Sunday, March 17, 2019

Free Feline Behavior/Enrichment Class!

Ever wonder why your kitty wakes you up at 5 AM, walks on the counters, or turns his nose up at his dinner? Do you worry that your kitty is bored or being destructive when you are away from home? Do you want to make your senior kitty more comfortable and help maintain his or her activity level? Gain insights on innate feline behaviors and how you can provide mental stimulation and environmental enrichment to create a happier, richer life for your kitty. Learn how nutrition can affect cat behavior as well. Nancy and Diane will address your questions and challenges about living with cats. Free kitty goodie bags to take home!

Saturday, April 13th, 2019 1-3pm 
NOAH Events Center
31300 Brandstrom Rd
Stanwood, WA 98292

Nancy Howard is the owner of The Whole Cat and Kaboodle and Cafe Cocoa- two cat resource stores in the greater Seattle area. The mission of the business is to help cat owners see the world from their pets perspective. They offer grooming, boarding, nutrition, behavior modification as well as adopting out cats from local rescues and area shelters. Nancy also founded the feral cat sanctuary, Sanctuary at Hidden Creek Ranch, in Bothell in 2000. This space is home to over 100 feral, and otherwise unadoptable cats. Whole Cat website

Diane Venberg operates KittyStar Services for Cats on Camano Island, offering in-home visits for companion animals, assistance with medications and hydration for kidney issues, and behavioral/enrichment consultations. As a professional pet sitter and former volunteer with the Feral Cat Spay & Neuter Project, she has over 20 years of experience working with and caring for felines of all ages and personalities. Along with her mother, Diane founded Flower Feline Sanctuary, which offers a life-long home to senior and special needs kitties. Flower Feline Sanctuary website

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Transporting your Kitty

We recently had two kitties who required surgery; Ally had a dental procedure with six extractions and Coco had a mass removed from her eyelid. Thankfully, they are both recovering fine. The multiple trips to the veterinarian were probably the most stressful factor for all of us, humans and kitties alike. There are ways to reduce your cat's anxiety, motion sickness, and reluctance to even allow you to place her in a carrier. While not every trick will help every kitty, hopefully you can find a combination of measures that help calm your kitty and make traveling a bit more pleasant.

1. Use the right carrier for your cat. A top and front loading crate will make it easier if your cat uses her legs to brace herself when you attempt to put her into the carrier. Rigid plastic is easy to clean if your kitty is a nervous pee-er or a senior kitty who cannot always hold her urine. A soft carrier, such as a Sherpa brand, often has a full zip top. This means you can totally unzip it, nudge your slightly suspicious kitty onto the soft "bed," and then rapidly zip the top with your hand on her back to hold her there. Because these type of carriers cannot be cleaned very well, I recommend putting piddle pads inside under a towel in case of accidents. Bring a plastic bag and extra blankets in case there is a #2 accident and you need to pull over (been there). 

2. Spray the carrier and blankets with Feliway Comfort Zone an hour before loading kitty. Spray your car a bit too. 

3. Try Rescue Remedy flower essences on your kitty's temples before the trip. The formula made for animals doesn't have alcohol in it so they won't even smell it. 

4. If you have a kitty who was/is somewhat feral or works herself up by howling for the entire trip (been there too!), resort to Gabapentin. Your veterinarian can prescribe this and it's inexpensive. You can even get it compounded if you have better luck with liquid meds. My tabby twins will usually eat something tasty such as baby food with a capsule mixed in and not notice it. Note that this drug often needs at least two hours to reach a noticeable effect. CBD may also help if you wish to experiment with the variety of products made specifically for pets.

5. Since I moved to a colder climate and my kitties are mostly geriatric, we use a cuddle disc under the blankets inside the crate. Alternatively, you could warm blankets in the drier before placing them in the crate (NEVER use drier sheets with fragrances and chemicals around cats).

6. Always cover the carrier when walking to and from the car, to reduce the feeling of being exposed and unprotected. If you go to a veterinarian that also sees dogs, keep the crate covered until you are bot in the exam room. Obviously if it is very warm out, use common sense and make sure your cat doesn't get overheated. 

I've read that the safest place to put your crated kitty while driving is on the floor of the back seat. My car doesn't allow for this so I put the crates in the back seat area where the kitties can both see and hear me talking to them. Some newer carriers can be secured with the seatbelt, such as SleepyPod brands. If I had to purchase a carrier for air travel or wanted to splurge on a luxury carrier, these would be my choice. Safe travels!

Our favorite carriers