I have a list of what I call "chum" topics on the blog, topics that are guaranteed to bloody the waters and bring in the sharks and ruin my little oasis of calm and rational discussion. While I don't mind talking about controversial things, it's not worth it unless we're trying to find some common ground- right? Which is why I've waited a good long time to say how I feel about declaws, because it never seemed to accomplish anything. But times change, and I think based on what I'm seeing around ... Read more »
How Not To Kill Your Cat This Easter
Happy Easter! Are you ready to make sure everyone survives the weekend? We have the usual dangers of course, the ham that sends the dog to the ER with pancreatitis, the Easter basket grass that winds up tangled in the small intestine, the Cadbury overload, all the good stuff. But the Big Daddy of Easter dangers, as more and more people are realizing, is the dreaded Easter lily. Lilies will kill your cat. No mercy and no quarter- the leaves, petals, stems, even the little bit of pollen that ... Read more »
Get your puppy and kitten fix here. One day only.
Every little kid who wants to be a vet someday says it's because they love puppies and kittens and think we get to play with them all day. And then we smile, trying not to look too discouraging, as we encourage their dream while thinking of all the cancer euthanasias, anal sac abscesses, and "it-just-started-yesterday-I-swear" 10 centimeter pedunculated, bloody masses. Some people thrive on all that stuff. Me, I never got beyond the 10 year old version of being a vet. I like preventive care. ... Read more »
Is your hard drive safe from your cat?
It's a Tuesday, close to midnight. I've just gotten back from Africa and the animals have patiently waited their turn for face time, making way for the kids to get their snuggles in first. I sit at the computer, downloading the first of several memory cards of priceless photos, the documentation of the punda trip of a lifetime. Apollo is on my lap, drooling. I nudge him aside to wipe my hand. He waits a minute, then comes back. "Apollo, stop," I say. He bites my finger, a love nibble ... Read more »
Giveaway Tuesday: End Cat Boredom!
Easier said than done, right? How do you motivate a couch catato to get their keister off the ottoman and go run around? If you have a surefire trick, well, patent it, because the rest of us have to keep trying new things. Friskies is on a mission to help with their "End Cat Boredom" campaign, which albeit tongue in cheek addresses a real issue. In support of the campaign, they are offering some Boredom Buster kits, and by some I mean FIFTY, to you guys. Which is awesome, right? The kits ... Read more »
Scientific progress goes boink: viruses, renal failure, and you
A thin, dehydrated cat presents to the clinic with the complaint of malaise, inappetence, and weight loss. I tent his skin and watch as I let go, the gummy flap at the nape of his neck sitting still instead of snapping smartly back in place. His breath has the sour smell a vet might describe as "uremic", common in cats with renal failure as the kidneys are overwhelmed with their job of filtering waste from the blood. Bloodwork confirms what we suspect: this older cat is in kidney failure, and ... Read more »
Cat Lady Undercover
Anyone who's read this blog for a while knows I identify as a dog person. In this world, you're one or the other, it seems, but just because you lean towards one doesn't mean you dislike the other. I happen to like cats a lot, too. Which is why I took my daughter to check out the 2012 San Diego Cat Show this weekend. It really is a different world. Much like a dog show, there are 'rings' where the cats are judged. There's none of this running around in a show lead, however. The cats ... Read more »
Giveaway: Iams Cat Pack
As we all know, cats are our friends. When the bad stuff goes down, you want a cat on your side. One, they'll warn you when a flesh eater approaches (of course they will. Because if you die, who's going to feed them?) And two, if worse comes to worse, they'll take them out themselves. Cats hate zombies. Haven't you seen Pet Sematary? Bottom line: Keep your cat happy and fed, especially when zombies are about. Because you do NOT want a zombie cat. To help you in this, Iams has donated not ... Read more »
Litter Robot Review
There are litterboxes, and then there are litterboxes. The kind that make you stop in your tracks and say, "Wow. I can't believe I am so impressed by a cat toilet." Since the first time I stood mesmerized watching a Litter Robot in action, I've been coveting one. And because I am lucky, Litter Robot recently sent me one of these mysterious little devices to try out for myself. For such a complicated looking device, it's actually ridiculously easy to put together. Stick the tray in the ... Read more »
Giveaway Tuesday: Senior Pet Products.com!
Congratulations to the winners! $50 gift card is Barbara Hubler $20 gift card is Keri Dominguez $20 gift card is Julie Hust After a particularly bad month, I said to my friends that I felt like a car whose warranty had just expired. Every organ system has just fallen to bits all at once. I've spent the latter half of the summer catching up on my winter '10 reading in doctor's waiting rooms. I've been poked and prodded over just about every linear inch of my rapidly deteriorating ... Read more »
Giveaway Tuesday: Wellness Cat food!
Today, while we're all digesting the remnants of our Independence Day feasts, I have for you a special giveaway for the kitty in your life. I have to swear you all to secrecy that you won't share the details with Apollo, for if he knows what I had to give away instead of sharing with his sad food-allergic self I'm sure I'd be finding more than a few slimy furballs on my pillow. I have a special place in my heart for the Wellness brand. When my dear old hound Nuke developed a nasty splenic ... Read more »
Giveaway Tuesday: SureFlap Cat Flap
And the winner, randomly selected by random.org, is Tricia Thompson! Today's a doozy of a giveaway for the cat people: a SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap! I know a lot of people- including this one- keep their cats indoor only, and that's OK. We will have other things for you. :) For those who have secure and safe outdoor places for cats to roam, this is your lucky day! I've heard the stories firsthand: you install a cat door, only to find your neighbor's tabby chilling in your living room, ... Read more »
Power to the Kitties
It's June, and that marks National Adopt A Cat Month. Every month is a good month to adopt a cat, I say, but with June marking the height of the infamous 'kitten season' there really is no better time to go down to your local shelter or humane society and bring home a little fuzzball of your own. Be sure to check out the link above for the American Humane Association's Top Ten Checklist for bringing home a new cat. Speaking of stuff to check out, here is a little video from the CATalyst ... Read more »
Giveaway Tuesday: Frolicat Dart!
Congratulations to our winner, Jason! I hope the kitties and the puppy love it!! Diet and exercise, the dynamic duo of weight loss. For us humans, the activity possibilities are endless. For dogs, there are activities as complex as agility or as simple as a walk down the street. For cats....well, good luck with that. Maybe you can dangle a feather. Maybe they'll like one of those ball in a wheel things. Getting a cat to exercise is about as simple as, well, getting a cat to exercise. ... Read more »
Guest post: 5 Reasons to love a kitty with the wobbles
Today I'm happy to feature a guest post from Amanda Maurer, discussing one of my favorite topics: the joys of adopting a special needs pet. Cerebellar hypoplasia is a common condition that- well, wait, I'll just let her tell you. Enjoy! Special needs pet owners view their pets as just that: special. They're an extraordinary group of pets that are often overlooked because they're different and consquently may have more needs than "normies." But here's a secret: They make great pets -- ... Read more »
Much Love to the Cat Guys
I had no idea it was National Cat Guy Week. I knew it was Pet Dental Health Awareness Month and For the Love of God Please Don't Get Me a Vermont Teddy Bear Week (I made that up, but I think it could catch on), but it's also Black History Month, American Heart Month, National Grapefruit Month, and National Snack Food Month. Needless to say with the plethora of festivities and momentous occasions one can celebrate this week it can be hard to pick, but when I saw this great brainchild of the ... Read more »
I want a happy litterbox! Please?
When I was in veterinary school, I rotated through the behavior service. It's an elective, and interestingly enough not a particularly popular one; more's the pity for that. What percentage of relinquishments come on the tail end of a behavior issue that wasn't properly handled? (Answer: A whole lot.) Vets tend to avoid behavior stuff for a multitude of reasons: It's time consuming to work through a behavioral issue. It's complicated. Changing behavior isn't nearly as simple as ... Read more »
Polly Prissy Pants
My freshman year of vet school, my very first pet from childhood- Taffy- died of cardiac disease. She was 15. She lived at home with my parents, who vowed never to own another pet again. No more smelly carpets, no more furballs, they were done with it. A couple months later, I was at their house when a small kitten materialized out of the bushes. "Oh, look," I said as she wove in between my legs. "She's so sweet." "She comes around here a lot," said my mom. "Always trying to come ... Read more »