
the amount of hair they consume
The rough surface of your cat's tongue
is a perfect tool for pulling dead and
excess fur from her coat during
grooming. Some of that hair gets
ingested. Hairballs aren't round; they
are typically cylindrical masses of
hair, debris from the cat's coat, and
undigested bits of food.
Cat owners unfamiliar with hairballs
might think their kitty has missed the
litter box and pooped elsewhere in the
house. As a general rule, a mess
resembling poop found in a location away
from the litter box is more than likely
a hairball. The odor is also a tipoff,
don't smell like the other stuff.
A cat's digestive system is designed to
handle a certain amount of fur, her own
and from prey in the wild. But lots of
kitties wind up with hairballs due to
hair length, shedding patterns, dietary
deficiencies, digestive challenges -- or
a combination of issues.
Assuming your cat's hairball situation
didn't come on suddenly and there are no
other signs of illness, I would
recommend the following approach to
• Make necessary adjustments to his diet
to ensure adequate moisture content
• Add an omega-3 supplement
• Brush your cat daily or at least
several times a week
What's for Dinner?
If you're feeding your cat dry pet food,
she's not getting anywhere near the
moisture content her organs need to
function well for a lifetime. Dry kibble
is not biologically appropriate
nutrition for felines, as it lacks two
ingredients essential to your kitty's
health: moisture and high quality
Your kitty's digestive system is working
harder than nature intended to process
all that dry stuff, and don't expect her
to drink extra water to compensate. Cats
get most of the water their bodies need
from food. A healthy dog drinks loads of
water throughout the day. A healthy cat
If your kitty's diet is low in moisture
content, she's living in a state of
chronic dehydration. Her GI tract,
already moisture-depleted, is less able
to transport a mass of swallowed fur and
debris than the GI tract of a
well-hydrated cat eating a
If your cat has a hairball problem and
is eating primarily kibble, the first
thing I recommend you do is start
transitioning to a biologically
Healthy Fats = Healthy Cats
The most common nutritional deficiency I
see in my practice is lack of essential
fatty acids, and omega-3's in
Cats (and dogs) have a nutritional
requirement for healthy fats that must
be supplied by the food they eat,
because their bodies don't produce it –
thus the essential nature of these
If your kitty has been eating a diet of
commercial pet food, chances are he's
been getting more omega-6 fats than he
needs, and not enough omega-3's.
A good balance of fatty acids in your
cat's diet can make a tremendous
positive difference in his health,
• Improving immune system response and
blood clotting activity
• Reducing inflammatory responses
associated with arthritis and bowel
diseases like ulcerative colitis and
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
• Decreasing triglyceride and blood
Research is underway to determine how
omega-3 fatty acids impact the
development of certain types of pet
cancer, as well as their potential to
prevent or alleviate autoimmune
Omega-3 deficiencies in pets have been
associated with stunted growth, eye
problems, insufficient muscle
development and immune system
Sufficient omega-3 fatty acids in your
cat's diet can help to improve not only
the condition of his skin and fur, but
also the ability of his digestive system
to manage the hair and debris he
swallows while grooming himself.
For a cat up to 14 pounds and in overall
good health, I recommend supplementing
with 125 mg daily of krill oil. Krill
oil is the optimum source of omega-3's
for people and pets.
Kitty Hair Care
Even though most cats are meticulously
clean and don't seem to need assistance
in that department, if your kitty is
dealing with hairballs, she could use a
hand with her grooming.
Just a few minutes a day spent brushing
or combing your cat to remove dead,
loose hair from her coat will mean fewer
hairs swallowed, and fewer hairballs for
both of you to deal with. This is
especially true if your kitty has long
hair, and during shedding season when
the weather begins to warm up.
As for what tool you should use to groom
your cat -- there are as many opinions
as there are varieties of pet brushes
and combs on the market.
My recommendation is to use whatever
tool your kitty will tolerate.
Some cats enjoy being brushed or combed.
If your kitty is one of those, a comb –
fine tooth for a short coat, wide tooth
for long hair – is more efficient at
removing loose fur. Since combing
probably doesn't feel as good to your
cat as brushing, you can start and
finish grooming sessions with a brush to
encourage him to continue to enjoy the
Set a goal of four to five minutes a day
with a long-haired cat and three to four
times a week for a kitty with short
hair. You should notice a very quick
improvement in the hairball situation,
and regular grooming will also help to
improve the condition of your pet's skin
by removing debris and dead cells.
Contrary to what many pet owners
believe, kitties can benefit from
regular baths just like their canine
counterparts – especially cats with
allergies and skin conditions. Check
here for more information on how bathing
can help improve your kitty's skin, coat
and overall health.
Click here for more information.
More Hairball Help
If your cat's hairball problem doesn't
resolve or at least dramatically improve
with the changes outlined above, you can
try one or more of the following
• Psyllium seed husk powder. Also known
simply as psyllium, this powder is made
from portions of the seed of the plant
Plantago ovate, a native Indian plant.
source is water soluble and becomes
mucilaginous when wet, helping to push
built up hair along the GI tract. Add
the contents of a capsule to a
tablespoon of water, then mix in with
your cat's food daily.
• Pumpkin. Add a teaspoon of canned or
freshly cooked mashed pumpkin to your
kitty's food each day. Canned pumpkin
(make sure it is 100 percent pumpkin) is
a non-grain fiber source that can aid
• Add a good quality animal-sourced
digestive enzyme to your kitty's diet.
• Put a dab of non-petroleum jelly on
your fingertip or the tip of your cat's
nose. Look for a brand with all natural
ingredients, typically slippery elm,
marshmallow or papaya. Kitty will lick
the jelly, swallow it, and with any luck
it will coat the hairball, allowing it
to be expelled more easily.
I recommend you avoid grain-based fiber
sources, as cats have no biological
requirement for grain and the ideal
situation for most cats is to eat only
what is appropriate for the species.
I also don't recommend petroleum-based
jellies marketed as hairball treatments.
These products are widely used and can
help with hairballs, but petroleum is a
flammable mixture of hydrocarbons, not a
nutrient. Too much of it can interfere
with the absorption of vitamin A.
Mineral oil is another bad idea -- it
can cause pneumonia if inhaled.
When the Problem is Serious
Rarely, a hairball can grow large enough
to be life-threatening and require
If you're not finding hairballs but your
cat is exhibiting all the usual
hairball-related noises and behaviors,
you should get her to a veterinarian as
soon as possible. It's possible a
hairball has grown too big to be
regurgitated or passed through the GI
It could also be a non-hairball related
but serious condition like feline
If your cat vomits frequently, stops
eating, loses weight or shows other
symptoms of being ill or in pain, it's
also time to get her to a vet. Again, it
could be an impassable hairball, but
those symptoms can also signal other
Scratch 'n Shapes cures Cat Scratch Fever
Imperial Cat's scratchers are good for feline health and home furnishings
The drug in both forms is FDA-approved
for dogs – the oral form is more often
used to treat the symptoms of
osteoarthritis in canines.
Is Fluffy's clawing turning your home's upholstery into a cat-astrophy? What many cat owners don't realize is that clawing is more than an annoying habit, it's natural instinct. Even the most healthy, happy felines feel the need to mark their territory by scratching.
Imperial Cat has been fighting cat scratch fever with a full line of Scratch 'n ShapesTM, a high-quality, eco- friendly line of scratchers. Developed to satisfy the feline's natural urge to scratch, shapes range from couches to cars to amphibians. This summer, Imperial Cat proudly introduces four new designs. The Cute as a Bug line include a Butterfly, Snail, Caterpillar, and Ladybug that will make your cat feel like king of the jungle.
As if the shape's simulated tree bark — or honeycomb texture — aren't enticing enough to make Fluffy want to dig his claws in, each scratcher comes with a bag of Certified Organic Catnip. From scratching to playing, Scratch 'n Shapes answers all your cat's instincts and promotes a healthier lifestyle. Owners are sure to love their Scratch 'n Shape as much as felines, thanks to their style and function. Known for their whimsical designs, Scratch 'n Shapes fit in any home or space — leaving carpeted posts and platforms as regrettable faux pas. Not enough floor space? Scratch 'n Shapes are available in hanging shapes too.
Scratch 'n Shapes are made in the USA, from 68% post consumer recycled materials, and are 100% recyclable. Prices start at $7.95, perfect for whatever Fluffy's budget is. Visit www.imperialcat.com to find a retailer near you.
About Imperial Cat
For more than 20 years, Imperial Cat has manufactured high quality, eco-friendly and natural cat products developed to enhance the lives of cats and their owners. For more information, please visit http://www.imperialcat.com, or contact Kristie Hamilton at 501-354-8466.
Popular Pain Management Drug Causes
Kidney Failure in Cats
Metacam, also known as meloxicam, is a
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
used primarily in veterinary medicine to
control postoperative pain and
inflammation associated with orthopedic
surgeries, spays, and neuters. It is in
liquid form, administered either by
injection or orally.
The drug in both forms is FDA-approved
for dogs – the oral form is more often
used to treat the symptoms of
osteoarthritis in canines.
The injectable form of the drug was
approved for one-time use only in cats
to manage postoperative pain. The oral
form was not approved for use in cats at
However, it is legal in certain
situations for veterinarians to use
medications in an ‘extra label’ or
‘off-label’ manner, which is the case
with Metacam and cats.
The drug’s manufacturer, Boehringer
Ingleheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI), at the
request of the FDA, has added a boxed
warning to the labels on both forms of
Repeated use of meloxicam in cats has
been associated with acute renal failure
and death. Do not administer additional
injectable or oral meloxicam to cats.
See Contraindications, Warnings, and
Precautions for detailed information.
The request was made of BIVI after the
FDA reviewed reported adverse reactions
for the products, specifically many
cases of kidney failure and death in
cats with repeated use the drug.
Dr. Becker's Comments:
There are very few safe, effective pain
relievers that can be given to cats
long-term to control chronic conditions
like arthritis. This probably in large
part explains the extensive extra label
use by veterinarians of meloxicam on
What the Metacam ‘Boxed’ Warning Means
FDA's press release:
“The new boxed warning on the METACAM®
labels helps inform veterinarians of the
serious risks associated with
extra-label use of meloxicam in cats.”
So what the warning actually means is
your vet can still use meloxicam
off-label on your kitty, if he or she
My advice? Ask your vet if there are any
Make Sure You and Your Vet Are on the
Make sure your cat’s veterinarian has no
intention of using the drug to manage
any sort of chronic condition your kitty
might have, now or in the future.
Even with all the evidence of acute
renal failure and death in cats given
Metacam, there will undoubtedly be a
percentage of vets still willing to roll
the dice. Don’t let anyone take that
gamble with your precious pet.
Some of the problems with the drug are
the result of improper use – too-high
dosages or doses given too often, for
example. However, there are a
significant number of cases in which the
vet did everything right and a cat
suffered renal failure anyway -- from a
single injection of the drug.
Dr. Robin Downing, a renowned expert on
veterinary pain management, said this in
response to a question posed by
PetConnection.com about the boxed
“ … my approach to NSAIDs for long-term
use in cats has changed dramatically. I
do not use NSAIDs at all in old cats
with pain, whether or not they have
evidence of renal disease.”
“ With greater knowledge of and access
to alternatives … I just do not reach
for NSAIDs any longer for this
population of patients who are by
definition at higher risk of renal
Alternatives for Feline Pain Management
Chiropractic treatments are affordable
and can be very effective in alleviating
pain and reducing joint degeneration.
How about a
kitty massage? Massage can
reduce inflammation in damaged tissues.
Helping your cat
stretch is a good way
to increase the mobility of her joints,
tendons and ligaments.
Acupuncture and Prolo therapy can be
tremendously beneficial for kitties with
degenerative joint disease.
Adding certain supplements to your pet’s
diet can provide the raw materials for
cartilage repair and maintenance, among
- Glucosamine sulfate with MSM
- Homeopathic Rhus Tox and Arnica
- Omega-3 fats, such as krill oil
- Supergreen foods, such as Spirulina
- Natural anti-inflammatory formulas
(herbs, proteolytic enzymes, such as
Wobenzym® and nutraceuticals)
Work with your
holistic veterinarian to
determine how to best treat the
inflammation and pain caused by your
pet’s arthritis, as well as how to
nourish remaining cartilage.
Also ask your vet about
injections, which can stimulate joint
fluid very rapidly in pets with
Quirky Cat ‘n Around Toys Mean Dogs
Don’t Get to Have All the Fun
Play, Hunt and Bond with Felix
Whoever said Fido gets to have all the
fun? For years Imperial Cat has been
catering to the cat community’s needs
and their latest additions to their Cat
‘n Around line are no exception. So, let
those boring dogs have their obnoxious
squeaky toys and treat Felix to a smart,
quirky Imperial Cat toy to satisfy a
|Beat the heat in
the cat-days-of-summer with an
adorable summer-themed Cat ‘n
Around character. New designs
include several fish shapes, a
green snake, a ladybug and yummy
candies. The sunny windowsill
will pale in comparison to a
fun, new shape from this series
of plush toys.
Looking to up the ante? A
serving of Organic Cat Nip is
sure to pump-up kitty’s
curiosity. Each Cat ‘n Around
character is filled with
Imperial Cat’s feline famous
Organic Catnip. Play, hunt and
bond with your kitty and a new
Cat ‘n Around character.
||Like most Imperial Cat
products, Cat ‘n Around
characters are made in the USA
and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Prices start at $1.95, perfect
for whatever Felix’s budget is.
www.imperialcat.com to find
a retailer near you.
For more than 20 years, Imperial
Cat has manufactured high
quality, eco-friendly and
natural cat products developed
to enhance the lives of cats and
their owners. For more
information, please visit
contact Kristie Hamilton at
back to top
Sponsor a Shelter with Imperial Cat
to Honor Adopt-A-Cat Month
Customers can donate scratchers to
animal shelter of their choice
Morrilton, AR – May 27, 2010
to the American Humane Society, animal
shelters rescue approximately 4 million
cats each year. Unfortunately, in the
nation’s recent economic crisis another,
equally serious, crises has developed in
the pet world. Animal shelters across
the country are facing slashed funding
while the number of lost, abandoned and
donated pets is steadily increasing.
Shelters are literally littered with
|To comfort misplaced cats
and promote June as Adopt-A-Cat
month, Imperial Cat has expanded
their brand of high-end feline
lifestyle products to include
Scratch ‘n Bits™, an affordable
line of scratchers made
exclusively for shelter cats.
Scratch ‘n Bits’ simulated tree bark, or
honeycomb texture, satisfies kitty’s
natural instinct to scratch and promotes
a healthier feline lifestyle. By
providing an affordable scratcher for
shelters, misplaced felines are able to
mark their territory and feel a little
more at home. Once adopted, owners are
encouraged to bring kitty’s Scratch ‘n
Bit home with them, to help the cat
transition and discourage anxious
clawing at household furniture – the
leading reason for relinquishing
||This June, to further
promote pet adoption and
Adopt-a-Cat month, Imperial Cat
customers have the option to
purchase and ship a case (20 to
25 units) of Scratch ‘n Bits
directly to the shelter of their
choice for only $20. Imperial
Cat’s Director of Sales, Kristie
Hamilton comments, “Cats are
more than our business, they’re
our priority. If there is a
feline need Imperial Cat wants
to be the solution. No cat
should be forgotten, especially
ones in need of a home.”
Because Imperial Cat wants every shelter
cat to be happy and healthy, Scratch ‘n
Bits come in several shapes and are
available in both vertical and
horizontal styles – to fit a variety of
shelter spaces. Scratch ‘n Bits are made
in the USA, from 68% post consumer
recycled materials, and are 100%
www.ImperialCat.com to make your
Scratch ‘n Bit donation and help your
community shelter today.
About Imperial Cat
For more than 20 years, Imperial Cat has
manufactured high quality, eco-friendly
and natural cat products developed to
enhance the lives of cats and their
owners. For more information, please
www.ImperialCat.com or contact
Kristie Hamilton at 501-354-8466.
IAMS Cat Food Recall
The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) (NYSE:PG)
is voluntarily recalling specific lots
of its Iams canned cat food in North
America as a precautionary measure.
Diagnostic testing indicated that the
product may contain insufficient levels
of thiamine (Vitamin B1), which is
essential for cats. Cats that were fed
these canned products as their only food
are at greater risk for developing signs
of thiamine deficiency.
Iams canned cat foods are included:
||Date on Bottom of Can
|Iams ProActive Health canned
Cat and Kitten Food – all
varieties of 3 oz & 5.5 oz cans
||09/2011 to 06/2012
This recall is limited to only Iams
canned cat food distributed in North
America. No other Iams pet food is
Early signs of thiamine deficiency
may include loss of appetite,
salivation, vomiting and weight loss. In
advanced cases, signs may include
ventroflexion (downward curving) of the
neck, wobbly gait, falling, circling and
seizures. Contact your veterinarian
immediately if your cat is displaying
any of these signs. If treated promptly,
thiamine deficiency is typically
Consumers who have purchased canned
cat food with these codes should discard
For further information or a product
refund call P&G toll-free at
877-340-8826 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM
to 7:00 PM EST).
"Purrfect" Breath is Now Here!
TropiClean’s new dental care line
battles bad kitty breath
Wentzville, MO – May 17, 2010
the most common reasons people love cats
is that they rub against you to show
affection. Nothing comes in between you
and your cat… except in some cases
stinky breath. Did you know that,
according to the American Veterinary
Dental Society, bad breath, or
halitosis, occurs in 70% of cats by age
three? A bad smell coming from your
cat’s mouth can be unpleasant for you,
but more importantly, the most common
cause is periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is an infection
of the gums and supporting tissues of
the teeth, and can be caused by plaque
build-up and tartar. Other than bad
breath, symptoms can include
yellow/brown build-up along the gum line
and red, inflamed gums. Looking for
signs and symptoms can be an eye-opener
for many cat owners. Ongoing dental care
can ensure your furball will have a
longer, healthier life, and you both
will be happier without having to worry
about bad breath. Even though, trying to
brush your cat’s teeth may be too
difficult and time-consuming.
Introducing TropiClean® fresh breath
made easy!,™ a new generation of safe,
natural products designed to make pet
oral care exceptionally easy that won’t
cause a cat fight. All products in the
TropiClean fresh breath made easy! line
are made with safe, effective
ingredients like aloe, green tea extract
and mint. Not only will cat owners be
able to eliminate their furry
companion’s smelly pet breath, but also
the underlying problems that cause it.
TropiClean fresh breath made easy! is
made up of four uniquely effective
products that are designed to promote
cleaner, healthier teeth as well as
freshen the breath.
- CLEAN TEETH GEL safely removes
built-up plaque and tartar without
It features a “touch-free”
applicator tip so no finger or
toothbrush is required.
- WATER ADDITIVE eliminates bad
breath for up to 12 hours.
Add one tablespoon to your pet’s
water bowl to maintain optimal oral
- DENTAL TREATS help clean teeth
down to the gums.
Designed to not only freshen breath
but also aid in the removal of
plaque and tartar.
- FRESH MINT FOAM instantly kills
the germs that cause bad pet breath
with a quick spritz.
“As cat owners we know that bad cat
breath is something that should not be
ignored,” states Darin Kassebaum,
Director of Marketing at TropiClean.
“Our hope with the TropiClean fresh
breath made easy! dental line is to help
raise awareness of proper pet dental
care and have it used to keep your pet’s
mouth healthy in between regular vet
TropiClean fresh breath made easy!
provides a safe and natural way to
quickly solve stinky kitty breath so you
can get in all the cuddle time you want.
Plus, you’ll be fighting the problem
from the root by preventing periodontal
disease before it starts.
These products are proudly made in
the USA by TropiClean, a leading
provider of natural, innovative pet
grooming products for over twenty years.
Like all TropiClean products, every item
in this new line is veterinarian
recommended and approved. The suggested
retail price for these products ranges
from $5.99 for the Treats up to $14.99
for the Gel. TropiClean fresh breath
made easy! products can be found in
independent pet stores, finer online
retailers, and at PETCO nationwide. For
Founded in 1990, St. Louis-based
TropiClean, a division of Cosmos
Corporation, manufactures a range of
natural pet products including shampoos,
conditioners and other grooming
products. TropiClean’s products are
formulated with organic botanicals that
promote a naturally shiny, healthy coat.
The company recently repackaged the line
in 100% biodegradable bottles. And now,
the introduction of the new fresh breath
made easy line marks the latest
development in a series of pet industry
The company is taking its
environmental commitment to a new level
by becoming the first U.S. personal
grooming or pet products company to
develop a line of completely
biodegradable packaging (made from corn,
not a petroleum-based ingredient.) Many
other TropiClean packages are made from
50 percent recycled materials and are
completely recyclable. TropiClean’s
products are available in thousands of
retail outlets throughout the United
States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United
Kingdom, Japan, Israel and the
Netherlands. For more information,
A Concierge and Don’t Know It?
by Lucinda Plum
I am. In fact, I’m so well trained as a
concierge, I’m considering starting my
own business. Want to know how I got
that training? I have three cats. Each
of them has different training
methodologies. First, there’s Kochka.
She’s probably the sweetest of the
bunch. When she wants something, she’s
mostly silent. If I’m in bed, she’ll
come, give me cuddles, lie down next to
me, and patiently wait for me to get up
so she can lead me to what she wants. If
I’m wandering around the house and she
wants to go play in the garage, she’ll
run over to the door and look eagerly at
me, look at the door and look back at
me. If I ignore her, she runs to me and
runs back to the door. Only if I’m a
little slow or if I continue to ignore
her, trying to get unimportant things
done, like housecleaning or cooking
dinner, will she’ll issue a sharp
reprimand – m-e-e-e-o-w – emphasis on
the “me”. Of course, coming from her
it’s always sweet anyhow just because
she is so unassuming.
Next, we move to Delakit. Now, Dela is a
rigorous trainer but still very, very
polite. Her methods are persistence,
combined with friendliness. If Dela
wants something, she comes up to me and
she purrs and rubs against me. Walks on
my hair if I’m lying in bed. Walks back
and forth across the pillow, purring the
whole time very, very friendly (and
loud). She cuddles and rubs. If I’m
sitting at the computer trying to get
something done, oh you know, like an
article, she gets up on my lap and purrs
and rubs, walks up on the keyboard,
blocks the screen. If I try to push her
away, put her down or whatever, she’ll
meow at me and be very put out, but
she’ll just jump right back up and start
purring again. She will (this is where
the persistence pays off) continue to do
this, and do this, and do this, without
giving up until I give her what she
wants. Moreover, if I stand up, she’ll
lead me there. With her, it’s often
food, but sometimes it’s a drink of
water or she wants to go play in the
garage. She’s also very patient. If I’m
wandering around the house and she wants
to go into the garage, she’ll sit at the
door with her back to the room and stare
at it until I finally decide to
acknowledge her and say, “Dela, would
you like to go out?” and then she’ll
look back at me and say, “Me-o-o-w-w!”,
as in “Of course! What were you
thinking?” One training trick of Dela’s
is her means of focusing my attention on
her needs. For instance, if I start to
walk down the stairs, Delakit will run
down them to get in front of me and then
cut across my pathway so that if I’m not
courtesy of Leesia Teh
paying attention, I will trip and fall.
She does this on flat surfaces too, but
obviously, it’s the most effective on
stairs. Usually she sets it up so that
she is heading towards what it is that
she wants. She crosses in front of me
going towards the food bowl, she crosses
in front of me going towards the garage
door, you understand.
That’s my girls, and they’re very sweet.
Then there’s the boy, Destiny. He’s the
one that’s given me the most training as
a concierge. He is the most stringent
taskmaster and he’s very persistent and
never gives up in my training. He uses
vocal commands as his main training
technique. It’s a very steady, repeating
command issued at 30-second intervals
and in a rather high vocal tone for a
male. “M-e-o-w” he wants to go play in
the garage “M-e-o-w” he wants breakfast.
. “M–e-o-w” he wants a drink of water
from the faucet. No, it can’t be just
water left in the sink bowl for him. It
has to be running. If I ignore him, his
persistent vocalizations will ensure my
insanity. His training is very
consistent throughout the day. If I am
relaxing on the couch and get up to get
something from the kitchen, he will stop
what he is doing, run up the stairs to
the bathroom, and jump on the counter.
If I miss this subtle technique and go
back to the couch, I will just have time
to settle in comfortably before the
vocal training begins. The command will
continue until I get back up and go turn
on the faucet for him. And no, he
doesn’t turn it back off when he’s done
as any other gentleman would. Moreover,
he splashes water everywhere. His
training is of the twenty-four hour
variety. If he wakes in the middle of
the night, he doesn’t hesitate to notify
me of any need he has. This extends my
concierge training to a new level.
All three of my cats are in agreement
that I haven’t picked up on their
training near as proficiently as I ought
to and I will be requiring another year
or two in their apprenticeship before I
can spread my wings and go out on my own
into my own concierge business. Being
the faithful, loving companions that
they are, they vow to dedicate their
best efforts into getting me in tiptop
Profile - The Wonderful Siamese
The lovely Siamese is perhaps
the best known of all domestic
cats, and this breed has fans
all over the world. The Siamese
is known for many things,
including the fact that it is
quite a talkative breed. Those
who are owned by one or more
Siamese can never forget that
there is a cat in the house, and
this breed will make its
presence known whenever it
perceives an unmet need or
desire. The trill of the Siamese
is a unique sound, and one that
fans of the breed have come to
know and love.
The Siamese is a sleek and
slender cat, with a lithe and
muscular body and a great
athletic ability. Whether they
are chasing a mouse, or just
their favorite ball of yarn, the
playfulness sand athletic skills
of the Siamese are well known.
This athletic ability is
legendary, and these cats can
reach virtually any area of the
house, no matter how high or
The Siamese is also quite a striking
cat, with a beautiful coat and a
wonderful gaze. The breed is known as
well for its intelligence, its curious
and inquisitive nature and its
affectionate personality. It is no
wonder the Siamese is one of the most
popular of all cat breeds.
Does it Mean if My Cat Has FHV?
||FHV, or Feline
Herpes Virus, is a virus that
affects both feral and domestic
cats. Sometimes known as feline
rhinotracheitis virus, this
virus manifests in the form of
respiratory symptoms, and can be
spread among cat populations
through contact with saliva, eye
discharge or nasal discharge
from an infected cat. Of all
causes of respiratory illness in
cats worldwide, FHV is the most
Although Feline Herpes Virus is
similar to other herpes viruses,
it cannot be transmitted to any
other species. Therefore, human
owners cannot contract the virus
from their cat, and should not
be afraid to handle or treat
their cat while it is
experiencing symptoms of FHV.
Unfortunately, once a cat has
contracted FHV, the cat will
have the virus for the remainder
of its life, since FHV does not
yet have a cure. Some cats,
therefore, become latent
carriers of the virus,
occasionally having symptom
flare-ups, particularly in times
of high stress. If a cat is
healthy, its own immune system
may repress the symptoms of FHV
most of the time, with only
Fortunately, the symptoms of FHV are
treatable, and use of a dietary
supplement can partly or completely
suppress the symptoms of the virus so
that your cat is not troubled by them.
FHV can cause cold-like or flu-like
symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose,
coughing, sneezing, runny or squinting
eyes, conjunctivitis sometimes resulting
in ulcerations of the eyes, fever, poor
appetite, depression, mouth ulcerations
and even pneumonia. When a cat first
contracts FHV, it is likely to have
these symptoms to a more severe degree
that can even be dangerous, particularly
to kittens, elderly cats and pregnant
mother cats. Although a flare-up may
initially manifest in the seemingly
harmless form of a stuffy nose or runny
eyes, if these symptoms do not receive
proper treatment, more serious problems
may result, such as a respiratory
infection and breathing difficulties
resulting from excessive mucous.
Therefore, if a cat is experiencing FHV
symptoms, it’s important to consult with
a veterinarian even if the symptoms are
not severe, to make certain that they do
not develop into a more troubling
Although a cat may contract FHV from an
infected cat at any time, there are
times when a cat may be particularly
susceptible to this or other illnesses.
For instance, a kitten born to a mother
cat with FHV is more likely to contract
the virus. Additionally, cats that are
already ill, especially young or
especially old, or living in crowded
conditions among many cats are more
likely to contract the virus FHV.
Cat owners can take steps to prevent pet
cats from contracting FHV, including
keeping living conditions as clean as
possible. FHV may be spread on objects
that have come in contact with saliva or
eye or nasal discharge from an infected
cat, including carriers, food and water
dishes, and even hands and clothing of
their owners. For this reason, it is
important to change one’s clothes and
wash one’s hands after handling unknown
or stray cats before touching one’s own
cat. If one’s cats do not have FHV, the
likelihood that they will contract the
virus can be greatly decreased by
keeping the cats indoors so that they do
not come in contact with outdoor cats
that may be infected.
If a cat owner learns that a cat has
contracted FHV, a number of things can
be done to repress FHV symptoms and make
certain that the cat is not troubled by
FHV-related health problems. A
veterinarian can guide a pet owner in
selecting the most appropriate treatment
for their cat. Depending on the severity
of symptoms and the frequency of
outbreaks that a cat experiences, a cat
owner can help their cat by using
antiviral drugs prescribed by their
veterinarian, or antibacterial drugs to
treat secondary infections resulting
from FHV. For cats experiencing severe
symptoms, the eyes and nose can be kept
clear of discharge to make certain that
breathing is not difficult, and an owner
should make certain that their cat is
getting enough food and liquids. Since
FHV symptoms can inhibit a cat’s sense
of smell, they may lose their appetite,
requiring persuasion or veterinary
One of the more common and least
intrusive forms of treatment is a
supplement called L-Lysine, which is a
supplement shown to help suppress the
symptoms of FHV and some other viruses.
Some vets prescribe L-Lysine to be given
to a cat daily even when there are no
symptoms, to help make certain that an
infected cat remains symptom-free.
L-lysine is available in a gel form that
is flavored to be desirable to cats, so
it can be added to a cat’s food or even
offered on a spoon as a treat.
Although FHV is contagious among cats
and untreated FHV symptoms can be
uncomfortable for a cat, there are many
ways that a cat owner can protect
uninfected cats from becoming infected,
and help infected cats not to be
troubled by FHV symptoms. Working with a
trusted vet can help any cat owner to
determine which options are best to keep
their cat healthy and happy for many
years to come.
Blood Pressure, the Silent Killer
- by Cynthia J. Stubbs, DVM, MS,
||You have always
taken your cat to the
veterinarian for yearly checkups
and vaccinations. If a
recommendation has been made,
you’ve followed it – blood work,
dental cleanings, flea
preventative, etc. Your cat is
well-cared for and well-loved.
But now, your cat is suddenly
bumping into furniture and seems
to be lost. An emergency visit
to the veterinarian reveals the
diagnosis – acute blindness due
to retinal detachment. The
cause? High blood pressure. How
could this have happened to your
well-cared for cat?
Fortunately, this scenario is
less common as blood pressure
measurements are part of a
comprehensive health care
program. High blood pressure is
a common occurrence as cats get
older, though it can be
diagnosed in any age cat.
Certain diseases, such as kidney
diabetes, obesity and cancer,
increase the risk of high blood
pressure. High blood pressure
can also be a factor in heart
The most common sign associated with
high blood pressure is sudden blindness
due to retinal hemorrhage and/or
detachment. The pupils may be dilated
and lack a response to light. Blood in
the eyes may also be noted. Other
clinical signs are less specific,
including decreased appetite, increased
water consumption, weight loss, and
lethargy. These clinical signs are often
due to the disease that causes the
elevated blood pressure. Seizures,
collapse, and abnormal behavior can also
be observed. A heart murmur can also be
a sign of high blood pressure.
Cynthia J. Stubbs, DVM, MS, DACVIM is on
staff with North Georgia Veterinary
Specialty Care in Suwanee. Visit them
www.ngvetsc.com or call
||As the weather
warms and spring turns to
summer, kitten adoptions soar,
and new kitten owners wonder how
best to care for their new
family members. Kittens have
seemingly boundless energy and
an almost supernatural ability
to find trouble. Helping them
adjust to their new home can be
a wearying (if usually amusing)
task. We’ve put together some
tips to make the transition
easier for all involved.
For starters, kittens do best when they have a kitty friend. It may seem illogical, but caring for two kittens can be easier than caring for one. Kittens need lots of attention and playtime. With one kitten, you’ll be run ragged trying to keep up with the demand for playing. If you have two kittens, they will keep each other company and will play together while human family members are at work or school. With two kittens, you’ll be able to play with them when you come home, but you’ll also get a chance to relax without having to worry about what mischief the kitten is up to. In addition, a pair of kittens will practice their hunting skills on each other rather than on you. A two-pound kitten pouncing on your foot might be cute, but five years later when your 12-pound cat is attacking your feet on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, it becomes less cute and more dangerous. Also, if you have an adult cat in the house, it will be easier for him to adjust to a pair of kittens than to one. One kitten will look to the older cat as a mandatory playmate, often annoying the adult and frustrating the kitten. But a pair of kittens will play with each other, giving your older cat the opportunity to join if he wants, but the ability to abstain if he’d rather. So, long story short, if you are thinking of adopting a kitten, consider two.
When bringing new kittens into the house, it’s a good idea to start them off in a small room. Having the run of the house right away can be overwhelming to kittens, so using a room as a base for them to explore and get used to prior to going out into the house can make them feel more secure. It also gives them a safe, familiar place to retreat to later when they are tired or stressed. In addition, starting kittens off in a small room allows them to familiarize themselves with the location of food, water, and a litter box a little easier.
Speaking of litter boxes, you should always plan to have one more litter box than you have cats. So if you have two kittens, you should have at least three litter boxes. Placing litter boxes on each level of the house will help to ensure that kittens can get to them in a timely fashion. Using an unscented litter works best for cats. Humans may find a fresh scent pleasant, but a cat’s sense of smell is significantly stronger than ours, making those fresh scents a little overpowering.
In addition, after using the litter box, kittens/cats clean their paws by licking them, which puts that strong scent even closer to their sensitive noses.
When it comes to food, your veterinarian can help you select the best diet for your new family members, but here is some general information to get you started. Feeding kittens a good quality diet, like Hill’s Science Diet or Royal Canin, can help them live long, healthy lives and can help maintain their urinary pH levels appropriately avoiding potential issues later in life. Cats are carnivores, so protein is a key nutrient. Feeding canned food once or twice daily gives kittens the protein and moisture that their bodies need and will help them achieve and maintain an ideal weight. Cats also tend to eat several small meals during the day, so leaving dry food available for them helps meet their nutritional needs. Also remember to provide kittens plenty of clean, fresh water.
Teaching kittens to tolerate certain behaviors early will help you in the long run. For example, get kittens used to having their toes touched regularly so that nail trims won’t be such stressful events. Your vet’s office can help you understand how to trim kitten nails safely. Additionally, start combing/brushing kittens early so that they get used to the feel of being groomed. You can also get them used to going in the carrier and the car by taking short trips that don’t go anywhere frightening. Take them on short trips around the block or to a friend’s house so that they don’t associate getting in the carrier or the car with something negative.
Scratching is a natural activity for cats. Understanding why cats scratch can help you provide kittens with scratching posts that will entice them away from your furniture. Cats scratch to sharpen their nails, to stretch, and to mark their territory. They therefore need scratching posts that are tall enough to allow them to stretch to their full height, with a base wide enough that cats won’t tip them, and in locations that they want to scratch. Cats end up scratching your living room furniture because that’s where you hang out; they’re trying to mark that area as part of their territory because they want to be with you. Providing them with appropriate scratching posts in that area will help them follow their instincts without destroying your furniture. Put treats or favorite toys on top of the posts to encourage kittens to use them. Using double-sided tape in areas that you don’t want kittens scratching can be an effective deterrent during the training period. Unlike a spray bottle, it’s in place whether you’re there or not, and it doesn’t cause a negative association with you. In addition, Soft Paws (plastic nail caps) can be used as a training aide to keep kittens from damaging belongings while they’re learning.
Finally, make sure to provide kittens with plenty of safe toys. Pet supply stores will provide you a wide variety of toys to choose from: brightly-colored crinkly balls, jingly plastic balls, fuzzy mice, furry snakes, feathers on a string, ping pong balls, etc. Try them out to see what your kitten enjoys. Most toys are ok to leave available for your kittens, but any toys that have strings on them should only be used when you are there to supervise. And as you would with a young child, avoid toys with small removable parts that can be a choking hazard.
Most importantly, provide your new kittens with lots of love, and enjoy their antics and affection.