Category Archives: Feline Friday

Service Cats: How Toxic Is That Food To Kitty

The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. Each week we take questions and topic suggestions from all of you. We’ve spent the last four weeks focusing on Kitten/Cat Proofing your home. Ifin you missed any of those posts or any post in our Service Cats Series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu. Ifin you have questions or a topic you’d like to see here, you can leave those in the comments below or send us a private e-mail via our Contact page. Just remember, when asking behavioral questions to be as specific as pawssible and give any purrtinent examples. A well behaved and healthy kitty is more likely to keep their furever home.

 

Raena in tiger kitty holster

 

 

 

     We previously wrote about human Foods that are Toxic to us kitties and have received a follow up question asking just how Toxic those foods are. So, we’ve decided to expound on that today. With all the information we’re exposed to these days, it can be confusing for pet parents to know what’s what. Most peeps want to do what’s best for the furry members of their family; and spoiling them with a few table scraps couldn’t hurt a thing, right? That depends on what it is and how much of it is given.

 

The following items should NEVER be given to cats, even in small quantities. 

 

Alcohol: Amounts as small as 1 Tbsp. can cause vomiting, diarrhea, severe liver and/or brain damage.

Chocolate: Even in small amounts, All chocolate, but dark chocolate and baking chocolate in particular can cause heart problems, muscle tremors and/or seizures. The offending ingredients are theobromine and caffeine. 

Caffeine: Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks and Energy Drinks: Small amounts can cause onset of rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, excessive thirst and urination and even death.

Dairy: While this may not cause irreparable damage, most cats are lactose intolerant and can suffer from vomiting and/or diarrhea after consuming dairy products such as milk or ice cream. Even an upset tummy isn’t that much fun, so offer kitty something else instead.

Grapes and Raisins: It is unknown what ingredient is the offender here, but grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in both cats and dogs.

Onions and Garlic: In larger quantities (a clove) both can cause digestive upset and/or anemia. This is also true of small amounts fed regularly over a long period of time: known as build up. 

Xylitol: This is a sweetener used in many products such as gums, sodas, mouthwash, toothpaste and others. It is unknown whether it is deadly to cats but within 30 minutes of exposure, dogs may become lethargic, vomit, and if not treated can even lead to death. It causes a sudden release of insulin which leads to low blood sugar.

Avocado: Small amounts of any part of the Avocado can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Nuts: In particular Macadamia, Almonds, Pecans and Walnuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis in small amounts. 

Marijuana: With the legalization of Cannabis, this is becoming a problem seen by more and more vets. Cats and dogs can be exposed through second hand smoke or ingestion. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, more vocal than normal, a drop in body temperature, reparatory depression, and in severe cases, tremors, seizures and coma can result. The severity of the symptoms depend on the dose. In high enough doses, death can occur.  

Nicotene: Cigarettes, Cigars, Tobacco, Nicotene Gum/Patches and E-cigs: Ingesting even a small amount of nicotene can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and/or trouble breathing. Symptoms can occur within 15 minutes to several hours after exposure. A typical dose of 9.2 mg per kilogram of the animals body weight can be fatal.   

 

Raena sits stop the liberty cat tree

This world is full of bad things. I’s so glad mommy works hard to keep me safe.

 

 

 

     The list could go on and on, but we think these cover the ones most often available in the home. The message here is to keep these things out of kitty’s reach and don’t put it on the plate. Generally symptoms occur within an hour more or less of a toxic exposure. Some toxins act more quickly than others, so take precautions and be safe. We hope this follow up is helpful. And remember, if you think your anipal has been exposed to a toxin, Don’t Wait and See. Call your VET immediately. It’s also good to keep the Pet Poison Hotline number close by, 855-764-7661, a fee does apply with this number. References for this article were the ASPCA, Pet Poison Hotline website and our own VET as well as mommy’s many years of experience.

 

Dezi lays on scratcher yawning

Me can rest easy knowin’ mommy’s on the job to keep us toxic free.

 

 

 

Well, we’re gonna wrap it up fur now. Remember, you can check out/ketch up on any post in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu above. We’d luv to hear your questions. Just leave them in the comments or send us an email via our Contact page. Mommy says the only stupid question is the one not asked. So, ifin your kitty is doin’ soemthin’ strange and you want to know why, just ask us. Or, ifin kitty is misbehavin’ and you want that to change, just let us know. ‘Member to be as specific as pawssible and give us any purrtinent examples of said behavior. We’ll update you all on our current situation Sunday. Fur now, we’ll just let you know, we do have a signed lease. We’re linkin’ up with Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. Okay, we’ll see ya’ soon. 

 

Till the next time…………………………………………………….Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle     

Service Cats: Kitten/Cat Proofing Your Home Pt. 4

The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

Dezi outside in walking harness

 

 

 

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. Every week we try to answer questions asked by all of you ‘bout Training, Health, Behavior or anything else you’re wonderin’ ‘bout the little ball of fluff residing in your homes. We also take on topics you’ve suggested and try to help humans better unnerstand the Feline and sometimes the woofies too. That’s right, a lot of the Tips we give can be used fur pets of all species. Ifin you have a question or blog topic you’d like to see, purrlease leave a comment in the comments section below or send us an email via our Contact page in our menu. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series or just want to refresh your memory, you ketch up by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu above. 

 

Raena's adorable face close up while sitting in stroller

 

 

 

     For the last 3 weeks we’ve focused on Kitten/Cat Proofing your home; and, we’ll be wrapping that up today with a few last Tips and Suggestions. If you’ve missed Pt. 1, 2, or 3 click on the corresponding numbers to read them now. We truly hope we’ve helped make bringing a new kitty or puppy into your home easier and less stressful. We would first like to add something brought to our attention by one of our very smart readers. Just when you thought you’d covered all possible dangers, someone mentions something you totally forgot about.

 

     Last week we covered the Sewing and Craft room but totally forgot about the Iron. Yep, some people do still iron. Mommy uses a steamer more than an iron, so it just slipped our minds. However, a hot iron is a serious danger to pets and humans alike. And the dangly cord hanging over the edge of the ironing board is a great temptation for kitty/puppy. Never leave an iron unattended or plugged in when not in use. As me said, mommy prefers using a steamer not only on her clothes but also for cleaning. For water to turn into steam, the temperature reaches scalding hot. Never, blast kitty/woofy with steam, it will burn them. 

 

Raena sits on sidewalk beside stroller in her tiger harness

 

 

 

 

Outside: The Predator Becomes the Prey:

     As most of you know, we believe kitties belong inside and not out roaming around without their human. The dangers lurking outside are overwhelmingly huge. Kitties in particular are not only predators but also prey, especially small kittens and cats. Owls, Hawks, Eagles, Coyotes, Wolves, Bobcats, Cougars, Alligators, Crocodiles and many other wild animals can, will and do hunt our small furry friends.

 

     Rabies, carried by a number of wild animals can be transmitted through bites during a fight or saliva from an infected animal entering an open wound of a healthy animal/human. Feral Cat Colonies are at high risk of harboring and spreading Rabies as well as other fatal and non fatal feline diseases. Cars are another danger outside cats face. Over *6 million cats and dogs were killed by cars in the U.S. alone last year. (* – browser search). Cats are at a higher risk than dogs. In the winter time, car engines often provide a tempting place for cats/kittens to get warm. Please, Always knock on the hood of your car before starting it up, especially in the colder months.

 

Dezi's profile looking out into the street from the stroller while outside

 

 

 

Poisons:

     Outside cats are at risk of being poisoned, either by accident or on purpose. Many people think cats are a nuisance and put out poisons. Cats may also be poisoned by eating mice or other small animals that have been poisoned themselves. We personally lost a friend a few years ago who ate one such mouse. While poisoning from antifreeze is more common in dogs, it’s still a risk for cats. Please clean up any anti freeze you see standing around your car and store any containers in an area away from kitties/woofies.

 

     Many plants and flowers are toxic to kitties; as are most of the sprays used to keep bugs off garden plants. If you allow kitty outside in your garden, try to use non-toxic bug sprays and plant only safe foliage. Perhaps you could even plant kitty their own little garden area with some ornamental grasses and cat nip/mint. When offered the choice between your poisonous plants and nip or grass, kitty will almost always choose the latter.

 

Dezi walks outside in her harness on a leash

 

 

 

Garage/Shed:

     The Garage or Shed is another room that harbors dangers and even death for kitty/woofy. If you use your garage for your car, be sure to keep any oil, antifreeze, or other liquids that may leak, cleaned up. Also, store any containers of these items out of kitty’s reach. A locker or other enclosed shelf is a great place for storing dangerous items and tools. Put tools, especially those with sharp edges, away as well as any small nails, screws, zip ties, and other tempting play objects. Use plastic storage containers with lids instead of boxes. Not only are boxes tempting to kitty, but they’re also a fire hazard. Store bikes, skateboards, surf boards and other large equipment on racks or shelving.

 

Dezi looks out from perch

 

 

 

Cat Toys and Furniture:

     Now, let’s talk a bit about toys designed for our play. One would think that a toy or furniture item designed specifically for us would be perfectly safe, right? If only that were true. Most everybody knows we kitties love things that dangle from a string/cord. We love the string maybe more than the toy at the end. MOL However, most of those dangly toys are terribly dangerous. Me almost hung me’s self when me was just about 5 weeks old. Yep, that great little perch mommy sits in front of the door for us had a “mouse on a string” hanging down from the top ledge. Me would swat at it and pull at it and pull it up with me’s mouth. One day, me turned and turned and turned with it in me’s mouth till the elastic string had gotten wrapped around me’s tiny neck and pulled me off the perch. There me was dangling by the neck. Mommy was horrified and terrified and…obviously, she came to me’s rescue or me wouldn’t be here to tell you about it today. But, she did learn a lesson, Never leave dangly things, attached by string or elastic, to our toys or furniture.

 

Raena pokes her head through the hole of the Kong incline scratcher

Yep, mommy’ll be removin’ that dangly befur lettin’ us play

with this unattended.

 

 

 

     Hanging isn’t the only danger. If swallowed, strings can wreak havoc in our intestines. Because of the barbs on a cat’s tongue, we can’t actually push things out of our mouths very well. The more we struggle to spit out the string, the further in our mouths it goes. That brings me to the next set of toys that pose a danger to us. A lot of those cute little mice furries have tiny beads for eyes. The plastic ones often have a plastic push bead for a nose. While they might make the mousey look more like a mousey, they’re terribly dangerous and are often removed within the first few minutes of play. Y, Some of us kitties go so far as to remove the fur altogether and begin to eat the plastic mousey. Me’s never really seen a real mousey, so how’s me supposed to know the difference in taste of a real mouse or a plastic one? Apparently tho’, the plastic mousey is far more dangerous than the real thing. Chewed up plastic has sharp edges that can tear or cut our intestines.

 

Raena poses for the camera

Do mouseys have eyes?

 

 

 

     We highly recommend removing all dangle toys from cat furniture by cutting the string or elastic closest to the area of attachment. We recommend removing all glued on pieces like eyes, noses, tails, etc. from kitty/doggy toys. Some woofies are really hard on their toys. We recommend throwing out any plastic toys that appear chewed, before kitty/woofy can eat/swallow them. If a stuffed toy is ripped, throw out any stuffing before it can be consumed. Mommy says when giving kitty/doggy a new toy, it’s a good idea to watch how it’s played with before allowing unattended play. Wand toys are a favorite of most kitties. We love it when our human plays with us. However, when you can’t be around, put the wands away or out of our reach. Anything listed as “interactive” means it requires supervision to be safe.

 

 

Raena carries a Christmas toy from Cat and Lisa

Thankfully these eyes were painted on, so mousey got to keep his eyes.

He lost his ribbon right after this foto shoot tho’. Sometimes, mommy’s no fun at all.

 

 

 

Wrap Up:

     We know we’ve presented a lot of information over the last few weeks, but believe it or not, we only hit the highlights. Our last thought about kitties and the outdoors is that kitty should never be outside alone. We highly recommend harness and leash training. Just remember when introducing a new kitty/woofy into your home for the first time, don’t assume because your last kitty/woofy knew better the new one will. If this is your first kitty or woofy, thank you for saving a life, now take the precautions to kitten/cat proof your home so that you can both enjoy a long and happy life together. Take a look around your house, yard, garage and general living area, if you think it might be dangerous, remove it or take steps to make it safe. Lastly, Train your new kitty/woofy with some basic manners and you’ll both be happier for it. You can read Training Tips for appropriate Scratching and other behavioral challenges by clicking the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. And don’t forget to leave your questions in the comments section below or send us an email at: lexi.dezi@yahoo.com or via our Contact page. 

 

Dezi poses for the camera while playing with the Cat Dancer

Wand toys are me’s favorites.

 

 

 

We’re joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. What would you like to read about next here on Service Cat Furiday? Does your kitty do somethin’ or have a weird habit that you wonder ‘bout? We wanna hear from you, purrlease leave us a comment and we’ll see you next week fur another foray into the magical world of Feline Behavior. 

 

Till the next time…………………………………………….Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses 

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle           

Service Cats: Kitten/Cat Proofing Your Home Pt. 3

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. Each week we tackle the questions and topics ya’ll have asked and suggested. We welcome all questions; just leave them in the comments below or send us an email via our Contact page. Remember, when asking behavioral questions, be as specific as pawssible and give any relevant examples so that we may know how best to answer. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in our Service Cat series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page from the menu. We’ve been focusing on Kitten/Cat Proofing your home for the last couple of weeks, and we’ll be coverin’ more Tips fur you today. June was adopt a kitty month and we hope lots of kitties found their happy furever. Unfurtunately, we couldn’t find any stats on exactly how many kitties found homes this past month, but we believe every month is a great month to bring a new kitty into your life and home. So, let’s get to our next room.

 

Raena sits in tiger kitty holster cat harness

 

 

 

 

The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

Dezi in harness

 

 

 

     We started out in the living room and moved to the kitchen and dining room. Last week we focused on the bathroom and laundry room. We didn’t mention medicine cabinets, as most homes these days don’t have one. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that subject as it’s very important. So, today we’re going to cover the bedroom and those extra rooms some have, known as sewing/craft rooms or spare bedrooms. The bedroom has a few areas of concern to watch out for. Closets are always tempting to kitties because they have a door, lots of hanging things and sometimes different levels of shelving. Often times access to the attic/crawl space are located in the closet. Before allowing kitty access to the closet, make sure the crawl space access spot is securely covered. Mommy lived in an apartment once where the neighbors’ kitty used to visit others through the crawl space. This is a very dangerous area for kitty to be. Insulation can contain fiberglass or be treated with toxins.

 

Dezi lays on bathroom vanity

 

 

 

Bedroom and Closet:

     Of course, you may choose to do as mommy does and not allow kitty in the closet. Either way, before closing the closet door and leaving, especially for extended periods of time, always check to make sure kitty didn’t get past you to explore. The same goes for chests and dresser drawers. These spaces filled with comfy clothing of our humans is so very tempting. Many a kitty has spent the day closed up in a drawer because their human didn’t check before closing it.

 

     And of course, don’t forget about all the goodies on top of the chests and dressers, such as perfume, cologne, jewelry and jewelry boxes, coins/money, knick knacks and televisions. Keep jewelry boxes closed and all jewelry stored safely inside. There’s lots of tempting shiny things that kitty may find appealing, but can cause damage if swallowed. Put away spare change, many a kitty/woofy has had to have surgery to remove money from their tummy. Push perfumes and cologne bottles away from the edge as well as any breakable knick knacks. Altho’ kitties are very stealthy and can walk in the tightest of spaces, our tails do occasionally betray us and knock things to the floor. Nope, you didn’t see me’s paw push your antique photo frame off the dresser.  

 

Dezi lays on the bed and looks into the camera

 

 

 

Night Stand or Table:

     Let’s not forget about the night stand/table located next to the bed. You know, the one with that obnoxious alarm on it? Sometimes peeps like to read before going to bed, so the night stand/table can often contain reading glasses, lamps, a drinking glass, and medicine/cough drops during times of illness. We covered cords in Pt. 1 of Kitten/Cat proofing, so we won’t cover that again. If you have a drink before bed, remember not to leave alcoholic beverages unattended on the night stand/table. Alcohol is toxic to both cats and dogs. If possible, use a plastic cup containing only water just in case kitty/woofy decides to have a drink and pushes it off the table during the night. 

 

 

Medications:

     NEVER leave any medication unattended or within kitty’s reach. Assume all meds are toxic and store appropriately. Cough drops and cough syrups usually contain codeine or some other form of depressant/alcohol. Keep them in the night stand drawer or a cabinet. If you think kitty has gotten into any medication, call your V-E-T immediately.

 

Dezi sits pretty on the scratcher

 

 

 

Sewing/Crafting/Spare Room:

     The last room we’ll talk about today is the spare/sewing/crafting/art room. Kitties love strings, so we definitely love thread. We don’t have a specific room for these things in our house, but mommy does have a sewing area complete with sewing machine, supplies like needles, threads, pins and pin cushion, scissors, elastic, zippers, tape, glue, paint, brushes and other items. There’s more than one needle with a left over piece of thread stored in it. If these items aren’t put away and stored in a closed container, they can be deadly to kitties and doggies, not to mention small children.

 

 

     Always unplug the foot pedal to your sewing machine when it’s not in use. We also recommend covering your sewing machine so that kitty isn’t tempted to check it out. Pick up any errant pieces of thread and throw them out. Crafters, never leave a hot glue gun unattended and put your supplies away in a closed container when finished or taking a break. Be mindful of the products you are using. Some should only be used in well ventilated areas. When using these kinds of products, keep kitty out of the area. Our lungs are much smaller than a humans and can succumb to toxic fumes much quicker. Keep buttons, sequins, glitter and other small accessories stored in closed containers and only take out what you can work with at one time. Mommy also paints. It’s important to keep paints and paint brushes in a closed container especially when not in use. Put canvases or other painted pieces out of kitty’s reach to dry.

  

Dezi lays on liberty tree and Raena on the small perch looking at each other in front of the door.

 

 

 

Well, there sure are a lot of dangers ‘round the house.Unfurtunately, peeps offen overlook a lot of these till it’s too late. Anyways, we’ll be wrappin’ this topic up next week when we take a look at the garage, yard and furinally our toys. Can you believe there are dangers in the very toys intended fur us to play with? Well, join us next week and find out. In the meantime, we’re joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. Don’t furget to leave you questions and topic suggestions in the comments below or by sendin’ us an email via our contact page. And, you can ketch up on any post in the series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page.  

 

Till the next time………………………………………………Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

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