Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Colorado Floods

First, we want to say that we are sorry for slacking on the blog visiting the past few days. All the rain has made my pain and fatigue worse.  But we are safe and dry here in Denver, and we are thankful for that.  We know so many are dealing with much worse.  As far as we are aware, all of our local friends are safe and dry, too.

That being said, many people and pets have been displaced by the floods here.  Roads and homes have been damaged.  

  • More than 2,200 people and 500 pets have been rescued so far.
  • More than 11,700 people have been evacuated.
  • 17,494 homes and other structures have been damaged by the floods; 1,502 have been completely destroyed.
  • Hundreds of people are still not accounted for.
There are currently 26 shelters open for displaced people and pets, but not all of the shelters are pet-friendly.  Local shelters and Humane Societies are providing shelter for displaced pets.  The Humane Society of Boulder Valley, the Longmont Humane Society, and the Larimer Humane Society are among those who are providing shelter.  

Please check with the local shelters if you lost your pet during the floods as some of them are taking in lost pets as well.  The Colorado Disaster Wildlife/Flood Lost & Found Pets is also sharing photos and updates on lost pets in Colorado.  You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

If you are looking for a way to help Colorado, the Colorado government has created a page on Ways You Can Help.  

Those who are affected by the floods are in our thoughts and prayers.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cats with Your Coffee?

Carmine and I think it sounds like a good idea!!

During the month of September, the Denver Dumb Friends League is hosting free "Cat and Coffee Chats."  People interested in adopting a new cat can come learn about the benefits of pet ownership, how to integrate a new cat into the home, and how to find the right cat for them.  Cat experts will lead the informal chats on Saturdays in September before the shelter opens.

All "Cats and Coffee Chats" are free and will be held from 9:15 to 10AM at the Quebec Street Denver Dumb Friends League, located at: 2080 S. Quebec St., Denver, CO 80231.

If you're considering adopting a cat for the first time or adding another cat to your family, I encourage you go to one of these chats, enjoy some refreshments, and get your feline adoption questions answered.

You can view the "Cats and Coffee Chats" schedule on the Denver Dumb Friends League website here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kidney Disease and Hypertension Clinical Trial

We ran across this clinical trial tonight. Jewel meets all the criteria and would be perfect for it.....but, there's no site near us. I wanted to let everyone else know about it though in case they have or know of a kitty who can participate at a site near them.

This clinical trial is looking for cats who have been diagnosed with kidney disease and hypertension (high blood pressure), are at least one year old, and are healthy enough to participate in a six-month-long trial.

According to the study's website, hypertension can cause serious problems in cats, such as seizures, heart disease, bleeding in the brain, and blindness.  Unfortunately, feline hypertension often has no symptoms, so it can easily go undetected.  While hypertension is often associated with kidney disease and thyroid disease, there are currently no FDA approved medications to treat hypertension in cats.

This study is investigating the effectiveness of a liquid medication on hypertension in cats.  Study sites are available across the United States in: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

You can learn more about this study on the clinical trial's website.  There, you will also find contact information for the study as well.  Please feel free to share this information with others.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Shelter Pets Viewed as Undesirable

In a survey conducted by Best Friends Animal Society in Utah, it was discovered that 46% of adults aged 18-34 were more likely to purchase a pet rather than consider adopting one.  Additionally, 46% of the young adults surveyed thought shelter pets were less desirable than those in stores or from breeders.

I think this is really sad.  The truth is, cats and dogs typically find themselves at shelters through no fault of their own.  In fact, according to Petfinder the most common reasons cats and dogs go to shelters are:

  • Owners move to housing that don't accept pets.
  • Owners can no longer afford the pet.
  • Allergies.
  • Owners no longer have time for the pet.
  • Owners have personal problems.
Shelter cats and dogs make great pets.  I've adopted a few pets from shelters, and it's always been a rewarding experience for me.  

Some great reasons to adopt a shelter pet include:
  • You save a life.  Sadly, about 4 million shelter pets are euthanized each year due to pet overpopulation and limited space in shelters.
  • You save money on initial costs.  It's cheaper to adopt a pet from a shelter than it is to buy one from a breeder or pet store.  Most shelter pets are already spayed or neutered and vaccinated.  Some shelter pets also come microchipped.
  • Shelter staff can help you find a great match.  Shelter staff have the opportunity to get to know the pets and can help you find the kind of pet you're looking for.  For instance, shelter staff will know which cats are lapcats, which ones are very playful, and which ones get along with other cats, children, and dogs. 
  • Purebreds can be found in shelters, too.  If you have your heart set on getting a specific breed of cat or dog, check your local shelter.  If your local shelter doesn't have the breed you're looking for, you can often find a breed-specific shelter or organization to adopt from.
  • Pets at shelters are usually housebroken or litter box trained.
  • When you adopt an adult cat or dog from a shelter, you know what you're getting.  You'll know what size the pet is as well as what the pet's temperament is like.  Adopting an adult pet also allows you to skip over the puppy or kitten stage, which can be frustrating for some people.
If you're thinking about getting a pet, I hope you will check out your local shelter.  Shelter pets make wonderful companions!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Cat Medication: Money-Saving Tip

I'm so sorry I've been so bad about posting to this blog.  I've been trying to find a good balance between my new writing position, Fur Everywhere, this blog, and other daily activities.  I do plan on being better at posting here at least once a week.  I want this blog to be a good place to find helpful information for cats and their humans. :)

I wanted to let you know of a great little money-saving tip.

Jewel takes Benazepril for her high blood pressure.  She's on 1/4 of a 5mg. pill twice a day.  Our wonderful veterinarian sells them for $30 per month's supply.  I didn't think this price was bad.  

A friend of mine wondered if Benazepril might be on one of the $4 generic lists some pharmacies have these days, so he helped me check that out.  

We found that Walgreen's will sell us a month's supply of pills (15 in this case) for $15. 

Next, we checked the King Soopers.  They said they could sell us the medication for $4.  I'm sure that some of the other stores that have the $4 generics could also do this, but we haven't checked any others.  I don't know all of the pharmacies who do the $4 generics, but I know Wal-Mart and Target also have this program.  If you know of other stores who participate, please let me know in the comments section, and I'll add them to the post.

The vet is nice to cut Jewel's pills into fourths for us, but if you can find your cat's medication cheaper like we did, you can get a pill cutter and cut the medication yourself at home.  I got Jewel's pill cutter at King Soopers for approximately $4.50.  

I hope this information is useful to some humans out there.  It's always good to save green papers - that way you'll have more to spoil your fur baby with! :)

Jewel's enjoying her favorite fleece blanket.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Large Cat Food Recall Affecting 25 States

On Sunday, Diamond Pet Foods recalled many types of dry kitten and cat food when internal testing revealed that the food contains a low level of thiamine (vitamin B1).  Thiamine deficiency can cause serious problems for felines.  The recall affects food sold in 25 states.

Recalled Food

Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula in 18 pound bags with a "Best By" date of 10-Jul-2013. The recalled bags contain a product code of: NGF0703.  They were sold in Massachusetts.

Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula in six and 18 pound bags with "Best By" dates of 03-Jan-2014 and 04-Jan-2014.  The product code on these bags is: NGS0101.  Bags were sold in: Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

4health All Life Stages Cat Formula in five and 18 pound bags with "Best By" dates of 14-Aug-2013 and 18-Aug-2013.  The product code on these bags is: NGF0802.  The bags were sold in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula *DIFFERENT THAN ABOVE* in six and 18 pound bags with a "Best By" date of 10-Jul-2013.  The product code on these bags is: NGS0702.  The bags were sold in Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Diamond Naturals Kitten Formula in six-ounce samples and six pound bags with a "Best By" date of 30-Sept-2013.  The product code on these bags is: MKT0901.  The bags were sold in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

Premium Edge Kitten Formula in six-ounce samples, six pound bags, and 18 pound bags with "Best By" dates of 26-Sept-2013, 29-Sept-2013, 30-Sept-2013, and 02-Oct-2013.  The product code on these bags is: MKT0901.  The bags were sold in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Thiamine Deficiency

Thiamine deficiency can cause gastrointestinal and neurological problems in cats.  Sometimes, gastrointestinal problems occur before neurological symptoms do.

Symptoms of thiamine deficiency include:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Cervical ventroflexion - the neck is bent toward the floor, an inability to raise the head.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Salivation.
  • Loss of coordination.
  • Slow heartbeat. 
  • Seizures.
  • Head tilt.
  • Falling.
  • Circling. 
If you have a bag of the recalled food, please stop feeding it immediately.  You can take the bag of food back to the retailer you purchased it from or discard of it in the garbage.  

If you notice any of the symptoms or other unusual behavior in your cat, please take him or her to the vet for a diagnosis and treatment plan.  


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Keep Your Dog Out of the Litter Box

Both cats and dogs make wonderful companion animals.  Many times, they can co-exist in the home without many problems, especially when they are introduced to each other at a young age.  However, one common problem cat and dog owners face is that the dog will eat kitty's feces out of the litter box.

Carmine: Us kitties are so much more dignified than that!

When we lived with roommates, the dog in the house actually raided the litter boxes quite often, so we had to figure out some ways to prevent her from accessing the boxes.  We hope some of these tips are helpful if you are also experiencing this problem.

  • Use a baby gate: You can put a baby gate up to block access to the room where you keep your kitty's litter box.  Young kitties will easily be able to jump over the gate.  If you have an older cat or a cat with arthritis, you could set up the gate about a foot off the floor so that your cat can easily go underneath it.  If you don't have a small dog, he or she won't be able to crawl under the gate.  Alternatively, you could get an accordion-style gate, and leave a space big enough for your cat to get through but not big enough for your dog.
  • Cat door: Another way you can block access to the litter box is by installing a cat door to the room where the litter box is located.  This may or may not work for your cat, though, as some cats refuse to use cat doors.
  • Hooded litter box: A hooded litter box may also keep your dog from eating your cat's feces.  Please be advised, though, some cats won't use a covered litter box.  If you find that this is the case with your cat, uncover his or her box, and try a different solution.

Photo from Wikipedia Commons
  • Put the box up high: If your cat is able to jump up to a higher place to use the litter box, this may be a good way to keep your dog from eating the feces.  For instance, a friend used to put his cat's litter box up on a plastic bin for her so that she could easily get to it, but the dog could not reach it to steal feces.  Ensure that wherever you choose to put your cat's litter box is a stable, secure, safe place.
  • Taste deterrent: Finally, you can teach your dog that feces do not taste good by using a taste deterrent.  Try spraying Bitter Apple on your cat's feces to deter your dog from eating them.  In order for this to work, the ASPCA states that you need to consistently spray your cat's feces with the deterrent, and keep your dog from drinking water 10-20 minutes after he eats the bad-tasting cat feces.  
If your dog enjoys raiding your cat's litter box, try using these tips to deter him.  With some time and patience, your dog should learn that cat feces are off-limits to him or her.

Do you have other ideas on how to deter a dog from eating from the litter box?  We'd love to hear your suggestions!