Easter Hazards

Photo: bob in swamp / Foter.com / CC BY

Photo: bob in swamp / Foter.com / CC BY

It’s that time again when Spring is upon us and we look forward with great anticipation to the upcoming Easter holiday and nice, long days of summer ahead.   With 10 to 12 million lily plants produced annually, the lily is a very popular plant to receive as a gift, especially during this time of year.

Cat owners must be aware when bringing lilies into their homes. The following species are known toxins to cats: The Easter lily, Tiger lily, Day Lily, Rubrum lily, Japanese Show Lily, as well as other members of the Liliaceae family can all cause kidney failure in cats. In most plants, the leaves are known toxins along with the stems and flowers in certain species. With some species, cats can eat as little as two or three leaves which can result in liver failure and, if left untreated, can cause death if not caught in time.

Photo: flores do meu jardim / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo: flores do meu jardim / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

If you catch your cat eating a lily plant, contact your veterinarian immediately. Should your cat ingest lily plant material, he may vomit, have diarrhea, became dehydrated and lethargic and develop a lack of appetite. As internal damage progresses, symptoms can become more intense without prompt, appropriate treatment by your veterinarian. Take the plant along when you take your cat to the veterinarian to make it easier for your veterinarian to prescribe the proper care and treatment.

If you receive a lily plant, take extra caution to make sure that the plant is out of reach and kept away from your cat, especially if he likes to nibble on things. Rather than struggle with the problem of where to put the plant, you may decide that cats are more fun and more decorative than a plant and just ban them from your home.

Training Your Kitten to Enjoy the Grooming Routine

3-7 cat with brushRegular brushing and combing are important to make sure that your cat has less hair balls and will leave less hair around the house. For long-haired cats, daily grooming is essential.

The best conditions for training your kitten to get used to the grooming sessions is to gently comb or brush him when he is relaxed or sleepy. Using a gentle approach, don’t insist that grooming take place when the cat is nervous or wanting to play.

Grooming is done the right way of the fur, with the exception of the neck area. Position the comb in a slanted position, and make sure that the teeth are not too sharp. You may take several tries to find your cat’s favorite grooming place. There are plenty of combs on the market, find one that is recommended for your cat’s fur length and texture.

3-7 Robert Groppi1Also, during the grooming process, be sure not to overstimulate your cat so that he becomes rambunctious and aggressive. You want to associate the grooming routine for your cat is time for the two of you to bond and relax.

For some cats, daily grooming may take place several times per day or on a regular basis. Take notice of any “sensitive” areas on your cat and try to avoid those areas. One of my cats does not like having his stomach combed more than a few times.

Grooming is not only essential, but can be an enjoyable activity that you and your cat can share for his entire life.

CFA’s Most Popular Breeds

Feb 22

The Exotic is CFA’s Most Popular Breed for the second year in a row.  The top ten CFA breeds are:


  1. Exotic
  2. Persian
  3. Maine Coon Cat
  4. Ragdoll
  5. British Shorthair
  6. American Shorthair
  7. Scottish Fold
  8. Abyssinian
  9. Sphynx
  10. Oriental

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Rankings are based on registration 2015 figures.  While not a breed, this is also the first year the household pets are able to compete for regional wins.  Household pet recordings increased by 300% in 2015.  To learn more about cat shows, go to http://www.cfa.org/Shows/AboutCFAShows.aspx


How to Get Taurine in Your Cat’s Diet

What Is Taurine?
Taurine is an amino acid which ensures the functioning of the nervous system and muscles; helps a reproductive system function and if there is a deficiency, poor fetal development and stillbirths can occur. Without taurine the walls of the heart can become thin and not allow the proper blood flow to the heart as well as cause blindness.


Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/shimgray/2955240349/”>generalising</a> via <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.com</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>CC BY-SA</a>

Where Does My Cat Get Taurine?
Taurine is found in raw, whole meat diets. Today, domestic cats should get enough taurine in their diets if they are eating on canned and dry commercial foods. Manufacturers are required to supplement their products with the recommended amounts of taurine. If your cat is fed a home-prepared diet, be sure to discuss ways with your veterinarian so that you can easily supplement his diet with taurine.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets the appropriate amounts for a cat’s diet at various life stages. If a diet meets AAFCO standards, it will be noted on the label of the manufacturer.

Five Reasons Why I Love My Cat

It’s Valentine’s Day this coming week and a time to show our love and appreciation for the ones we share our lives with and that must include our cats! I am sure like me, you are grateful for the chance to share your life with four crazy cats. They always make us feel better if I am sad and give me something to laugh about each day.

Photo: Krysia Reed

The five best things about having a cat are:
1. When you wake up they are happy to see you. Even if they are standing above you on your pillow waiting to eat.
2. They want to be near you when you are working at your computer. I won’t even discuss the amount of hair in my computer!
3. They make me laugh when they are in their crazy moods, racing through the house and playing, just because.
4. They remind me to be curious about everything and that curiosity is good for anyone at any age.
5. They give me peace. Peace of mind and soul.

Carol Real
Photo: Carol Real

As pet parents, what more can we ask for? Hug Your Cat this Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to show them your love and appreciation.

Don’t Forget to Watch Kitten Bowl 3 on Hallmark Channel February 7

It’s that time of year again! Watch feline fun with the kittens of Kitten Bowl 3 on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2016.

cat tv
The event will be hosted once again by Beth Stern television personality and spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League America.

North Shore Animal League America supplied nearly 100 rescue kittens to fill up Hallmark’s bite-size football field. The field was decked out with scratchy goalposts and plenty of cat toys to keep the action moving when the event was taped back in October.

I great addition this year—Snaps teamed up with Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl to launch its very own kitten emoji keyboard.

The keyboard is available today on iOS and Google Play, and can be downloaded here.

”Sometimes we get into an issue or two. They tend to like to really delve into the catnip, and that type of thing sometimes gets a little out of control,” said Boomer Esiason, the Feline Football League commissioner for the Super Bowl Sunday event. ”The kitten players,” Esiason offered, ”are so much easier to deal with than human players.”

Shelter Cats Walk the Red Carpet at Catdance Film Festival

Catdance is back and furrier than ever!

On Saturday, Jan. 23, “New Girl” actress and cat lover Hannah Simone will host the fourth annual Catdance Film Festival presented by new Fresh Step® with the Power of Febreze™ in Park City. Shelter kittens will take center stage – from the red carpet to the films. Fresh Step presents Catdance as part of its Million Meow Mission, campaign to help shelter cats find forever homes.

cat tv

Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/cloudzilla/50257242/”>cloudzilla</a> via <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.com</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>CC BY</a>

The Catdance film winner  will receive a $25,000 “kitty” (cash prize) and Golden Litter Scoop.

Guests will don cat ears and virtual reality goggles to experience for the first time ever what it’s like to be a cat being adopted, from the tearful moment they’re overlooked to joyful union with its new family. If the world could see how much adoption means from a cat’s point of view, shelters would be empty.

In the meantime, you can get ready for Catdance with this just-released film, “The Purrfect Match”, a love story of a man and his shelter cat Tonto.

Stay tuned for the winner!  Good luck to all of the participants!

Yes, You Can Feed Treats to Your Cat

In moderation.  Just like humans, cats can have treats in moderation.  The other day I was getting a treat out of the cupboard for one of my cats and I actually looked a how many treats the manufacturer recommends that I give. My portion control was about right. But, it made me want to be diligent about what kind of treats I should give to my cats.  I want to make sure that the treats I give out are safe, nutritious and can fit into the cat’s daily nutrition requirements.


Look for low calorie treats. Do not underestimate or ignore the calories in your cat’s daily calorie count. Avoid treats which have high sugar, treats that are meant for dogs, or are high in calorie.

According to Catnip Magazine’s December 2015 issue, “If you are thinking of making your own homemade treats, beware of certain potentially dangerous ingredients such onions and garlic, processed meats, and baby food with additives.”

Giving your cat a treat or two now and then is an excellent way to strengthen the human-animal bond and enhance your relationship with your cat.  Give it a try!


Hermes Helps Endangered Cats Around the World

Beginning January 10, Hermes and Panthera a global wild cat conservation organization have partnered to raise awareness about the world’s most imperiled felines: the leopards, pumas, cheetahs, and tigers of the world that suffer from poaching and diminished habitats.


Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/40803964@N08/”>Sander van der Wel</a> via <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.com</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>CC BY-SA</a>

Hermes will pay tribute to wildlife artist Robert Dallet, who often collaborated with the brand on their silk scarves which often featured cats.  Hermes and Dallet will collaborate to feature more than 70 of Dallet’s paintings, drawings and sketches of lions, tigers, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, cougars and clouded leopards at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut. Those inspired to visit are encouraged to snap some photos and share them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook using the hashtag #fierceandfragile.


Photo: Hermes

For those who can’t make it to the auction, Hermès has also created a silk scarf to celebrate the event. Titled Panthera Pardus, the piece depicts a striking illustration of a leopard, and is available in eight different colors (90cm x 90cm, $395; available at Hermès boutiques), with a portion of all proceeds going to Panthera.


Cat Show Etiquette

So, you have never been to a CFA cat show and are planning on going this year?

Shows are listed on catshows.us as well as on CFA’s site. Note that the CFA site has contact info for the most part and has the complete schedule.  Catshows.us has three months listed at a time.

Below are some things to keep in mind before going to the show.

Brit (Kit) 11264-496

Photo: Larry Johnson

If you are looking for a particular breed, you can look up the show flyer on CFA’s catshows.us site and email the entry clerk to see if any breeders of that breed have entered. They will usually know by mid-week.  The flyer will also have contact info for other show personnel as well as starting and closing times and admission fees.

When you are visiting what we call the “benching area” or the area where the cats and owners are seated when not being judged, you will want to talk to the breeders in this area. Don’t be discouraged if the breeder cannot talk because s/he is either getting the cat ready or to a ring.  Ask when would be a good time to come back. Each breeder has his or own process for placing their cats. There may even be kittens or cats for sale at the show.

You can look for orange cages in the benching area if you have general questions about the show.  The cages are homes for CFA’s Ambassador Cats. Feel free to ask questions of the CFA Ambassador– that is the person with the ASK ME button on. The Ambassador cat is also a cat to pet and visit.


Photo: Mark Hannon

The benching area is the cat’s resting, safe area.  Do not open cages without permission and please  ask permission of the owner before petting the cat.

Note that the judging ring is for judges and cats who are being judges.  Spectators are not allowed in the area behind the judges and in front of the cages.  There is a place to sit in front of the ring.  Some judges converse while they are judging, while others do not.  If you do have a question, you can ask the judge’s assistant, known as the clerk who is seated at the table with the judge.  S/he will be able to guide you.


Photo: Kathleen Landy

Most of all, have fun while you are visiting our show!  We look forward to seeing you!