Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Giveaway: Happy Cat Handbag from Triple T Studios

happy-cat-handbag

Our friends at Triple T Studios find the best handbags, and their new Happy Cat Handbag is another winner! This super cute whimsical bag with a crossbody strap features one inside zip pocket, two additional inside pockets and a cell phone pocket. It measures H 7.5″ x W 4.25″ x L 9″ with a handle drop of 3.5″ and a strap drop of 25″. It has a zip closure, silver-tone hardware and coordinating lining, and features Triple T Studio’s patent-pending cat paw protective feet.

cat-handbag

The Happy Cat Handbag is available in blue and green. Triple T Studio also offers a Happy Cat Wallet and Happy Cat Zipper Pouch.

cat-handbag-wallet-pouch

Enter to win a Happy Cat Cat Handbag
Winner Chooses Color

For up to 7 ways to enter, see the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open to readers in the United States only, and ends Thursday, July 27. Winners and prize will be chosen by random drawing.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20% Discount for Conscious Cat Readers

Triple T Studios is offering a 20% discount to Conscious Cat readers on all of their products. Simply type code ConsciousCat20 in the promo code box at checkout and then click apply. The promo code box will appear on the screen after you enter your shipping and payment information. Offer is limited and available while supplies last. Visit Triple T Studios to purchase.

*No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook. By entering this giveaway, you understand that you are providing your information to The Conscious Cat, and not to Facebook. We will never sell, rent or share your information with third parties. Winners will be notified via e-mail. Prize winner must provide The Conscious Cat with a physical address to which the prize will be mailed within 72 hours. If this information is not received, an alternate winner will be chosen by random drawing. Winners will be announced in a separate post following the drawing.

FTC Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Triple T Studios. The Conscious Cat is a participant in Triple T Studio’s Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cat Hair Everywhere: How to Deal with Shedding

cat-brush-shedding

This post contains affiliate links*

Most of us are used to living with cat hair. Shedding is a normal process for healthy cats, in which old fur is replaced with new. All cats shed, regardless of the legnth of their coats. You may think that longhaired cats shed more, but that’s only because the fur they shed is so much more visible. You can’t stop your cat from shedding, nor should you – after all, it’s a natural process. However, there are ways to reduce shedding and deal with cat hair in your home.

Frequent brushing

Regular brushing not only helps eliminate loose hair, it’s also a wonderful opportunity for you to bond with your cat. If your cat is not immediately receptive to brushing, start slow, and gradually increase the time you spend grooming. Reward your cat with treats after each brushing session until they’ve come to associate brushing with something pleasurable.

Brushing also has health benefits for your cat: grooming increases circulation – it’s like a mini-massage with some of the same health benefits as a massage. Additionally, a grooming session is an ideal time for you to run your hands and eyes over every inch of your cat’s body. This may help with early detection of lumps and bumps, skin issues, or parasites.

Should you give your cat a bath?

Cats are fastidious groomers, and can usually take care of keeping themselves clean without needing to be bathed. However, if you’re dealing with excessive shedding, and if your cat will tolerate it, bathing her once a month may be helpful. Be sure to use only shampoos developed for cats. Human products are too harsh for a cat’s delicate skin. You could also use a waterless shampoo made for cats, or wipe her down with grooming wipes especially designed for cats.

Healthy diet

Cats who are fed a species-appropriate, grain-free canned or raw diet don’t shed as much as cats who are fed inferior quality diets. The difference is particularly dramatic in cats on raw fed diets: they barely shed at all.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Fatty acids, either in food or as a supplement, promote healthy skin and coat, and help reduce shedding.

Veterinary check ups

Make sure your cat gets regular veterinary exams, which should include a skin and coat evaluation. If you notice excessive hair loss, don’t wait for your cat’s next regular scheduled check up. Take her to your vet as soon as possible to rule out any potential illness.

Allegra and Ruby are raw fed kitties and they barely shed, but they both enjoy being brushed, so I brush them every day. They prefer a simple slicker brush to fancier options.

*FTC Disclosure: The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon and affiliated sites. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Adorable Black Cat Rug

black-cat-mat

This post contains affiliate links*

I came across this adorable Black Cat Rug on Amazon the other day, and I just had to share it with you. Measuring 18.1 x 25.6 x 0.2 inches, it’s pretty small and may not be the most functional rug ever, but it sure is super cute!

black-cat-bathroom-rug

I especially like how it looks in front of a toilet – and if that’s where you’re going to put it, why not pair it with a matching toilet brush holder?

black-cat-toilet-brush

The rug and toilet brush holder are available from Amazon with free shipping for Prime members.

FTC Disclosure: The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon and affiliated sites. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

 

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ask the Vet With Dr. Kris: Dr. Kris Answers June’s Questions

ask-the-vet

Welcome to our regular “Ask the Vet With Dr. Kris” segment! Once a month, Dr. Kris answers as many of your questions as he can, and you can leave new questions for him in a comment.

Dr. Kristopher Chandroo is a veterinarian, scientist, photographer, animal welfare advocate, and creator of Stress to Success (STS): The Essential Guide to Medicating Your Feisty, Grumpy or Reluctant Cat.  Dr. Kris wants  your cats to be twenty years old. And counting! And he wants to provide medication and therapy to them in a way that respects the bond between cat and human.

Here are Dr. Kris’ answers to some of your questions asked in June. If your question didn’t get answered here, Dr. Kris will answer them on his own website in the future. Subscribe to his updates so you’ll be notified when the answers are published.

11-year-old cat with cancer of the spleen

Hi there. I have an 11-year-old cat named Tom, and he was diagnosed with spleen cancer early this year. I want to do a splenectomy and maybe chemo, but the procedures are expensive and I can’t afford them. I feel like if I just him “go” my heart will be broken, and I’m not sure what to do. The vet is great and we are giving him meds for his other conditions (thyroid, hepatitis and a heart issue stemming from the thyroid problem) as well as meds for blood in his stool but we aren’t really treating “the cancer” so to speak right now. I am wondering if it would be good for Tom to have the surgery and maybe chemo if needed, assuming I can find the money, or if putting him through surgery would be hard on him. My vet thinks it would be a quick procedure and might give Tom more time, but I want him to feel better too—that would be my main reason for trying this. I’ve been reading your site for awhile and thought I’d ask your opinion. Thanks so much!

There is one very important thing I want you to know.

You’ll never be that person that “will just let him go”.

And this will remain true, whether you opt for surgery or not.

I’ve seen dogs and cats do amazingly well after removing the spleen, and have years of happiness.

I’ve had a patient die within 48 hours after splenectomy. A splenectomy that got paid for with credit cards. There were two ways those folks could have responded. Anger is the first way. Instead, they printed a portrait of me and their pet they took years earlier in an exam room, gave it to me as a gift, and broke down and cried. It is hard watching grown men cry.

You will always feel conflicted about making a decision like this. One way won’t ever be right over the other.

If you do the surgery, I always tell people that we are hoping for the best, but we must be prepared to say goodbye much faster than we would like.

If you don’t do the surgery, then you need to believe that there is something called “dying well”.

That even when our bodies are passing, which all of our bodies will do, that we can still nurture and tend to our relationships. So this valuable, special time we have left is honored.

So your heart will still break. But you won’t ever be just letting him go.

Should you toilet train a cat?

How successful are these kits which tell you that you can train your cat to use a toilet? Do they actually work? Is it traumatic for the cat. I am old live alone, and am starting to have trouble bending down to clean the litter box.

Ingrid’s reply: I’m sure Dr. Kris will address this, Terry, but in the meantime, here’s my input: I don’t believe cats should be toilet trained – it goes against their natural instinct. You may want to take a look at this litter scoop, which can be used without having to bend down: http://amzn.to/2rlPI3I

Dr. Kris’ reply: I agree with Ingrid on this. Training a cat to use the toilet is a testament to how trainable and adaptable our cats can be. If done right, and you have a healthy, non-arthritic cat, I would not call it traumatic, it can be done.

But there is much to be said for proper scratching and burying behavior in the litter box. I’m sure within the population of millions of cats, there are folks out there who have cats doing well with the toilet training, or have some combination of toilet and ground choices.

Having said that, it sounds like the litter box needs to get closer to you, or the scoop needs to get closer to the litter box.

A cat can climb a short hill, find a great place to use the bathroom, then come back down. They are going to the bathroom on an incline.

So, there aren’t any rules that say you can’t put the litter box up on something sturdy, so the cat walks or jumps up to use it, and you don’t have to bend down as much. Of course you have to do it so your cat feels good about using it this way.

I’ve got 35 year old turtles (the red-ear slider types you used to see in dime stores). I’ve had them since I was a little kid. They live in my living room in a converted outdoor pond. It’s so well designed, if you didn’t look, you wouldn’t know at first they were there (they do like their privacy sometimes). But instead of on the floor, it’s on a very sturdy Ikea coffee table with a metal base. So for maintenance, I’m not wrecking my back…and I like my turtles off the floor, and they get to look out the window and see the whole world.

I’m sure in the comment section people might tell you about their experiences with hi-tech litter boxes (self-cleaning etc), and of course, that long scoop Ingrid mentioned might be just the ticket.

Good luck!

Male cat “pretends” to spray

One of our four-year-old neutered male cats (they’re brothers we adopted when they were three months old) “pretends” to spray–he backs up to something, usually a cabinet door, and does the shimmy/wiggle as if he’s marking. He’s not bothering us or anything, and obviously nothing is coming out, but what’s his deal with this? His brother does it too every once in a while, but I get the idea he’s just being a copycat (however, our copycat is also weird; he has a thing for carrots–they make him crazy. Catnip does nothing for him but a give him a piece of a carrot and he rolls around on it).

Ha ha ha. Your cats are hilarious!

This is what I want to know. Are you guys eccentric or quirky!? At least a little bid nerdy? Please tell me yes. Please tell me you have the quirkiest family with quirky cats, because that would be the best thing ever.

This sounds normal to me…normal for an awesome weirdo, full of personality quirky cat who will show you a diversity of behavior that only he or she knows the reason to.

Cat doesn’t like to be stroked

I’m looking after a friend’s cat. She likes to be stroked because she comes running and rubs herself against me. She will tolerate a brief petting on the head and neck but if I stroke her too much, she spits and hisses and lashes out. She doesn’t like the base of her tail being touched either – something that a lot of cats like. Do you think there might be a physical reason why she doesn’t like being stroked? Does this sound normal behaviour? I have had several cats in my life, all of them enjoying a stroke more than this cat.

Providing your friend’s cat is healthy (i.e. no debilitating arthritis, anxiety, cystitis etc. etc. etc.), I often call this NYSS.

New York Subway Syndrome.

Which, is, just because I come close to you, sit right beside you, and then our bodies happen to touch on a crowded subway, it doesn’t mean I give you permission to purposefully touch me. And if you do, despite the fact I’m sitting right next to you, and I’m really attractive, look out cause I’m gonna go all ninja on ya.

It’s not just a cat thing.

Cat with eosinophilic syndrome

My cat is being treated for Eosinophilic syndrome. His white cell count is very high but shows nothing definitive. He is on treatment w/ steroids, and has a feeding tube in as he lost weight and was not eating. He as put on some weight and eats some. I was wondering what else we can do? I have even tried a couple of sessions of acupuncture!

Oh no! Sorry to hear this. I am happy he has gained some weight!

The fact that his appetite has dropped means we must consider chronic eosinophilic leukemia. I’m not saying that he has that, but it is worth a discussion about that with your vet. There are other reasons as well (feline gastrointestinal eosinophilic sclerosing fibroplasia), and usually you need an ultrasound to suss them out. I would also want to know what this kitty’s vitamin B12 situation is. Those are all talking points I would take your vet.

Best wishes!

Do you have a question for Dr. Kris?
Leave it in a comment!

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Hello, My Name is Petey Introducing the new puppy.

Even before we brought home new puppy Petey, our first thought was how would we make sure it goes well between him and Ernest?

"I'm so cute. How could anyone not adore me?"
Ernest is almost 9 years old. Petey was almost 9 weeks old. Would they like each other? Would Pete be too much for Ernest? Would Ernest be too rough on Petey?

The first thing we did was walk them together in a neutral area. Ernest gets along well with other dogs so I didn't feel too concerned that he'd have a problem. He and the puppy walked well, mostly doing their own thing. Then we let them loose in the fenced yard together. When all went well we brought them inside. Luckily Ernest is a very mellow older guy.




In the house, we supervise all interactions. At first Ernest was mildly interested, then he seemed to say, "Okay, he's small, he's cute I guess...now take him back." The puppy enjoyed following Ernest around and biting his tail. Sometimes we interpreted Ernest's sad looks up at us as if to say "Help me!" I'm not sure if that's really what he was thinking or not, but in the very beginning it was really hard not to feel guilty for bringing in this tiny needle-toothed competitor for attention.

"Okay, he's cute. But I'm not so sure I want to keep him."


REST-
When Ernest needs a rest, sometimes we use a puppy corral. We put it in the middle of the living room so Petey would feel in the middle of the activity, throw a bunch of toys inside, and let him play.  If he barks or whines to get out, we just ignore him and because he had so many exciting toys to play with, he soon forgets to whine and just has fun. We give him a tiny training treat when he's being quiet. This works well, when used sparingly, as a great time out--I know Ernest is glad to have a break from the puppy chewing on his ears, biting his tail and pouncing on his back.

"I love to playyyyyyyy!"

PLAY-
Ernest chews on a nylabone occasionally.
Petey pounces, tugs, and chews and attempts to destroy everything he sees.

Since Ernest is a laid-back dog, he isn't very assertive at correcting the puppy when he's pushed too far. Sometimes we step in so Ernest won't be too tired or gnawed to shreds. 
Most adult dogs will growl to teach a puppy that he's gone too far. A puppy usually learns the rules well from the older dog. We think Ernest could be a little more bossy!

ATTENTION:
I think most important of all we give lots of encouragement and attention. We spend time cuddling with each dog, and other times playing and running with each dog. Lots of walks, too. We've already come together as a family. And I think Ernest and Petey like being brothers.

Bros

What about you? Have you introduced a puppy to your resident dog? How did it go?