Healthy Cat Blog

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Archive #1

17 May 2004 through 28 June 2004.

Go to my current Healthy Cat Blog.
Go to Archive #2 (1 July through 31 August 2004).

28 June 2004

Best Time to Eat!

When's the best time to feed your cat? Is there a best time? Many veterinarians will tell you that establishing a regular feeding schedule for your cat is important. However, what constitutes "regular" is often in debate.

Some people will tell you to feed your cat at set times every day and then take the food away when your cat walks away from the food. This is supposed to simulate a "real-life" out-in-the-wilderness experience. However, cats are domesticated and such a real life experience really isn't necessary.

The important thing is to feed your cat a high quality cat food. Whether it's wet or dry food doesn't matter. You should always have fresh water available for your cat. This is even more important if you feed your cat dry food.

For more information about establishing a routine that works well for both you and your cat, visit our cat feeding schedule page.

24 June 2004

Catnip Heaven

PETsMART delivered my order today. (Actually, it was UPS who brought it.) It came within the 5-10 days they promise for free shipping. I got some cat food (Science Diet for Sensitive Skin) and some Greenies and Eukanuba Dog Food for a dog-lover friend.

And the best thing I got was one ounce of Cosmic Catnip! I opened it right away and placed about one teaspoon each on the carpet for both of my cats (in separate rooms). My older cat, Shayla, just rolled in it and rubbed her face in it and purred for about ten minutes. A little piece of heaven for her.

It's been a while since I gave my cats fresh catnip, so I’d forgotten that sprinkling it on the carpet isn’t the best thing to do for my younger cat, Neko. She likes to start clawing and kneading wherever the catnip is. So, of course, she started clawing the carpet. My mistake! I quickly put down some fresh catnip on her cardboard scratcher and we were all much happier.

It's wonderful to give my cats a little bit of healthy pleasure once in a while. And very entertaining to me!

For info about the effects of catnip on cats, please visit our catnip page.

23 June 2004

Reviews for 1800PetMeds and PetCareCentral

Now you can read reviews of these two popular online pet stores.

Actually, 1800PetMeds is an online pet pharmacy and PetCareCentral is an online pet store for all sorts of pets.

Special features include an "Ask the Vet" section at 1800PetMeds and a price matching policy at PetCareCentral.

19 June 2004

1800PetMeds Offers Free Shipping Plus $3.00!

Until 31 July 2004, 1800PetMeds is offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $39, plus they will knock $3 off your order.

When you place your order, enter 8652 in the special offer code box to take advantage of this great offer.

1800PetMeds sells only U.S. FDA/EPA approved medications. They usually offer free shipping for orders over $49, so now's a good time to stock up, especially on flea control products.

18 June 2004

Google Search Box for Cat Stuff (and Everything Else)

Search the Internet and from a Google search box that I'm adding to pages on this website. This is a new feature from Google that allows you to search directly from individual websites, like this one.

The search box looks like this:

Go ahead and try it. Google will bring up a page with the same results you get when you search directly from the Google home page. To come back to My Healthy Cat blog, just hit your browser's back button.

17 June 2004

No Prescription Required for Advantage

In the recent past, you needed a prescription from your veterinarian to buy Advantage, Program or Frontline flea control. Now you can buy these products over-the-counter or online without a prescription. Of course, you can still buy these flea control products directly from your veterinarian, but you will pay so much more!

The pet pharmacy with the best prices on flea control is 1800PetMeds.

Please note that I'll be updating my flea insecticides page soon to reflect this new "no prescription needed" policy.

11 June 2004

Pet Store Reviews

Online pet stores vary in selection, price, and customer service. Over the past several days, I’ve been reviewing the top online pet stores (e.g.,PETsMART, PetCareCentral, and 1800PetMeds).

Over the next couple of days, I'll be adding the reviews to My Healthy Cat. For now, if you'd like to see the standards used to review online pet stores, please visit my page on Pet Stores.

4 June 2004

Warning about the Banfield Microchip

Banfield pet hospitals, found primarily at PETsMART stores in the United States, have been using a microchip since February 2004 that cannot be read by most scanners in the U.S.

If you've had your cat or dog microchipped at a Banfield pet hospital this year, it’s critical that you read this article: Banfield Microchip.

If you have not had your cat or dog microchipped by Banfield, this article will still provide you with critical information about microchipping your cat or dog.

The bottom line is that while microchipping can add extra protection to help your lost pet get home, a collar with current pet ID tags is still critical.

3 June 2004

How to Give a Cat a Bath

Probably one of the more unpleasant tasks you may ever have, giving your cat a bath is no fun! Most cats can go their whole lives without having to get a bath.

Occasionally, a human-assisted cat bath is necessary. Here are the steps to take if you have to give a cat bath.

Good luck!

2 June 2004

Reorganizing My Healthy Cat

For the last couple of days, I've been reorganizing the linking structure of My Healthy Cat. I moved articles under different headings, such as "cat furniture" and "cat supplies" and "cat food." I wanted to make it easier for visitors to find what they need.

I think this new structure will work well, as it appears to make it easier to navigate from related page to related page. If there is ever a topic you cannot find, visit the Sitemap. You should be able to find everything you need there. And if you still can't find what you need, please email us.

30 May 2004

Bookstore Cats

What is it about bookstores and cats?

I was out enjoying a local street fair today when I spotted a beautiful brown Tabby in a bookstore window. The cat was sitting there enjoying the sunshine. Well, I wasn't in the market for any books, but of course I was compelled to go in and pet the cat. The aloof sun worshipper could care less about me and my undying admiration, but that's OK. I got to say "hello" and it made my day.

I think it's the air of the bookstore cat that makes them seem so much smarter and wiser than us mere mortals. And indeed, they probably are. Judging by how my cats put themselves in front of me and any book I'm reading, I'm pretty sure cats know how to read, or perhaps they just absorb the material by osmosis. And bookstore cats have a pretty large supply of books to read. We really should consider ourselves lucky when these furry scholars interrupt their study to give us the time of day.

I don't think I trust a bookstore without a cat.

29 May 2004

Litter Box Olympics

I was watching my older cat, Shayla, in the litter box today. Actually, I happened to be in the same room and she caught my attention when she was covering up. Shayla should be in some kind of litter tossing Olympics competition. Boy, can she make that litter fly!

What takes the most time in cleaning the litter box is not taking out the soiled litter, but sweeping up around the outside of the box. Of course, having a covered litter box would help alleviate the problem. Unfortunately, Shayla is one of those cats who doesn't like a cover. She is a bit of a nervous cat and wants to see what's around her at all times.

This reminds me of the many different preferences of different cats. Some don't mind a covered litter box, some prefer certain cat litter over other kinds, some don't mind the self-cleaning boxes, and some are so terrified of them that they won't go anywhere near the contraption.

It's easier to train a kitten to go along with some of the preferences you may have around your cat's litter box use, like using a covered box. Older cats are more set in their ways, and some cats change their preferences as they age (Shayla used to be OK with the covered litter box).

The important thing to keep in mind is that tending to your cat's litter box is an important part of being a cat "owner." When you bring a cat into your home, you are making a commitment to take care of all of his or her needs. This includes the litter box. Although this is probably the least pleasant aspect of being a cat parent, it’s still part of the package. And this is one where if you aren't doing your job, your cat will let you know by taking her business elsewhere!

Sometimes, finding the right combination of litter, litter boxes, location for the box, and training your cat to use it can be a challenge. For helpful information, visit our Cat Litter Box page.

28 May 2004

Online Pet Stores

The internet makes it easier than ever to buy all the cat supplies you need without ever leaving your home. Some pet supply stores specialize in cat furniture, some in cat lover gifts, some in cat food, some in pet medications, and of course, many also have supplies for your other pets. Online selection is endless, and prices are usually better than at "brick and mortar" pet supply stores.

But what should you look for when choosing an online pet store? Good customer service is just as important as selection and price, especially when it comes to returning items and your privacy and security.

I've added an article to help you when choosing online pet stores. Over the next few weeks, I'll be adding reviews of each of the major online pet supply stores, so please check back.

27 May 2004

Treating Tapeworm

Did you know that your cat or kitten can get tapeworm from a single flea? With flea season upon us, it's important to watch out for fleas. However, if you spot any fleas on your cat or in your cat's environment, you should also be on the look-out for tapeworm.

Tapeworms are internal parasites that your cat can get from ingesting a single, tapeworm-carrying flea. The tapeworm attaches to your cat's intestinal wall and, if left untreated, can make your cat quite ill. You'll know your cat has tapeworm when you see small rice-like segments around your cat’s anus or in her feces.

Fortunately, tapeworm is quite easy to treat. An over-the-counter drug called Praziquantel will get rid of tapeworm quickly and safely.

To read more about treating and protecting your cat from tapeworm, click Tapeworm.

26 May 2004

Vegan Cats?

A friend sent me an article today called, "The Cat That Ate Tofu." It was about the debate between whether a cat can be healthy on a vegan diet or if cats need to eat meat. Some of the people interviewed in the article had transitioned their cats to a vegan diet. Others, although vegan themselves, did not feel a vegan diet would be healthy for their cats, even with supplements.

Everyone agreed that cats need certain nutrients, such as taurine, arachidonic acid and vitamin A. Cats will go blind and deaf without enough taurine, suffer from reproductive problems without arachidonic acid, and their growth and bone formation will be stunted without enough vitamin A. All of these nutrients are naturally found in meat products. However, vegan cat proponents say that you can get these nutrients by feeding your cat supplements sold specifically for vegan cats.

Vegan diet proponents were able to site anecdotal evidence to show that vegan cats are healthy. On the other side, veterinarian Dr. Richard Pitcairn, author of "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats," says that many vegan cats he's treated appear to be less healthy than cats who eat a meat-based diet.

There does not appear to be enough evidence to support a vegan lifestyle for cats. And I would guess that the pet food industry won’t be paying for any studies in the near future.

I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years. I would love to be able to serve my two cats a vegetarian diet. However, I fall along the side of those who have concern that it may not be the best for their cat's health.

Interestingly, dogs have no problems with healthy vegan diets!

24 May 2004

PETsMART Sweepstakes

From now until June 6th, PETsMART is giving you a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree. Everyone who makes a purchase between now and June 6th at is automatically entered to win. You can also enter by mailing a postcard to the address in the Sweepstakes Rules.

The Grand Prize is a $1,000 PETsMART store gift card. First prize is a $500 store gift card, and second prize is a $250 gift card (don't ask me why they don't just say 1st, 2nd and 3rd place!).

PETsMART has an excellent selection of everything you need for your cat. If you were thinking about buying something for your kitty, now's a great time.

23 May 2004

All About Catnip

Four new articles about catnip will tell you everthing your need to know about catnip and your cat: The Effects of Catnip; Catnip Toys; Catnip Plants; and Catnip Addiction (don't worry, your cat can't really become addicted to catnip).

As I was researching information for these articles, I gave my two cats, Neko and Shayla, a pinch of catnip each. Both did all the typical things cats do (roll in it, slobber, scratch the carpet--oops, and overall have a grand time). But this time, they didn't seem to frolic as much as they normally do. I think that I may have let the catnip get a bit dry.

I'm the sort that likes to buy things in bulk to save money, but that's obviously not a good idea for catnip. The more fresh the catnip is, the more your cat will enjoy it. Time for me to buy some more!

22 May 2004

Special Promotion at Petcarerx

PetCareRx is offering an additional 10% off everything on their site for a limited time. In addition to carrying flea control products like Frontline, Advantage, and Program, they are also a full service pet pharmacy. And they carry a good selection of other pet supplies. New customers get $10 off their next two purchases.

21 May 2004

Free Cat Litter Offer!

Naturesearth is offering a coupon for a free 7lb. bag of Feline Pine® Cat Litter. Feline Pine® is a natural alternative to clay litter. You should probably hurry over, as I'm not sure when the offer will expire.

If you plan to change your cat's litter, be sure to read our article on Cat Litter Box Essentials to prevent any problems for you and your cat.

20 May 2004

Goodbye Mei Ling

My co-worker (the other extreme cat lover in my office) had to put down her cat, Mei Ling, this week. Today, she was describing the process she went through in making the difficult decision to put Mei Ling down. It was such a familiar story to me as I have had to do the same for two of my cats. We know in our gut that it's the right thing to do to end our beloved cat's suffering, but there is always the doubt we have that maybe it's not the right time. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to play God and decide when it's another being's time to go?"

When I had to put down my two cats, Max and Keiko, they were two of the most difficult decisions I've had to make in my life. I wanted to do all that I could to save them, but then I had to ask myself who I was saving them for: for me or for them.

I put down Max in October 1994 and I still sometimes wonder if I let him suffer for too long; if I shouldn't have relieved his suffering sooner. I cried every day for two years straight in missing him. I loved that little black cat so much. But as any of us know who've been on the earth a while, time does help to dull the pain. When I put down Keiko in February 2001, I think I made the decision a little quicker. Both Keiko and Max coincidently had the same health condition: lymphoma.

And now with the passage of time, I'm able to remember the good times. Max was the best cat in the whole world! He probably didn't seem exceptional to anyone else, but to me, he was everything. He was with me through thick and thin. He was a great traveling kitty, too. When he was a kitten, he'd curl up in my lap when I'd drive somewhere (something I do not now recommend as there are too many dangers involved!—but he was used to it from a kitten). When I drove across the country, he camped with my in my tent and adjusted well to cheap hotel rooms. He was an amazing and special cat.

And Keiko! My God, Keiko was a crazy cat! She had so much energy. She lived every day of her short five years to the max. She was a role model for how we should all live. Thank God for cat trees and cat scratching posts because that cat loved to climb! Unfortunately, her climbing wasn’t limited to appropriate cat furniture. I still have some nearly shredded drapes as a reminder of all her energy!

I miss Max and Keiko, but I am so grateful to have had them in my life. Our cats are put into our care and it is our responsibility to care for them to the best of our ability.

Jenny, my co-worker, made the best choice for her beloved Mei Ling. She loved that little 16-year-old Siamese cat with all her heart. In time, Jenny's pain will dull. And now Mei Ling is free of her ailing cat’s body and is on to her next glorious life. Bye bye, Mei Ling. Please say "hi" to Max and Keiko for me.

19 May 2004

Plants Poisonous to Cats

I've just added a new article about plants poisonous to cats. If you suspect your cat has eaten a poisonous plant or other poisonous substance, you must call your veterinarian immediately. If you can't get a hold of your veterinarian, in North America, you can call the Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. A fee will apply.

In the next few days, I'll be adding a comprehensive list of poisonous plants. I want to make sure to provide you with the common name, scientific name, and symptoms of poisoning. As website building is new to me, in addition to compiling the list, I also have to learn how to make a proper table!

18 May 2004

Green Duck Cat Furniture

I've just added a new article about Green Duck Cat Furniture. Green Duck carries cat scratching posts, cat trees, cat tunnels, and many other pieces of cat furniture.

17 May 2004

First Healthy Cat Blog Entry

This website is continually evolving. I'm adding new articles every few days. I thought a kitty cat blog would be a good way to keep my visitors up-to-date and also to hear from you. If you have any feedback, please feel free to email me. You can use the Contact link to your left.

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