Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 2014

(AKA Cats on the Couch) 

For a better view Click http://cattherapist.blogspot.com/

Dear Readers,

Although Van Gogh painted many views of his rooms in Mme Escallier’s house at Arles, this is one he purposely gave low key notice. Chances are his landlady (referred to locally as La Scourge) would have nailed him for a huge deposit.

(Cats of the Masters, Michael Patrick)

Culture Change for Outdoor Kittens 
I recently had a Face Time consult with Jake, a very proud and happy guardian of two cool kittens. He told me they were bottle fed from birth and were now six months. They’re brother and sister, neutered and spayed.  “As their Mom was an outdoor cat, do you think they feel any loss or frustration from being indoor cats,”  The kittens have a perch in the front window, and get lots of sun, but is that enough?” Jake asked. He didn’t want to deprive them of the wonders of nature.  
Paul & Sonjia

This seems to be a common conundrum for so many cat guardians. Fortunately, I have found that most former street or outdoor cats adapt quite well to the initial culture shock. Many freak out if they end up on the other side of the door.  And Jake’s kittens showed no signs of wanderlust. But I told him some ways to make his place more nature friendly:
  • Kitty grass which he could purchase full grown or seeds which he could plant.
  • A table fountain with running water that mimicked a warbling brook would be a plus for the three of them.
  • Continuous mellow music to soothe the senses.
  • An aquarium of fish, water creatures and plants would provide continuous entertainment for the kittens.
  • A varied selection of cat posts to scratch and climb. 
  • Cardboard boxes could be added to the mix for another texture.
  • A Spruce or Balsam Fir oil of essence would provide a woody scent.
Play Time and Exercise Options
  • A simple laser light would keep them on the run or they might be more stimulated by a laser light show that’s often used for events.
  • Attach a small piece of fabric or toy mouse to the end of a cord. Take a wire hanger, undo and shape so the cord can be attached to the end of the wire -- presto -- a dangling toy.
  • Catnip two or three times a week  -- store bought or home grown with seeds.
  • Or a Japanese nip which is from a plant called “Matatabi”.
  • Play toss and fetch with a wine cork or rolled up tin foil ball -- to mimic the hunting instinct.
  • Cut out the bottoms of a few paper bags to construct a tunnel. Include a few pieces of tissue paper for some crinkle and sound affects.

The Great Outdoors
Jake wondered if he should take the kittens for outdoor strolls. I told him he could start them off indoors with a harness if he wanted to give it a try. After several walks indoors, if they took to the harness, Jake could try them outdoors at quiet times in a secluded area for short intervals. But if they freaked out, to forget the strolls. Their window perch would do. Some cats love to be strolled outdoors in a kitty stroller.

I reminded Jake that his kittens appeared to make a fine adjustment to their initial culture shock -- so many indoor creature comforts.

For cat posts and toys 
-- Felix Katnip Tree Company has a wide selection of sisal http://felixtreecompany.com.
-- Natural Scratch has an assortment of cork and cedar http://www.naturalscratch.com
-- Check out a wide assortment of cat toys from MultiPet http://www.multipet.com 
-- For an electronic pastime,The Undercover Mouse -- available at Hammacher Schlemmer http://www.hammacher.com/Editorial/NewYorkStore  and other sources.

Swanson Needs to Slim Down and Her Fur is Tangled                          
(Diet and Grooming Tips)
Swanson is quite a looker for her senior years -- twelve big ones --  I told her family as she generously posed for some close-ups. Nonetheless, I did agree that she could slim down a bit.

 I suggested that raw veggies, such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans could be added to  Swanson's food or given as snacks. They would be low in calories. Swanson might even like a taste of melon. Generally, a food high in fiber is best, divided into a few or more feedings. Dry food usually contains more calories.

Swanson’s vet could be consulted for specific recommendations.  They also mentioned frequent tangles in her fur and wanted some prevention tips.

  • I recommended they use a comb to groom her daily, a little at a time. They should praise and talk softly to her as they groomed and to end on a good note before she's had enough.
  • If she's comb shy, try a rubber brush or grooming mitt.
  • Add an Omega 3 fatty acid fish oil supplement to her daily diet. Omega 3 benefits the hair and skin.
When Swanson gives her feline, plaintive cries to be fed, distract her with enthusiastic admiration, a favorite toy or a committed deaf ear. It may take twenty-one days for her to change her m.o. so I reminded the family that they played a large part in her health status.

In my March Blog, I recommended that, Lola, the third cat, should be given to a dear friend, where Lola would be the only cat. No longer would she be threatened and terrorized by Indie, the second cat.

I’m very happy to report that Lola is now comfortably settled in her new home.  Take a look at this image. What a find! And I heard that Indie and Sammy have become closer than ever. 

It was a bittersweet decision to part with Lola. But all’s well that ends well!
Sammy & Indie


As Orion checks Radio out, he may wonder if Radio wants him to hang out with him in bed -- or is it Radio’s come on for the chase. Either way, this new
relationship is cruising along.

(Orion, a former rescue, will represent cats and offer nuggets of wisdom regarding Bo and Sunny, the rescued First Dogs -- Portuguese Water Dogs)

On the fourth anniversary of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to fight obesity, she calls for big food label changes. For starters, no more will a serving of ice cream be described as a half cup. Calories and added sugar amounts will be in bold print. 

Orion wants to acknowledge that this label of the future will benefit all animal companions. A healthier diet for guardians, results in a longer and better life for the family’s animal companions. as well. Go Michelle!

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