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More Tips on Feeding Your Cat

Cat Crazy Newsletter

Tuesday March 25, 2008     

Last week I talked to you about the pros and cons of dry vs. canned foods. Today I wanted to give you a few more tips on my favorite approach to feeding cats. 

Cats naturally are nibblers. If given the opportunity they prefer to have frequent small meals throughout the day. The problem with dry food (especially those that keep the bowl full) is that it is hard to know if/when/what a cat is eating – especially if it is full and ESPECIALLY if you have more than one cat. This is important because cats are very good at hiding when they are ill and one of the first signs they will show is lack of an appetite

So… I think the ideal is this. (This works great if you have more than one cat and they are able to maintain a fairly ideal body weight.)

Leave dry food down and feed a small amount of canned or pouched food twice a day. This allows the cat to nibble and also give you the ability to assess your cat’s behavior, energy level, interest and appetite during the moist food feedings. If you have a cat that normally comes RUNNING for the canned or pouch food and one day is under the table with no interest – there is a problem.

If you only had dry food down, it make take you two more days to notice that your cat is not acting right.

Of course, it really helps if your cat likes his food. There are a number of excellent high quality cat foods in the market. Hills Science Diet has recently introduced a new product in the market that contains fish, chicken and beef in every bite.

Go to: HillsPet.com/ChunksOfGravy to learn more about this new product.

Remember, good quality food will make your cat healthy from the inside out. Low quality food (or too much food) will have a negative effect on a cat’s quality of life.  Always feed high quality foods and treats.

Until next time,

Dr. Jon

March 25, 2008 Posted by | Feline Health, Feline Nutrition, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bob-Cat Rescue Stories

http://southwestwildlife.org/PDF/rehab_stories/anthem_bobcat.pdf

http://southwestwildlife.org/PDF/rehab_stories/bobcat_kittens.pdf

http://southwestwildlife.org/rose.htm

March 25, 2008 Posted by | Bobcats, Rescue | 3 Comments

DOGGY “ETIQUETTE 101”

Seattle Humane Society’s Most Popular Dog Training Course is Open for Registration


BELLEVUE, WA – Registration is now open for the Seattle Humane Society’s “Basic Manners” dog training course, a six week course designed to teach dogs and their guardians all the basics!

Register by calling (425) 641-0080, or download the registration form at www.seattlehumane.org/training.shtml and fax it to (425) 747-2985.  The cost for the course is $120 for general public and $95 for Seattle Humane Society adopters.  There are only 8-10 spots per course to ensure one-on-one attention, so dog lovers are encouraged to register right away to secure a spot.

 “Basic Manners” is a six-week training course for dogs, at least five months of age, and their guardians to learn basic commands, leash manners, techniques for preventing unwanted behaviors and solutions to common behavioral problems.  Dogs will be able to socialize with other dogs and will learn to work around distractions. All of the Seattle Humane Society courses use positive, gentle, and fun training methods, including clicker training.  Clicker training is a very effective, science-based system for teaching new behaviors with positive reinforcement. 

There are five “Basic Manners” courses beginning in April that will meet for one hour every week:

¨        Wednesdays, 4/9 – 5/21, 12:15 p.m.

¨        Fridays, 4/4 – 5/16, 4:15 p.m.

¨        Saturdays, 4/5 – 5/17, 11:30 a.m.

¨        Saturdays, 4/12 – 5/24, 2:15 p.m.

¨        Saturdays, 4/12 – 5/24, 4:45 p.m.

The courses will take place at the Seattle Humane Society, located in Bellevue at 13212 SE Eastgate Way.

The Seattle Humane Society was founded in 1897 to bring people and pets together.  The Seattle Humane Society does this today through its low-fee spay/neuter surgery program, pet workshops and training, pet food bank, humane teen club, visiting pets program and more. The Seattle Humane Society is located in Bellevue, at 13212 SE Eastgate Way.  For directions and more information, visit www.seattlehumane.org or call (425) 641-0080.

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March 25, 2008 Posted by | Rescue | 3 Comments

Oklahoma 4th Graders Launch 4th Annual Event To Help Handicapped Pets Nationwide

March 14, 2008 – Velma, OK

Summary: Children raise money to save Special Needs Animals while learning about disabilities and how to care.

For More Information: Contact Deborah Winters, HandicappedPets.com (603) 566-5764

            Each year, teacher Kathy Barton introduces her 4th graders to her blind dog “Hope” and creates a flurry of excitement as the kids shower the dog with affection. They’re usually surprised at how well the sightless Shepherd runs and plays. With the help of the HandicappedPets.com website, the boys and girls learn that disabled, elderly, and special needs pets can live happy, healthy lives with a little bit of help.

            They choose a pet in need from the website’s rich photo gallery and raise money with bake sales, handicapped pet parades, and coke floats. They invent handicapped pet equipment, draw pictures, explore websites and, by the end of the class, donate a pet wheelchair(s) to an animal in need.  In 2007 they raised $1200 and donated three carts, this year their goal is $1500.  Will they do it? Absolutely!

Johanna, abused by teenagers, saved by 4th graders Xavier, a quadriplegic cat, takes his very first steps 
Scooter, born with no front legs, can run and play. 13 year old Zack is a happy old dog.

 

For stories, photos, inventions, and to view an amazing handicapped pet quilt, go to http://www.HandicappedPets.com/school

or call Deborah Winters at (603) 566-5764.

To read how Kathy and her kids inspired The Marvin Fund go to http://www.HandicappedPetscom/marvin

March 25, 2008 Posted by | Rescue | 1 Comment

Easter Lily Deadly To Cats

Cat Crazy Newsletter

Saturday March 22, 2008     

Happy Easter!

As many of you get together with family and friends to celebrate Easter there will be lots of good food, chocolate bunnies, Easter eggs and many other festive decorations.

Did you know that there is a traditional Easter decoration that can be very dangerous to both dogs and cats?

Well there is. The biggest Easter danger to cats is toxicity from Easter Lily ingestion.  They are toxic and dangerous. They cause kidney failure in cats and can be deadly. So PLEASE! Either don’t bring Easter lilies (which is the best thing to do) or keep them out of the reach of your cat.

Remember, cats can be both curious and sneaky. It only takes them a minute to jump up on the counter and take a nibble. And that nibble could be fatal.

So be safe, keep the lilies away from your cat.

Also please be careful of other Easter dangers such as the grass that goes in the Easter baskets. Some cats will eat it leading to a gastrointestinal obstruction that could require surgery.

Accidents can happen at any time, all we can is to be educated and to take reasonable measures. This is one of the reasons I recommend pet insurance. Unexpected illnesses or accidents can happen at any time. . If you can’t afford an unexpected $1,000 – $2,000 expense, then you really should consider pet insurance.

Take a minute to learn about the benefits of pet insurance and to get a free quote

Go to veterinarypetinsurance.com.

Please, what ever you do on this lovely Easter weekend, keep your cat safe.  I don’t want to hear that any of you ended up at the emergency clinic.

Have a great holiday weekend.

Until next time…

Dr. Jon

March 25, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is Your Cat a “Fatty”?

Cat Crazy Newsletter

 

 

Is Your Cat a “Fatty”?

Is your cat overweight?  Don’t worry – you aren’t alone!

It is estimated that nearly half of cats are overweight or likely to become overweight. Of them, a large percentage of people don’t believe their cats are overweight.

That is denial. Or…maybe it is blind love?

Obesity can exacerbate several underlying conditions including arthritis and diabetes. Excess weight is just as unhealthy for cats as it is for us.

But we can do something about their weight. They depend on us for food and we can control their food. But loosing weight isn’t just about controlling what they eat but also how much they eat.

Hill’s Science Diet® recently came out with a program called “Pet FitT Challenge “.  I like this program because it covers what cat owners need to do to help their cats lose weight (and maintain their ideal weight). It is a combination of feeding the right food in the right proportions and combining it with a healthy lifestyle (yes, that includes some exercise).

If you think your cat could benefit from this program – please consider it.

Go to: PetFit.com and take the challenge.

If you follow this program…your kitty will be healthier!  It’s free. All you need to do is go to this link petfit.com and follow the instructions.   It makes a great reference and a great guide.

If you are not sure if your cat is overweight – ask your veterinarian. Most vets have scales and wouldn’t mind if you even stop by for a weight and compare that to a previous weight. Call and ask. Your vet is your partner in keeping your cat happy and healthy.

Until next time…

Dr. Jon

P.S.  When you go to Petfit.com – it then asks you for your state. Go ahead and enter it, as it will then take you to a page where you can download a coupon or download your weight management record book. This is good – it gives you the body scores – pictures of cats of different shapes so you can determine if your cat is overweight.

March 25, 2008 Posted by | Feline Health, Feline Nutrition, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last Years Pet Food Recall

From: Dr Andrew Jones
Author: Veterinary Secrets Revealed
Website: http://www.veterinarysecretsrevealed.com/

Re: URGENT..Pet Food Recall (1 Year Ago)

Hello fellow dog and cat lovers.

It has been a little over 1 year since the Pet Food Recall
hit the news.

During that time, thousands of pets became ill, and thousands
died of kidney failure.

In the end, the food was found to be contaminated with
Melamine and Cyanuric Acid.

Specifically the ‘Wheat Gluten’, a very inexpensive filler
was imported from China. The Wheat gluten was contaminated
with melamine and cyanuric acid intentionally to increase
the measured protein levels.

This was trully unbelievable..IT was hard to fathom
that in this day and age, we could have such a widespread
contamination.

HOW could this happen?

HOW can you TRUST what is in the food and on the label?

Well there NEEDS to be some form of regulation..but
guess what?

1 Year later Dog and Cat Food has little regulation- In fact
I am not sure that It is ANY SAFER than it was 1 year ago.

March 24, 2008 Posted by | Recall | 5 Comments

AB 1634

Whooops! Assemblymember Lloyd Levine, author of AB 1634 has done it again! His own survey shows 7 out of 10 people oppose AB 1634, a proposed law to force pet sterilization in California.

However that is not stopping him from pushing to make AB 1634 law. AB 1634 has passed the California Assembly and is currently in the Senate Local Government Committee where Levine’s campaign says it will be heard within weeks.

Animal rights extremists have spent millions of dollars waging their campaign against the rights of pets and their owners. On the heels of their successful campaign to force pet sterilization in the city of Los Angeles, they have set their sights on mandating pet sterilization for the entire state of California and then across the nation.

PetPac

March 18, 2008 Posted by | Anti Pet Legislation | Leave a comment

Some Animal Activist Groups Have Become Terrorists

Animal Activists Sued By University Of California Regents For Threatening University Reseachers

By Emily Huh on Other Pets

In 2006, according to court documents, animal rights activists harassed UCLA professor Dario Ringach and other scientists who conduct research with laboratory animals.Documents stated that they hurled firecrackers at his house and planted Molotov-cocktail-like explosives at the homes of other faculty members and threatened to burn down their houses.

Ringach was afraid for his family and their safety and wrote an email to the animal activists begging to be left alone: “Effectively immediately, I am no longer doing animal research. Please don’t bother my family anymore.”

In response to the threats by the activists, the University of California regents are suing UCLA Primate Freedom, the Animal Liberation Brigade, the Animal Liberation Front and five people allegedly affiliated with this group.

From Washington Post:

Harassment by violent animal rights activists has climbed at universities across the country, including Oregon Health and Science University, the University of Utah, and Ohio State University, where researchers have been victims of home visits or, in one case, found their windows slathered in glass-eating acid. Scientists, administrators and lawyers are closely watching the effectiveness of the California regents case.

Experts say the shift toward more personal attacks is a response to increasingly fortified laboratories, which universities began securing in the 1980s and 1990s as attacks heightened.

Now, groups have shunned “Fort Knox” in favor of ill-prepared homes, said Jerry Vlasik, the former vivisector turned spokesman for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office. Vlasik has repeatedly advocated for using “whatever force against animal research scientists necessary.”

“If killing them is the only way to stop them,” he said in a telephone interview, “then I said killing them would certainly be justified.”

Some scientists refuse to relinquish their work, but others are not taking chances. Like Ringach, some continue to work but not with animals. Most who leave the profession make their decisions quietly, not wanting to fuel the movement.

Still, ripples are spreading through the science community. Positions in animal research are increasingly difficult to fill, according to Frankie Trull, president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research, a national organization that supports the humane and responsible use of animals in medical and scientific research.

“I do hear scientists say that they have open positions and nobody to fill them because it’s animal research,” Trull said. “The bigger question, and we worry about this a lot, is what will happen to the future of biomedical research? Will brilliant young minds go to some other field because this field has become too contentious?”

March 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Pet Sitting 101

Pet Sitting 101

By Patty Richard on Dogs

annie.jpgI guess that sooner or later, just about everyone is pressed into service as a pet sitter. It can be a pleasant experience if you follow a few simple guidelines. To illustrate some basic tenets of the craft, I will use Annie Maguire and her guardians as an example. This isn’t intended to be a guide to professional pet sitting. I pet-sit only for friends and animals with whom I have an established relationship. For information on professional pet sitting, see www.petsitters.org.

Annie is a golden retriever, approximately four years old. Her guardians, Jane and Joel, are experienced and dedicated dog lovers. Over the years, they have shared their home with some marvelous canines. They raised Annie from puppyhood, and their general joie de vive is reflected in her personality.

Taking care of Annie Maguire is the pet-sitting equivalent of winning the Irish Sweepstakes. The Maguires’ home is one of the more comfortable residences on the island, and Annie is intelligent, affectionate and humorous. So let’s just say that I don’t shrink from the prospect of staying in that gorgeous home, taking care of that lovable dog.

In a general sense, it’s best to have a pre-care visit with pet and guardians. The Maguires always write down all the things I need to know about Annie’s routine: what she’s eating, how much to feed her and how often; what medications or supplements she might be taking… that kind of thing. They also let me know how to reach them in an emergency, and give me the contact information for their veterinarian.

It’s a good idea to have a backup plan in case you can’t perform your pet sitting duties. I got sick once while the Maguires were on holiday and ended up in the hospital. Fortunately, we live in a community where we can rely on friends and neighbors to lend a hand, so their dog was well cared for in my absence… a little confused by the sudden change of venue, but well cared for nonetheless. We didn’t have a plan and it worked out, but now when I agree to care for a pet I always keep a backup sitter in mind.

Pet sitting is not just a matter of feeding an animal and attending to its elimination issues. Pets get lonely when their families are away. A lot of people think that cats do well on their own, and it’s true that they do better than dogs, but most of them appreciate some companionship as well. For dogs, daily exercise is essential. Depending on the dog’s personality, interactive play and lots of affection can be just as important as regular meals. Annie Maguire falls into this category.

I don’t think the Maguires will be surprised, or at all offended, if I tell you that Annie is a bit of a goofball. She loves to be the center of attention, and will go to some lengths to get it. She has a laundry basket full of toys and she’ll parade every single one of them in front of me in an effort to interest me in a game of tug-of-war… her favorite pastime. If the bones and balls and ropes and stuffed animals don’t elicit a response, she’ll up the ante. She’ll take some household item that clearly is not hers – a dishtowel or a shoe, and wave it in my face. Her reasoning is that I will try to take the article away from her. She’s prepared to put up with a little scolding if that will advance the game.

I learned a long time ago that Annie does not respond to the firm, “mommy” tone of voice. The guilt gene is completely missing from her DNA, and there’s just no point in playing the disciplinarian with her. In fact, she seems to relish the idea that she can work me into a lather over some minor transgression. I’ve found that the best way to get Annie to lose interest in an item is to feign indifference to the fact that she’s stolen it. The exception to this strategy is if she gets hold of something that might hurt her. The last time I was staying with her, she decided to show me how efficiently she could chew up her grooming brush, which she had stolen from the kitchen counter. It had a plastic handle that disintegrated into small sharp pieces when she bit into it, which could have been a disaster had she swallowed them. Annie doesn’t respond to finger wagging and orders, but she does cooperate when my tone of voice reflects worry and concern. She dropped the brush immediately when I told her how dangerous it was, and allowed me to clean up the pieces without interfering.

Annie is an inventive dog, and she’s found some interesting, not to say alarming ways to amuse herself and liven up the household. One of her games is “how many things can I get in my mouth at once?” This challenging activity involves picking up and holding as many toys as possible. If we’re outside, sticks are used as game pieces. This game seemed benign enough until the day she managed to get two tennis balls wedged in her mouth and could not dislodge them. We had a few tense moments while I carefully extricated them, and now she’s allowed to have only one tennis ball at a time.

I walk Annie at least twice a day; three times if the weather is good. We’re fortunate to live in an area where dog walking is a pleasure: very little road traffic, lots of woodland trails, and miles of largely deserted shoreline. Annie’s pretty well behaved on the leash, with one notable exception… she’ll lunge at any cat that crosses her path. Annie was trained on a gentle leader, so she rarely pulls at her leash, but she can slip a normal collar like Houdini if she’s determined to give chase.

Annie’s favorite outing is a walk to Sandy Beach. In winter, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll meet anyone else there, so I can let her run to her heart’s content. She’s a retriever and can’t resist a dip in the bay, even when it’s freezing, so I carry a bath towel with me. I also carry a pocketful of dog treats, to lure her away from any disgusting thing she might decide to eat. She seems to have a particular fondness for seagull carcasses, which I’m pretty sure are not part of her approved diet. She’ll also eat shells, dead horseshoe crabs and seaweed if left to make her own decisions. I suppose a lot of people would take issue with the bribery method that I use to separate her from these taste sensations, but I’m a path of least resistance kinda gal. My one goal in caring for Annie is making sure that when Jane and Joel return from their trip, I don’t have to open our conversation with, “Remember that dog you used to have?”

Annie takes her duties as hostess quite seriously. No matter what I’m doing… reading, watching tv or working, she stays within petting distance so I can stroke her whenever I feel the need. She selflessly tastes everything I eat to make sure it isn’t spoiled or poisoned. When it’s time for bed, she flops down beside me to guard me from intruders.

When Jane and Joel are at home, Annie has permission to be in the yard all by herself and she doesn’t stray. I always go outside with her, because one thing I’ve learned in my many years of pet care is that dogs seldom adhere to “the rules” when a sitter is in charge. A pet sitter is the doggie equivalent of a substitute teacher, and even the most well behaved animal will test the boundaries occasionally. Annie thinks it’s weird that I don’t let her go outside unattended. She graciously plays soccer and frisbee and fetch and tug-of-war with me, but she harbors the private conviction that I’m a pretty needy human being that can’t be left alone for even one minute.

As much as we enjoy each other’s company, Annie goes totally bananas when her folks finally return from their trip. It’s not that she doesn’t like me; it’s just her way of saying, “You aren’t my parents!” I’m always happy to see them, too. I like looking after Annie, but it’s a relief to return their adored pet to them in pretty much the same condition as when they left… maybe a little weightier from those extra dog treats, and with a faint aroma of seagull feathers on her breath… but pretty much intact.

To recap the salient pointers: always know the routine, plan ahead, never assume that pets will behave as well as they would with mom and dad, and let them have as much fun as they can, as safely as possible.

March 18, 2008 Posted by | Pet Sitting | Leave a comment