“New” Declaw Technique Shot Down by Facts

In January 2018, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a letter from Dr. Kerry Yoon of Hawaii, who claims to have invented a "new, painless" declaw procedure. He is so confident that his special technique is "painless" that he has NEVER given any pain meds to the hundreds of cats and kittens he has mutilated. I'm sure many humane-minded veterinarians wrote in to complain, but JAVMA chose only two letters of opposition to publish. I am pleased that mine was one of them. Both letters are presented ...

2018-03-16T10:02:41-07:00

Sleeping with Pets

Many thanks to Kellen Smith at Tuck.com for allowing us to reprint this excellent article. As a lifelong insomniac, I really appreciate this thorough exploration of pros and cons, as well as the other helpful articles on Tuck.com. Many of us allow our pets to sleep with us, but is it healthy? Are there health risks to letting your dog or cat share the bed with you? How does it affect your relationship with your pet? Below we’ll cover the trends and facts about sleeping with your pet, the benefits ...

2018-01-31T12:12:20-07:00

How to Travel with Your Cat (The Ultimate Guide)

UPDATED 7/05/10 Many people travel with their cat, as can be seen by the YouTube videos that depict people taking their cats on hikes, boat trips or bike rides. While it can be fun, it requires a lot of careful planning and consideration of feline and human needs. This guide will help you travel with your cat successfully. Things you Need to Pack Just like humans, cats also have a list of items they need to take with them on vacation. In order to keep Fluffy healthy and happy and ...

2019-07-23T18:11:18-07:00

Toilet Training for Cats

Our good friend Jo Singer recently spotted an old idea being given a disturbing new life: toilet training a cat. And sorry, no... this is not a "how to" article, it's about "why not"! A 2001 book by Dr. Eric Brotman on the subject is once again the media. Brotman's doctorate is in clinical psychology, not veterinary medicine; that may explain his is utter ignorance about cats! As Jo points out in her article, it is vital to be able to monitor a cat's urine and feces output. In fact, it's one of the best ways ...

2017-03-23T14:13:52-07:00

Cats Aren’t Loners

For millennia, cats have been considered "loners" and "aloof." But it's absolutely not true. Recent research shows that cats can be just as affectionate and social as dogs; they just have different ways of showing it. One human behavior often provoked by the cat's theoretical loner-ness is leaving the cat alone for a weekend or holiday, with a big bowl of food and a bowl of water. That's not okay according to our friend Layla Morgan Wilde, who wrote a thought-provoking article, "Cat Myths: Home Alone." Folks who think it's ...

2017-02-18T13:29:01-07:00

Restful Sleep

Restful sleep is a topic that most of us don't give enough attention to... unless it's to fret about not getting enough of it! And hardly anyone thinks about sleep as far as animal companions are concerned. But getting enough good quality sleep is essential to health. And this goes for our pets, too! Most wild members of the feline (and canine) species are born in a dark nest or den; and they're born with their eyes closed. Darkness is a key component of healthy development in those first weeks ...

2017-02-18T13:45:57-07:00

Cat Scratchers – What Do Cats Like?

Having the right cat scratching "implements" is critical in preventing claw damage to carpets and furniture. New research provides insight into where and why cats scratch. Scratching is a deeply embedded instinct in cats. It is used as a visual and scent marking technique; to stretch tight shoulder and back muscles; to condition the claws by removing the damaged outer layers; and to relieve stress. If you have a cat, you need to provide an acceptable outlet for this normal and necessary behavior. Unfortunately, many cat guardians don't even know ...

2017-03-23T14:03:11-07:00

The Woman-Cat Bond

You may have heard of the "human-animal bond," but my colleague and friend Dr. Jane Bicks (who makes Life's Abundance pet food) just posted a great summary of research on the bond between humans and cats; and more particularly, the unique bond between women and their cats. Fascinating! One of the study's authors, Dorothy Gracey of the University of Vienna, said, "A relationship between a cat and a human can involve mutual attraction, personality compatibility, ease of interaction, play, affection and social support... A human and a cat mutually develop ...

2017-03-23T14:18:22-07:00

Are Cats Really Domesticated?

There is an ongoing debate in the science community about cats. That is, are they fully domestic, or are they still essentially wild? The premise is that unlike dogs, who are thoroughly domesticated in mind and body, it's unclear just how wild or domesticated our cats may truly be. As a veterinarian, I can tell you that individual cats run the full gamut. Some kitties are totally relaxed and docile, and others more resemble an angry rattlesnake! Complicating the issue are feral cats, who are as wild as any other ...

2017-03-23T14:19:36-07:00

Animal Communication

Many thanks to our guest author, animal communicator Kate Solisti!  The art of listening to an animal and actually receiving something back from them is based on two things: (1) Love and (2) Intuition. I have been a professional interspecies communicator for over twenty years and in that time have helped many people rekindle their natural abilities to open and receive information from non-speaking beings through their intuition. It is my belief that the heart is the seat of our intuition and innate wisdom. In order to access these, we ...

2017-03-21T19:22:08-07:00

Pets in Pain–Don’t let them Suffer

We are honored to have a wonderful guest blogger today, Dr. Shelley Brown of Harmony Veterinary Center, Arvada, CO. Dr. Brown practices integrative veterinary medicine, including acupuncture, cold laser, and homotoxicology. She is a member of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management.  I hear it all the time--“My pet’s limping, but she’s not in pain” or “Surely he’d cry out if something hurt”. How many times have we ourselves suffered our pains in silence?  Do we scream and moan every time something hurts?  And why do we limp, unless something hurts?  ...

2017-03-23T14:31:42-07:00

Cat Litter Roundup & Review

Every now and then, I go through a kind of "Litter Dance," in which I try out a variety of kitty litters on my gang of four. Fortunately they're amenable to the changes, which allows for a thorough evaluation of the different types of litter. I thought I'd share some of my most recent experimental results, as well as research into types of litter that I haven't tried. Miscellaneous (but important) Litter Facts: Cats prefer the softest texture they can find, so if your cat is going outside the litterbox ...

2018-06-09T13:49:16-07:00

Aggression in Cats

Brothers having a slight disagreement Aggression in cats is not uncommon, but it's unusual for it to be serious enough for people to seek professional help. Just a decade ago, however, a study from Cornell University noted an upward trend in people-directed aggression. Those researchers thought it may be attributable to an increasing tendency to keep cats inside the home (and thus interacting more with people). Other possible explanations: cats are actually getting more aggressive (a bad thing), or people are becoming more aware that feline behavior problems are amenable to treatment (a ...

2017-02-18T13:04:14-07:00
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