Wagging In The Workplace Infographic: The Benefits of Pets At Work

You’ve probably read articles about the benefits of eating lunch at work somewhere else than your desk. You may have noticed information about the value of getting up and moving during the work day. But what about the value of having a pet at work? How much do you know about that?

Turns out, more and more of us have pets—about two-thirds of all U.S. households in fact—which means many of us don’t want to leave those furry friends all day long. But still, bringing a pet to work isn’t exactly accepted practice in most workplaces. But it might be, if companies began to consider the host of benefits.

Can Pets at Work Improve Employee Retention?

For example, pets at work are a great way to lessen stress and improve employee retention—and those are just two plusses. But how do you institute a pet-friendly workplace policy, and why should you consider it? This graphic explains it.

Wagging in the workplace: Benefits of pets at workWagging in the workplace: Benefits of pets at workInfographic by Quill

 

Catnip: What It Is and How It Affects Your Cat

When you’re strolling through the cat-designated aisles of your local pet shop, you’ll no doubt see catnip offered in a variety of forms. You’ll see it packaged in flake form, sprinkled on toys, compressed, in a spray form, oil form, and even in bubble form. But what is catnip? While most cat owners know that catnip is used to have a calming effect on your kitty, we often are asked what catnip is and how it works. We figured we’d create this post to provide a guide on catnip for curious cat owners.

What is Catnip?

Catnip is the commonly-used name for the plant Nepeta Cataria, which in Latin translates to cat mint. Nepeta Cataria is native is to Europe and Asia, but is now grown all over the world. Growing between two and three feet in height, catnip plants bloom from late spring until fall. The plant is a part of the mint family and is cousins with basil and oregano.

 

The history of catnip is a bit spotty, but it is believed that the Ancient Egyptians, who were major cat enthusiasts, were the first to discover how fond cats are of catnip plants. The love of catnip is not exclusive to domesticated house cats, as larger felines such as cougars, lions, and jaguars have been found to enjoy catnip as well.

 

In addition to being used to keep cats happy, catnip was used in Europe and Asia as an ingredient for herbal medicines and for decorative and fragrance purposes. Once the Europeans brought the plant to North America, Native Americans soon began to use the plant for medicinal purposes as well.

Why Do Cats Love Catnip?

Without hitting you with too much science, cats dig catnip because it contains the organic compound nepetalactone, which is a cat attractant. What a cat likes and doesn’t like comes down to how it smells to them. Even their taste in food is based mostly on how it hits their noses. Not all cats love catnip, however.  The appeal of catnip for cats is hereditary, and about 33% of cats are unaffected by catnip. You’ll know right away whether your cat does or doesn’t enjoy catnip, as the effect is almost immediate. If your cat has the catnip-loving gene, one quick sniff of catnip and your kitty will be chewing and licking the catnip in glee.

Effects of Catnip on Cats

Smelling the scent of catnip releases pheromones in cats that trigger positive behavioral reactions. Cats react to catnip by licking it, chewing it, pawing at it, and smelling it. Soon after interacting with catnip, cats that are affected by the plant display behaviors such as drooling, drowsiness, playful energy, and purring.

Things to Know About Catnip

The degree to which a cat is affected by catnip can vary based upon the form of the catnip, the cat’s temperament, and amount of catnip your cat is exposed to. The following are a few things cat owners should know about catnip.

Catnip with Multiple Cats

While most reactions to catnip are positive, some cats may react to catnip with excessive energy or aggression. If you have multiple cats, it’s best to introduce catnip to them individually and in small doses to observe their reaction.

Growing Your Own Catnip

Catnip can be easily grown by pet owners if you would like to supply your cat with a homegrown brand of catnip. To do so, just buy some catnip seeds and get them planted after the last freeze of the season. The plants need plenty of room to grow and do better in porous soil and full sunlight. When full grown, the cuttings should be hung upside down in a dark, dry, airy space to dry. The dried leaves can then be stored in airtight containers in the fridge and served to your kitty.

Catnip Tea

Both you and your kitty can enjoy catnip! Prepared as a tea or infusion, the nepetalactone ingredient in catnip acts as a mild sedative, which can be helpful in relieving nausea, headaches, and even toothaches. Enjoy a warm cup of catnip tea at night and it might even help with insomnia. Or, fix up a lunch of tuna sandwiches and catnip tea, two things that can be enjoyed both by cat owners and their cats.

Pet Insurance for Your Kitten

If your cat has the gene that makes them drawn to catnip, there’s plenty of applications for catnip that your cat will enjoy. You can sprinkle it on their favorite toys, rub it along their cat tree or bed, spray it near their common hang out spots, or put a few flakes on their food.

Best Christmas Themed Cat Names

Christmas is a time for coming together with good friends and family. And for most, that includes furry family members as well. Around the holidays, breeders and shelters alike see an increase in adoptions. Whether you’re bringing home your first kitten or your third, it can be tempting to get swept up in the holiday cheer and bring home a new friend. But we would say a word of caution. The holidays can be an excellent time to bring home a new kitten for those who are planning to stay around the house and relax, but it may not be the best time to adopt if you’re planning on going on vacation for either Christmas or New Years. While cats are a little more hands off than other pets, like a dog, for example, they’ll still need love and attention to help them become accustomed to their new home.

And don’t forget about kitty proofing. The holidays can be a dangerous time for pets, including young, curious kittens. Even older cats can become enamored with dangerous holiday staples like Christmas lights or tinsel on the tree. You’ll need to make sure that your home is kitten-proofed before bringing home a new furry friend, and doing so during the holidays can be tricky.

We aren’t trying to counsel you away from bringing home a new kitten or adult cat this holiday season; we just want to make sure that you’re prepared for the reality of bringing home a living being. If you’ve prepared, and have planned ahead, then bringing home a new kitty for Christmas can be a wonderful and rewarding experience.

One of the most exciting aspects of bringing home a new pet is deciding on a name! And what a better way to utilize the holiday season than by giving your Christmas kitty and holiday-themed name? From Angle to Zuzu, we’ve compiled some of our favorite Christmas-themed cat names to help you find the right name for your new furry family member this holiday season. Enjoy!

Traditional Christmas Figures

These traditional Christmas figures have helped to shape Christmas with their love and cheer. What better way to celebrate the holiday than by giving your new kitty a traditional Christmas name?

  • Angel
  • Balthasar (one of the wise men)
  • Bethlehem
  • Caspar (one of the wise men)
  • Claus
  • Emmanuel
  • Frank (incense) – Gift from the wiseman
  • Gabriel (Christmas Angel)
  • Gloria
  • Glory
  • Joseph
  • Joy
  • Magi
  • Malachi (God’s messenger)
  • Melchior (wiseman)
  • Myrrh
  • Naz
  • Nazareth
  • Noel
  • Shepherd
  • Spirit
  • Star
  • Starlight

Pop Culture Christmas Figures

From famous literary characters to flying reindeer, this list has it all! Read on to find the purrfect pop culture Christmas name for your cat!

  • Bert (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • Blitzen
  • Clarence (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • Comet
  • Cratchit
  • Cupid
  • Donner
  • Ebenezer
  • Ernie (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • George (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • Harry (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • Jack (for Mr.Frost)
  • Jack Frost
  • Kris
  • Mary (from It’s a Wonderful Life)
  • Raron (for the Little Drummer Boy)
  • Rudolf
  • Rudy
  • Scrooge
  • Susan (from Miracle of 34th)
  • Tiny Tim
  • Zuzu (from It’s a Wonderful Life)

Christmas-Inspired Names

From decorations to classic holiday figures, the names on this list can be both on the nose, or a bit more vague. Find a name that can evoke the Christmas spirit all year long with this list.

  • Bell
  • Bella
  • Beth
  • Blessing
  • C.D. (Christmas Dog)
  • Candle
  • Candy
  • Carol
  • Christian
  • Christmas Cookie
  • Coal (for bad cats only)
  • Crystal
  • Douglas Fir
  • Elden (meaning Elf)
  • Elf
  • Fir
  • Forest
  • Frosty
  • Fraser Fir
  • Fudge
  • Garland
  • Gift
  • Holly
  • Ice
  • Isabella
  • Ivy
  • Merry
  • Midnight (it came upon a midnight clear)
  • Mistletoe
  • Nicholas
  • Nick
  • North
  • Peace
  • Pecan
  • Poinsettia
  • Pumpkin
  • Sleigh
  • Snow
  • Snowball
  • Tinsel
  • Twinkle

Home for the Holidays With PetPlace

The holidays are fast approaching! If you’re planning on bringing home a new feline family member we hope that this list has helped you to narrow down your name choices. Of course, you’ll probably want to meet your new cat first. But now you have a list ready for when the day arrives! Do you want to know what the most common cat names mean? We have an entire blog dedicated to the “meaning” behind common male and female cat names. Happy holidays!

Choosing a Russian Blue

The Russian Blue, also known as the Archangel Cat, is a gentle, courteous cat that wears a perpetual Mona Lisa smile. This breed is a growing favorite with feline fanciers. Although currently still rare, an increasing number of cat lovers are discovering the joys of singing rhapsodies in blue. With his vivid green eyes, silver-blue coat and pleasing body style, the Russian Blue is a strikingly beautiful breed. And his pleasing personality and playful temperament make him a delightful companion.

History and Origin of Russian Blue Cats

The Russian Blue has been around long enough for its ancestry to be shrouded in legend and conjecture. According to accounts, the Russian Blue has existed for centuries in the White Sea port town of Archangel in northern Russia, about 150 miles from the Arctic Circle. No direct evidence exists to prove this, but the breed’s thick coat gives credence to the theory that they developed in a cold climate, and, according to reports, Blue shorthairs still exist in Russia today.

It’s thought that British sailors transported Russian Blue cats to Great Britain in the 1860s. At the first modern-day cat show held at London’s Crystal Palace in 1871, a Russian Blue was shown under the name “Archangel Cat.” Early photos show the cat as a solid blue feline of foreign type with a short, dense, glossy coat. Besides Archangel Cat, in the past, the breed was also known as the Spanish Blue, Foreign Blue and Maltese Blue. Over the years, the term “Maltese” came to mean any solid blue cat.

In 1912, the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) acknowledged that the Russian Blue was distinctly different from the British Blues with which it had been competing and granted the breed a class of its own. The breed made good progress until World War II when it almost ceased to exist. While people were struggling to stay alive, maintaining their cats’ bloodlines wasn’t their main priority.

During the 1940s and 1950s, two breeder groups, one in Britain and one in Scandinavia, worked to save the breed from extinction by crossbreeding the few hardy survivors with other breeds like the Blue Point Siamese and the British Blue. In 1965, a group of British breeders began efforts to restore the Russian Blue to its original appearance by breeding together the lines developed in Scandinavia and Britain.

The Russian Blue arrived in America in the early 1900s, but it was not until the 1960s that serious attempts at promoting and developing the breed began. Imports from Britain helped improve the U.S. stock, and today America’s Russian Blue is considered so highly that examples of the breed have been sent to Europe to improve their bloodlines. While still uncommon, the Russian Blue has gained an enthusiastic following both in North America and in nearly every other continent of the world.

Appearance of a Russian Blue

The Russian Blue’s body style is “foreign,” which means long, lithe and slender. While appearing slim, the Russian Blue is actually quite muscular and strong and can leap to the top of the tallest bookcase with ease. Its head is wedge-shaped, but the face appears broader than it actually is because of the wide set of the eyes and the thick facial fur. The large ears are also set far apart and are wide at the base. The slight upturn to the corners of the mouth makes Russian Blues appear to be forever smiling at some secret joke. The eyes are always vivid green.

This breed’s most distinctive feature – its beautiful coat – is silky, plush and so dense it stands out from the body. The thick undercoat gives the coat its density, and no doubt helped protect the cat from the harsh winters in its native land.

The Russian Blue, as one might expect, comes in only one color and pattern – solid blue. The color that cat fanciers call blue is actually gray to the rest of us. The coat’s outer hairs are decorated with silver tipping that reflects light, giving the coat a silvery sheen. Although blue is the only color accepted by the North American registries, other colors are accepted in other countries. The Australian Cat Federation (ACF), for example, accepts the Russian in blue, black, and white.

Russian Blue Cat’s Personality

Russian Blues are gentle, reserved cats that usually can be found under the bed when strangers come to call. Russian Blues like their usual routine and dislike environmental changes more than the average cat. With their own chosen humans, however, they are playful and affectionate and develop close bonds of loyalty and love. Active but not annoyingly so, Russian Blues like nothing better than retrieving a tossed cat toy or chasing sunbeams for your amusement. Agile and light-footed, Blues pussyfoot about the house with the grace of small, furry dancers.

How To Find a Cat Sitter

Are you thinking of going on vacation for the winter holidays? If you’re a cat owner, one of your top concerns for the holiday season is probably finding a cat sitter. While it may be tempting to bribe your neighbor’s ten-year-old to come and check on your cat every few days while you’re away, that really isn’t the safest or most secure way of having your cat looked after while you’re enjoying the holidays. Not only will having a dedicated cat sitter give you peace of mind while you’re traveling, but the companionship will make your cat feel much better as well.

 

Finding a cat sitter that you like and trust may take some time, so we recommend that you begin looking well in advance of the holiday season. Just like regular boarding facilities, pet sitters can quickly become booked by fellow pet lovers over the holidays. This just means that it’s even more important that you interview and suss out candidates before the holidays roll around. You’ll want to find a cat sitter that you find trustworthy, and with whom you are comfortable. If your cat has special needs, such as insulin injections, find a sitter who can give shots or attend to your cat’s unique requirements.

 

When it comes to finding a cat sitter, there are a multitude of avenues available to you. You can try asking your vet for recommendations, asking friends, or using online services such as Care.com, Rover.com, or Petsit.com.

Questions to Ask Your Potential Pet Sitter

Here are some questions that we recommend you prepare ahead of time before interviewing your potential cat sitter.

  • Ask the cat sitter if she is bonded and carries liability insurance.
  • Ask how long she has been in business and what experience with animals she has beyond pet sitting. (qualifications)
  • Get a written list of references.
  • Ask what the pet sitter likes about being a pet sitter.
  • What services are provided with your pet sitters rates and what services would be extra or not provided?
  • Will they be the one handling your pet while you’re on vacation? This question should be asked if you’re interviewing a service provider as opposed to an individual care provider.
  • What will their procedure be in the case of an emergency, such as your cat becoming ill.
  • What form of communication will the cat sitter be using to reach you
  • How frequently cat you expect updates on your cat?
  • What form will the updates be coming in? Emailed report cards, daily pictures, daily videos?

But wait, this conversation should be twofold. Here are some questions that a good cat sitter will ask you during your interview.

  • Your potential cat sitter should ask you about your cat’s diet.
  • Feeding schedule.
  • Clean up process.
  • Disposing of waste procedure.
  • Games your cat likes to play.
  • Usual habits your cat has.
  • Your cat’s sleeping habits.
  • Where you keep the cat food.
  • Where the litter box and supplies are.

Responsibilities You Can Expect Your Cat Sitter to Perform

The responsibilities of being a cat sitter are many. A sitter should clean the litter box daily, but don’t expect her to clean a week’s worth of waste that you neglected to clean prior to your trip. You’ll need to let your sitter know where you store all of your cat-related supplies, including any medications for any of your cat’s illnesses or dietary concerns. You’ll also need to share some of your cat’s individual characteristics with your sitter, such as does your cat hide from strangers? Where are your cat’s favorite spots?

We recommend that you introduce your cat to your sitter before you leave for vacation. If you’re comfortable with it, you could have your first interview with your potential cat sitter at your house to see how your cat reacts. During the time when your cat sitter is watching your cat while you’re on vacation, we recommend that they visit once a day. This way, your cat sitter will be aware quickly if something is wrong with either your cat or your house. Having a cat sitter visit every couple of days may seem attractive due to the money you could save, but we think that having peace of mind is worth the extra money when financially possible.

The last two steps when it comes to securing a cat sitter are finalizing a contract and handing over important items and documents. Some cat sitters might ask you to sign a contract that itemizes dates of coverage, the cost of your services, and liabilities. You’ll want to discuss the terms of payment and whether payment is required upfront with your sitter before signing. Next, you’ll need to give the sitter a key to your home for the duration of your vacation. Exchange contact information that includes your name, phone number, emergency number, your vet’s number, and the number of the hotel you’ll be staying at or the landline of the house you’ll be staying with. Your cat sitter should provide you with all of her contact information in the contract, or on a business card. You may also want to give your veterinarian a letter to keep on file that says that while you are away, the sitter will have the authority to seek treatment for your cat if necessary, and you will be responsible for any fees.

Find a Cat Sitter for Your Cat This Holiday Season

Whether you’re going across the country or across the state, finding a cat sitter can make your holiday vacation plans go so much smoother. With the proper vetting and research, you can leave your fur baby at home knowing that they’re in safe hands. Happy holidays!

A Guide To Cat Diabetes

It might surprise you to hear that diabetes can affect cats as well as humans. When it comes to cats, there are two types of diabetes mellitus (DM). Type I DM occurs when a cat’s body does not produce enough insulin, this lack of insulin can be the result of the destruction of the cells in the pancreas that normally produce insulin. 50-70% of cats that have been diagnosed with DM have type 1 diabetes. Due to the lack of insulin in the cat’s body, they will require insulin injections to control their disease.

Type II DM occurs when enough insulin is produced, but something interferes with its ability to be utilized by your cat’s body. Unlike type I DM, type II DM is found in 30% of cats diagnosed with DM. Type II DM is typically treated with dietary management, weight control, and oral drugs. So what about the remaining 20% of cats diagnosed with DM? The last 20% of cats diagnosed with DM can be classified as “transient” diabetics. To be a “transient” diabetic means that after diagnosis with diabetes mellitus, a cat can have total resolution of their diabetic state months to years after diagnosis.

So when do cats contract DM? DM has been shown to typically affect middle-aged to older cats, ages 9-11, of either sex however it is most common in neutered male cats. But, early-onset diabetes may occur in kittens less than one year of age and can affect any breed.

Possible Signs of Diabetes

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Weight loss despite a good appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Poor body condition/poor coat
  • Weakness – especially in rear legs

Diagnosing Diabetes in Cats

When it comes time for your vet to diagnose diabetes in your cat, he or she will implement any of the below tests to determine the underlying cause of the elevated blood sugar in your cat.

  • Analysis of the urine to check for glucose and for signs of urinary tract infection. The vet will also be looking for ketones, which is an acid produced by a cat’s body when insulin is absent.
  • A serum biochemical analysis to determine the blood glucose concentration and to exclude other potential causes of the same symptoms.
  • A complete blood count (CBC).
  • A biochemical analysis of the blood.
  • Other tests such as abdominal X-rays or abdominal ultrasound if complications or concurrent diseases, such as pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), are suspected.
  • A complete medical history will be needed as well as a physical examination. Particular attention will be given to your assessment of changes in eating and elimination activities. Changes in weight or general behavior will also be noted. The abdomen will be carefully palpated (probed by touch) to feel for changes in the size of the abdominal organs.

Diabetes Treatment Options

It should be noted, as always, that each cat is different. The treatment options that we outline may not be right for your cat’s specific needs. Talk to your vet to determine your cat’s ideal DM treatment plan.

Insulin Injections:

For most scenarios, most cats will eventually need one or two daily insulin injections. These injections are given under the skin using a small needle. Luckily, most cats become comfortable with this daily occurrence. When this becomes necessary, your vet will show you how to properly perform these injections.

Oral Hypoglycemic Agents:

Oral hypoglycemic agents will typically only be given if your cat’s pancreas is still producing some insulin.

Weight Management:

Proper weight management diet and regular exercise can aid in control of DM. The recommended diet for cats with diabetes is a high protein low carbohydrate diet.

The costs of treating or managing your cat’s diabetes can quickly add up. Between the costs of diagnosing their diabetes through urine samples or other tests, blood tests to monitor their condition, and specialized food to keep them healthy, your cat’s condition could easily turn into a huge financial responsibility. While each vet’s office is different and charges various rates, there is one sure way that you can use to cut costs while treating your cat’s diabetes; pet insurance. Most pet insurance plans will cover diabetes and the costs associated with the disease. By paying a monthly premium, you could be saving hundreds of dollars.

Tackling Your Cat’s Diabetes With PetPlace

We know that it can seem daunting to tackle your cat’s diabetes, but we’re here to help. Between your vet and our online archive of kitty articles, you’ll be able to find all the help you need to battling your cat’s DM. Did you know that some pet insurance plans can help pay for the costs associated with diabetes? To learn more, check out our pet insurance articles.

Can Cats Eat Thanksgiving Leftovers?

Thanksgiving is a time for laughs and fun with friends and family, pets included. But sometimes your furry family members can get a little naughty and start celebrating the holiday before, or after, everyone else. Or maybe Grandma is known for slipping a little something to Fluffy during the meal. Which Thanksgiving foods are safe for your cat to eat and which should have you concerned? Read on to find out.

It should be noted that each cat is different. The safest course of action to take when your pet has consumed an unknown quantity of a new food is to contact your vet. We have outlined some foods below that agree with most felines, but that is not to say that every cat will be able to handle the items we’ve deemed safe. Talk with your vet to discuss their holiday concerns for your cat.

Turkey

Turkey, as with all meats, is tough to definitively say yes or no to. When it comes to turkey, what’s going to make a difference, as far as your cat is concerned, is the fat content of the bird. You’ll need to consider how you made the bird. Did you slather it in oils, butter, and seasoning to get the perfect golden outer skin? If so, the fat content of that turkey is likely too high for kitties to eat. While maybe an accidental scarp won’t hurt them, giving your kitty a few pieces, or a bowl of the stuff, will most likely make her sick. If you’re concerned about how much turkey your cat can eat, or if she got into the holiday spirit a little early, we recommend calling your vet.

Turkey Bones

Cats shouldn’t be allowed to eat bones of any kind. The bone can break off into little pieces and do a lot of harm. It’s best to keep cats away from all bones year-round.

Cranberries

We’re a bit mixed on this one. There haven’t been many studies conducted on whether or not cranberries are good for cats. Some swear by the fruit, others stay away. From what we can tell, raw cranberries aren’t so good, and neither are cranberries that have been mixed with other ingredients like sugar. The safest course of action is to avoid this fruit or talk to your vet about your cat’s specific tolerance.

Mashed Potatoes

Uncooked potatoes are not safe for cats, but cooked mashed potatoes most likely won’t do your cat any harm. While potatoes contain many benefits such as vitamins B and C, cats don’t possess the enzymes necessary to process potatoes fully. That means that if your cat continually eats too many cooked potatoes, he may start to pack on the pounds. But if Fuzzy gets into Grandma’s famous mashed potatoes before anyone else, he’ll probably be just fine.

Gravy

Gravy is a no go for cats due to its high-fat content, especially gravy that is made from the drippings of turkey. This yummy Thanksgiving treat should be reserved for humans and humans alone.

Peas and Carrots

As far as vegetables go, peas and carrots are just fine for your feline friend. As long as they were left alone, meaning no seasonings or toppings, most kitties can chow down on these veggies.

Rolls

Your cat can get away with a few nibbles of cooked bread, but uncooked bread is another story. The yeast used to create these fluffy pillows of goodness can be extremely harmful to your cat.

Butter

Butter is kind of like cranberries in that cats probably can eat butter without any negative side effects. But just because a cat can eat something doesn’t mean that it should. Butter is an unhealthy substance as far as cats go and shouldn’t be given to a cat regularly. If you left the cover off your butter dish and Fluffy got curious you’ll probably be just fine.

Sweet Potatoes

Mashed sweet potatoes or dehydrated sweet potatoes should be treated just like regular potatoes. As long as they’re free of additives, spices, or toppings, a little nibble probably won’t ruffle Fluffy’s fur.

Pumpkin Pie

This is a big no go. While cats can enjoy canned pumpkin or raw pumpkin, the sweet goodness that is pumpkin pie should be reserved for people only. Sorry kitties.

Keeping Thanksgiving Safe

If your cat gets into any new or unusual foods, you should keep an eye on her to monitor her for developing symptoms. Every cat is different, one food that doesn’t phase one cat may prompt some serious side effects for others. To be safe, give your vet a call prior to Thanksgiving day.

Black Cat Appreciation

Every year around Halloween people suddenly decide that getting a getting a black cat is a good idea. But what about the rest of the year? Why do we hang onto myths that black cats are scary or cursed in some way? Black cats can make for a wonderful addition to any family, so in the name of Halloween, fall, and all things cats, we’re shedding some light on some ridiculous black cat myths. It’s time for some black cat appreciation; not only this month but every month.

The most common black cat myth in the U.S. is that black cats are “unlucky.” You see, during the Middle Ages people assumed that single women who fed stray cats were participating in witchcraft and that the cats were their “familiars,” or companions in black magic arts. This belief led to a massive eradication of black (and other colored) cats and gave rise to witch burnings, as well. Some have speculated that by getting rid of mass amounts of cats, the plague was able to spread easier due to rat’s natural predators, cats, being taken mostly out of the equation. When cat populations soared plague outbreaks decreased, when they lessened, outbreaks grew. While today many people feed stray cats or give a welcomed pet to a lonely kitty, superstition still lingers.

Due to historical paintings and texts depicting the poor treatment of black cats the themes eventually wove their way into our modern culture. In movies, black cats are a sign of danger, or a black cat is used to hiss at an intruder as he passes by their fence post. When was the last time you saw a black cat portrayed as just a friendly lap kitty in a TV show or movie? The last case we can think of is Sabrina the Teenage Witch. And even though Salem was a nice black kitty on the show, he still lived with a household of witches.

The superstitions surrounding black cats span father than just the U.S. though. Great Britain, Russia, and Japan all regard black cats as bringing luck, especially if one crosses your path. But, in Ireland, it’s believed that if a black cat crosses your path in the moonlight, you will die in an epidemic. In Germany, it was said that if a black cat crosses your path from right to left it brings bad luck, but if it crosses from left to right, the luck will be good. And lastly, pirates took the whole black cat bad luck concept to a whole new level. For pirates, if a black cat walks toward you it is good, but if it walks away from you, your luck will be bad. Again, these beliefs have lost most of their standing in today’s world, but the distrust remains.

 

Reasons To Adopt a Black Cat

  • Making a pet-inclusive Halloween costume will be easy
  • Black is very slimming. Thus holding a black cat makes you look slim
  • You’ll never lose your black cat in the snow
  • They’re less work than their larger black feline cousins, the panther
  • You won’t be able to spot their fur on all your black leggings
  • They are the least likely to be adopted from the shelter

Reasons To Adopt Any Cat

Ok, we’ve had our fun. But seriously, there’s no reason not to adopt a black cat. Adopting a black cat is just like adopting any other colored cat. Here are some of the real benefits that you can receive from bringing home a black cat.

Let’s Get With The Times

So what’s the deal? Why are we still hanging on to superstitions from the Middle Ages? It’s time to cut black cats some slack and give them the same love that any other cat would receive. If you want to adopt a black cat you may have to wait until after Halloween; some shelters won’t allow for black cats to be adopted around the holiday to keep people from adopting them for unethical reasons. But we encourage you to consider adopting a black cat year-round, winter, spring, summer, or fall. You could make a huge difference in the life of a black cat by giving them a chance the next time you go to your local shelter.

Concerns For Overweight Cats

You might think that overweight cats are cute; the more cat there is, the more to love. But your cat being obese can be the cause of many serious, and seriously expensive, medical concerns. It might be tempting to let your kitty pack on the pounds through yummy treats and pampering, but those extra pounds could be cutting into the years that you’ll have with your cat. Cat obesity is a growing epidemic, research shows that nearly one in three cats is obese, so today we’re dedicating all of our resources to discussing this growing feline concern.

 

How To Determine if Your Cat Is Overweight

You and your vet may partner together to use any number of means to determine your cat’s health in relationship to its weight. Obesity isn’t like other illnesses; it won’t strike quickly or be the immediate result of an accident. Obesity will slowly overcome your cat in a gradual progression that can be difficult to spot without the help of an outside eye. The signal that your cat might be getting unhealthily large may be as simple as one of your friends commenting on your cat’s weight. Your vet will likely use some of the means below to help assess your cat’s health; additionally, you may utilize some of the tactics listed to diagnose your cat’s obesity.

 

  • A thorough veterinary examination, including an accurate measure of body weight and an assessment of body condition score. A historical review of changes in your cat’s body weight is often helpful in establishing a pattern of weight gain and may help identify a particular event or change in environment that relates to the increase in body weight.
  • Routine blood work including a complete blood cell count, serum profile and urinalysis are necessary to determine if there is an underlying disease. If the results of these tests indicate a problem, additional tests are warranted to specifically identify the condition before starting a weight loss program.
  • An assessment of your cat’s current daily intake of all food, treats, snacks, table foods and exercise schedule is important in the development of a successful weight loss program. Clearly, if the calculated caloric intake exceeds the calculated daily energy requirement of the cat at an ideal body weight, then excessive caloric intake is the cause of the obesity.

 

The Causes Of Feline Obesity

Just like with humans, there can be several underlying causes for your cat’s obesity. Your kitty may be overweight due to overfeeding or she may be taking on more weight due to a disease. One of the most common causes of feline obesity is overeating. Most cat owners believe the myth that their cats will simply stop eating when they get full, but that’s not always the case. Cats are just as likely to start overeating as humans are. Would you just stop eating once you thought you were full if you were sitting in front of an all-you-can-eat buffet of your favorite food? And when you were sitting in front of that buffet your perception of when you were “full” probably changed from what is normal for you. The same goes for cats.

 

Cats can become obese when they chronically consume more calories in a day than their daily energy requirement. This problem is often associated with automatic cat feeders or with cats who are feed too much at each meal. Automatic feeders that replenish themselves after your cat takes a bite might sound tempting, you won’t have to worry about feeding Fluffy again for awhile, but they can lead to a serious overeating problem. When your cat takes in excessive dietary calories, those same calories are stored as body fat.

 

There are a few other causes of cat obesity, the most likely medical causes behind a cat’s obesity are Hypothyroidism, Insulinoma, or Cushing’s Syndrome. Hypothyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid gland. This gland is responsible for producing and secreting thyroid hormone (thyroxine), which affects nearly all body systems. Insulinomas are actually malignant neoplasms that can form in your cat’s pancreas. The beta cells that comprise insulinomas secrete excessive insulin. Cushing’s Syndrome, also known as Hyperadrenocorticism, is caused by an excessive production of glucocorticoids, namely cortisol, by the adrenal gland. For information about these troubling kitty diseases and conditions we recommend that you consult with your vet.

 

Treating Feline Obesity

Depending on your cat’s diagnosis, whether they’re suffering from overeating or a more serious ailment will determine your cat’s treatment plan. For cats who overeat, veterinary recommended treatment usually includes:

Everything You Need to Know about Cat Laryngitis

Has your cat lost her meow? She’s probably not invoking a vow of silence to protest the lack of wet food in her life; there might be something very wrong with your silent kitty. A cat losing her meow is one of the most obvious signs of Cat Laryngitis. Just like with humans, Cat Laryngitis can make it painful for your kitty to communicate using her voice. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this troubling kitty disease.

What Is Cat Laryngitis

First off, Cat Laryngitis is actually a laryngeal disease that affects your cat’s voice box or larynx; thus the name, Cat Laryngitis. Cat Laryngitis usually affects older cats, but it is not unheard of for a younger feline to contract the disease. The average age for a kitty to get Cat Laryngitis is 11.

Your cat’s voice box and larynx function the same way that a human’s does, with the passage of air your cat is able to create her vocalizations. Some cats are more chatty, such as Maine Coons, while others may rarely speak. If your cat is already on the quieter side, it may be hard to detect her Laryngitis right away.

Cat Laryngitis, as mentioned earlier, is a disease that affects your cat’s respiratory system. The respiratory system is a series of tracts and organs in a cat that is responsible for respiration, without which life would not be possible. Respiration is the term used to describe breathing. It involves the inhalation of air and the intake of oxygen, as well as the exhalation of waste gases such as carbon dioxide from the lungs.

Besides breathing, the respiratory tract serves other important roles, such as the humidification and warming of air before it enters the body, the trapping and expelling of foreign substances, facilitation of the sense of smell, and the production of vocal sounds (e.g., meowing, purring). The respiratory system consists of the nasal passages, the back of the mouth (nasopharynx), the voice box (larynx), the windpipe (trachea), the lower airway passages, and the lungs.

Symptoms Of Cat Laryngitis

Depending on the severity of your cat’s illness, the symptoms below can vary in degree. The most common symptoms of Cat Laryngitis include:

  • Panting
  • Wheezing or noisy respiration when breathing
  • Weaker, or lost of meow
  • Coughing
  • Lessened activity
  • Fever
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bad breath

What Causes Cat Laryngitis

Sadly, the cause for Cat Laryngitis is not always known. There can be a number of illnesses and events that could cause your cat’s Laryngitis including:

  • Paralysis of the vagal nerve
  • Infection in the chest region
  • Inflammation in the chest region
  • A Nervous-system disorder
  • Abnormalities of the muscles
  • Immune-mediated disorders
  • Hormonal deficiencies
  • Trauma
  • Cancer
  • Direct irritation from inhalation of dust, smoke, irritating gas, or foreign objects
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • A tumor of the larynx

Diagnosing Cat Laryngitis

There are several ways in which your vet can diagnose Laryngitis. Typically, a blood profile and chemical blood profile will be conducted. When your vet runs this test, they’ll be looking to see if your cat is suffering from thyroid problems. Sometimes it can be necessary to run a set of x-rays, fluoroscopy, or a bronchoscopy as well, in order to rule out other more serious diseases such as pneumonia. Your vet could use an ultrasound to try to rule out laryngeal masse, or some vets opt to perform a laryngoscopy to look for mass lesions in your cat’s larynx.

Cat Laryngitis Treatment

When it comes to Cat Laryngitis, there are several different levels of medical intervention that can help your cat overcome its Cat Laryngitis. If your cat requires surgery, then you may find yourself waiting at home with a sick kitty before her procedure date. During this time, you’ll want to keep your kitty in cooled areas to keep her temperature steady; you’ll also want to avoid putting any pressure on her throat area, this means taking off collars and bandanas.

A “normal” case of Cat Laryngitis should clear up within a few days to a week. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics to help speed the healing process. During this healing period, you may want to consider switching to a wet food so that your cat’s throat won’t be irritated by her dry food. Also, make sure that your pet has access to plenty of cold water to soothe her sore throat. You may want to remove her collar during this time so that her throat can rest.

Keep Your Cat Healthy With PetPlace

We know that it can be scary when you kitty suddenly falls silent of starts wheezing and coughing. The best course of action that we can recommend is taking your cat to see a vet to get the care she needs to recover. Each cat is different. So predicting the treatment or cause of your cat’s laryngitis can be tricky. Most cats experience a full recovery from Cat Laryngitis with the aid of some extra TLC.