Friday, August 22, 2014

Take Your Cat to The Vet Day Should Be EVERY Day!

The American Association of Feline Practitioners ( wants you to take your cat to the veterinarian. So do I. Taking Aimee to see her veterinarian is basic to her care.  As a responsible owner and someone who loves her cat to distraction, it's important for me to insure that Aimee is healthy as well as happy, that she eats well and properly. Aimee turned 15 years old this month.  She came to live with me when she was 3 1/2.  It seems as if she has always been here, an especially sweet presence in my life who gives unconditional love.

August 22nd is Take Your Cat to The Vet Day.  It's a good reminder for us.  It doesn't mean rushing for an appointment today. It means that you should take your cat to see her veterinarian at least once a year.  In Aimee's case, at her age, she goes twice a year. Why? She has Senior Wellness Visits.  At the very first one a baseline was done with every possible test. Every six months she has a check-up. If anything is wrong, we'll find out more quickly.  

When you take your cat in, be sure to take a list of questions with you. If you need to know something about your cat's care, your veterinarian is the person to ask. You will work together as a team in the best interests of your feline companion.

Part of going to the veterinarian is transporting your cat. It will be so much easier if your cat likes her carrier and is comfortable in there. He's an info graphic from The American Association of Feline Practitioners on that topic:

Courtesy of AAFP
If your cat hasn't been to the veterinarian in a long time, or if your cat has never been to the veterinarian, please pick up the phone and make an appointment - the earliest one you can get. Aimee's veterinarian not only sees dogs but is a feline practitioner. It gives me an extra feeling of confidence.  

And please hug and kiss your cat for me.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Five Most Common Cat Illnesses That Insurance Companies Process

Cats are poor step-cousins to dogs when it comes to regular veterinary visits.  While people take third dogs in to see the veterinarian, far fewer owners take their cats. It's essential that cats get proper, regular veterinary care, whether you take your cat to the veterinary hospital or if you opt for a veterinarian who makes house calls.

August 22nd was Take Your Cat to The Vet Day which was a nice reminder but, really, any day is a good day to take your cat to the veterinarian. Cats need regular check-ups, core vaccinations  and everything you would expect if you had a dog.  Pet Insurance is available for those owners who want to buy into it.  There are several companies selling pet insurance.  You want one that your veterinarian will accept.  One pet insurance company, Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC has recently produced a list of the five most common cat illnesses that their customers have filed.  It's a good reminder for owners that any one, or more, of these can occur in your beloved feline companion.  These claims represent about 30 percent of the company's claims filed across the United States.  Being aware of those often difficult to identify because cats are masterful at hiding their symptoms so the owner can be blissfully unaware which doesn't bode well for the cat.
Photo Courtesy of Mary Slaney

1. Chronic Kidney Failure - The symptoms can include anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, constipation, depression and weight loss. There are additional warning signs including increased thirst, acute blindness, seizures and comas, blood in the cat's urine, increased frequency of urination and an increased amount of urine. Chronic Kidney Failure represents 8.5 percent of all feline claims received by Pets Best.

2. Hyperthyroidism - The common symptoms are a voracious appetite, weight loss, increased thirst and urination. Vomiting, diarrhea and restlessness. Hyperthyroidism accounts for 7.1 percent of Pets Best Feline Claims.

3. Allergies - Skin allergy symptoms often include raised, thickened raw skin, small scabs, face and ear itching, and bald spots.  Food allergies tend to include scabs and other signs of itching around the face and neck.  Although not life-threatening, allergies can be painful and irritating to cats, as well as costly to treat. The represents 6.5 percent of all feline claims received by Pets Best.

4.  Cancer - Cat owners should watch for symptoms like lumps and bumps on the skin, lack of appetite, lethargy, excessive salivation, difficulty chewing or swallowing, rapid weight loss and abnormal discharges.  Other warning signs include abnormal odors, abnormal defecation and urination, vomiting and diarrhea. All types of cancer, including lymphoma, mammary, oral, thyroid, and lung account for 5.6 percent of all feline claims received by Pets Best.

4.  Diabetes - Symptoms include increased thirst and urination, unusual appetite and rapid weight loss. Diabetes accounts for 3.6 percent of all claims received by Pets Best.
Photo Courtesy of Claire Clayton

While indoor felines are not as subject to injuries and disease as outdoor cats, indoor cats can still develop any of the above illnesses. Keeping your cat safely indoors with environmental enrichment certainly keeps them safer but please don't think this means that you can avoid veterinary visits. Nothing could be further from the truth. The sooner your veterinarian can find an illness the more quickly it can be treated which means a much more likely better outcome. It's really no different from people.  Wellness is important and that includes regular medical check-ups.

Pets Best is offering feline specific insurance policies. Whether or not other companies do this is part of the research the pet owner must undertake when investigating health insurance and various policies and companies. In total, Pets Best's plan covers 21 illnesses and starts at under $5. a month.

Dr. Jack L. Stephens is the founder of Pets Best which was founding in the United States in 1981. You can find out more by pointing your browser to:

NOTE: I was not paid for this article. The information came from a press release and I thought it was important enough to bring the information to the attention of my readers.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: I Knead My Mommy and Other Poems by Kittens by Francesco Marciuliano

Those of you who regularly read this blog probably remember my interview with the brilliant and creative author, Francesco Marciuliano this past Spring.  I didn't hesitate to admit that I was crazy about his books, I Could Pee on This and I Could Chew on This, books of poetry "written" by cats and dogs.  At the time, he promised books "written" by kittens and puppies were due to be published.  

Can you imagine my delight when the first of those two books arrived in the mail? I Knead My Mommy and Other Poems by Kittens written by Francesco Marciuliano revealed an adorable cover and a clever title.  I couldn't wait to read it.

The poems, written from the kittens' viewpoint, are absolutely adorable.  They include such titles as I've Been Watching, Hello!, Tell Them All, and While You're Typing.  The poems are divided into Chapters: New World, New Family, New Adventures and Same Old Trouble.

Like his previous books, I Knead My Mommy is the perfect gift for every cat lover you know.  Don't forget to buy a copy for yourself.

Marciuliano has a knack for observing cats, dogs, kittens (and I assume puppies - that book isn't due out for several months) and translating it into poetry that you could almost believe was written by four-legged companions.  His books are for sale everywhere books are sold. Here's a link to the newest one at Amazon:

Published by Chronicle Books, I Knead My Mommy is illustrated with wonderful pictures of kittens who are sure to steal your heart. It's 111 pages of pure happiness and it retails for $12.95 in the U.S.  £8.99 in the U.K.

NOTE: I was not paid for this review. I received only a review copy of the book. The review is complete mine.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cooling Pad to Help Your Pet Beat the Summer Heat!

The Dog Days of Summer are upon us and they really do impact dogs and cats as well. We certainly don't want our pets to suffer from heat stroke.  I can't say this enough: Do NOT Take Your Pet With You in the Car on a Summer Day.  Even at only 70 degrees a car will heat up very fast and your dog can be dead in mere minutes. Leave you pet at home where he can be cool. Have cool fresh water available at all times.  And there's something else that you can do to help your dog or cat feel more comfortable on hot Summer days.

The Green Pet Shop has created a remarkable cooling pad for your pet ( that's just the ticket on those hot days.  They were kind enough to send me a sample for my cat, Aimee.  I put it down and she walked on it. You could almost hear her thinking: well, that feels good!  She walked away from it, took a circuitous route around the den, returning to the pad to sit down on it, happily cooling her cute little bottom.  She never would let me take a picture of her lying on it.  Keeping it to herself, no doubt.  But there's no question that enjoys it.  

The neat thing about it is that it doesn't need water or electricity. IF you choose to put it in the refrigerator, the cooling will last up to 6 hours but it's not necessary to refrigerate it. It is pressure activated non-toxic gel inside and The Green Pet Shop has patented it.  It comes in four sizes, for the smallest dog or cat to the biggest dog. Every pet can be comfortable.  

It will fit into standard size beds or crates although I chose to put Aimee's right down on the den floor.  If you're driving with your pet in hot weather it would make sense to put it into the dog's crate or cat's carrier.  It's also handy for pets who have health problems like allergies or hip dysplasia.  It can help them feel more comfortable. 

The cover can be wiped off or there are directions for washing it in the washing machine. 

And in case you're feeling jealous of your pet, they also make cooling pads for people.  

Aimee and I think you and your pet will like it!

NOTE: I was not paid for this review.  The only thing I received was a cooling mat for my cat to test. The opinions expressed in this post are mine which is why I choose not to monetize my blog.