Category Archives: Service Cats

Service Cats: Does Your Garden Contain These Natural Flea Preventatives

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. Don’t furget you can always ketch up on any post you may have missed in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. You can also submit your questions and/or topic suggestions in the comments below or by email using the contact form on our Contact page. Just remember, when asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible includin’ any appropriate examples. We’ve got some great topics comin’ up. Last week, we meowed ‘bout Flea and Tick Prevention and we received a couple of follow up questions that we’re goin’ to address today. Remember, there’s no stupid/dumb question. And ifin you’re wonderin’ ‘bout somethin’, chances are others are wonderin’ the same thing. So, let’s get the business outta the way and get to it.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new 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.

 

 

Raena sits posing in her tiger harness

 

 

 

 

     As we mentioned last week, Flea and Tick Prevention is very important. Whether kitty ever puts a paw outside or not, we are at risk of being infected by some nasty parasites, including Fleas and Ticks. Did you know the Flea can jump up to 7 inches vertically and 13 inches horizontaly? That’s right, this little blood sucker, a 1/16 inch big can leap about 50 times their body length. (wikipedia-fleas) What that means, is that nobody/kitty/doggy/anipal is truly safe. Even if kitty only goes out on the porch and never touches the grass, he/she is still susceptible to Parasites. We mentioned last week that fleas can hitch a ride on just about anything including you in their attempt to find their next blood meal. So, Prevention is very important. It’s much easier to Prevent a problem than it is to wait and Treat the problem. We recommend speaking with your VET regarding Prevention Options.

 

Dezi and Raena on the Liberty cat tree looking outside

 

 

 

     Now, we were asked, “Are there any natural Flea and Tick/Parasitic Preventatives you would recommend?” And, “What steps does mommy A take to keep us Protected?” One of the best Preventions is a Healthy Pet. That’s right, a healthy pet apparently isn’t nearly as tasty as an unhealthy one. Garlic and Brewer’s Yeast was once thought to be a repellant for Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitos. However, we have since learned that Garlic is actually toxic to cats and Brewer’s Yeast has no effect in the Treatment or Prevention of Fleas. Garlic can cause liver and kidney damage, so please don’t feed kitty/doggy any Garlic. Mommy says a good rule of thumb regarding the use of plant/oil/herb natural remedies is to stay away from items that may be toxic to anipals like bulb plants. A bulbous plant is one that grows a bulb underground instead of a tap root like Garlic, Onions, Lilies, etc.. If you choose to use essential oils or liquid herbs, please talk with your VET, do your own research to determine if it can be safely used on kitty.

 

 Catnip plant

Catnip’s a great Natural Flea Purrventative.

 

 

 

     Now, let’s look at some plants you can grow yourself to help Prevent Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitos. Everybody knows the majority of kitties love their catnip. There are exceptions, but that shouldn’t deter you from growing a little nip to use for Flea Prevention. Along with catnip, most of the mint family safely repels Fleas and Mosquitos. Mommy makes certain to grow a few Nip plants, Sage, Rosemary, Basil, Thyme and Marigolds (annual that will seed like a perennial) in our garden each year. The best part is that these plants are perennials, so you really only have to plant them once and allow them to seed at the end of the season. They’ll come back year after year at just the right time to start repelling those nasty parasites. And, if kitty happens to roll around in them, he/she will get coated in a natural preventative. Don’t worry, these plants are pretty sturdy. Kitty won’t cause too much damage to their ability to grow and come back each year. There are essential oils for each of these plants, however, essential oils can be highly toxic to cats, so we recommend only using fresh leaves. It’s much cheaper anyways.

 

 herb garden clip art

 

 

 

     Other than growing Nip in the garden to help repel parasites outside, how does one use it on kitty/doggy or even the humans you ask? Just harvest a few fresh leaves, crush them and rub directly onto kitty’s skin and fur. You can also make a natural Flea spray. Harvest a few leaves, and boil them in a half cup of water and half cup of vinegar/apple cider vinegar to make a “tea”. Boil for about 20 minutes, strain and let cool. Once your tea has cooled, it can be sprayed directly onto kitty. You could even use it to bathe kitty/doggy.

 

 Marigold Flower clip art

 

 

 

     Another natural remedy some swear by is Diatomaceous Earth (DE). This can be applied to carpets. The sharp edges of DE will pierce the flea and larvae and dry them out. Before purchasing DE make sure it doesn’t contain any other ingredients. Companies often combine it with poisons such as Pyrethrums to make it more effective. While DE isn’t toxic on it’s own, it can be an irritant if inhaled. Be sure to thoroughly vacuum it up. Speaking of vacuums, one should vacuum regularly and empty the canister or bag immediately. Fleas can live off a host body for some time. Keep kitty’s/doggy’s bedding, blankeys, etc. clean by washing them regularly. Old school farmers used to apply Seven Dust to their animals as a Flea powder. We can’t speak to it’s effectiveness, but it smells like chemicals and toxins, so we don’t recommend it personally. However, it can be used safely outside around plants and windows. 

 

 Dezi outside in walking harness

C’mon mommy, just let me roll ’round 1 time.

 

 

 

     As we mentioned, we were asked what mommy does to Prevent Fleas. As we said last week, mommy hates using poison on us. However, she typically “fogs” our yard and around the windows with the Bengal outdoor fogger in late April, early May. We are generally not allowed to walk on the ground for at least a month afterwards. We’re never allowed to roll around on the ground. Mommy’s a bit of a germophobe. MOL  As we stated earlier, she has a small herb garden with plenty of Catnip, Sage and Marigolds. Believe it or not, she doesn’t really like the Marigold flowers, but she likes mosquitos even less. And lastly, we’re allowed to “waller”(wallow, roll) around in nip all year long…so long as it’s in the house. During the height of Flea/Tick/Mosquito season, we do use a spot on Flea Treatment. We live in the South where it never gets cold enough to kill off any of those nasty parasites and mommy isn’t taking any chances. Last week, we did say not to let cost of Prevention dictate the Treatments/Preventatives you use. While most commercial Flea Treatments/Preventatives contain a small percentage of poison, those made by Hartz Flea and Tick spot ons have been linked to many pet deaths. We highly suggest you stay away from their brand for this issue. 

 

Raena goes for a walk outside

 

 

 

We do hope we have provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision about Treating and Preventing Parasites fur your furry family member. We will be introducing a new topic/question next time. Don’t furget to leave your questions and/or topic suggestions in the comments below or send us an email via our contact page. And check out the other posts in this series by clicking on Training Tips and Everything Feline from our menu bar. We’re always happy to expound on a topic; so ifin you don’t find the answers you need in a previous post, just let us know. We’re here to help. We’re also linkin’ up with Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle         

Service Cats: Should I Use Flea Prevention On My Pet

MeOW Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. Every Furiday we focus on answering questions ‘bout the furry purrers in your house. We’re here to offur Trainin’ Tips fur the frisky feline and answers to any question you may have ‘bout behavior, nutrition, health, and anythin’ else you can think of. Just leave your questions in the comments or send us a purrivate email via our Contact Page. We do ask that you be as specific as pawssible, includin’ any relevant examples, when askin’ behavioral questions. Purr request, we’re no longer statin’ the names of those who ask the questions. Your anonymity is safe. Just remember, there’s no stupid question. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can check them out on our Training Tips and Everything Feline Page in our menu bar. We got some great questions last week and we’ll be addressing them shortly. Now, let’s get the business outta the way and get to today’s topic. 

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new 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.

 

Raena sits in tiger kitty holster cat harness

 

 

 

 

 

Last week we meowed a little about kitty going outside of the home. Whether on a leash, in a stroller, going to the VET or a fun trip to the pet store, park or drive thru, kitty should be protected at all times. That includes protecting kitty from any and all parasites that kitty might encounter. We were asked, “How do you feel about flea and tick protection?” Fleas and Ticks are those bloodsucking parasites that can cause all kinds of problems for us anipals and even our humans. For those of us in the South, they can be problematic most of the year. As much as we complain about the weather, it never truly gets cold enough, long enough to kill off many of the insects and pests that carry diseases or want to make a meal of you and your furry friend.

 

Flea life cycle

Flea Life Cycle Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

 

First, let’s take a look at the flea life cycle: Egg, Larva, Pupa and Adult. The whole life cycle can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. However, the adult flea can lay up to 40 eggs a day. So, if you see one flea, no doubt, there’s more. Fleas are crafty little jumpers and will hitch a ride on pretty much anything to find their next tasty blood meal. So, for those of you who say, “My kitty never goes outside”, first we’d say, Why? We’ve given you lots of Tips for safely allowing kitty to check  out all their surroundings, including the big outdoors. But, more importantly, fleas can hitch a ride on you, your clothing, or any other pets you may have that do go outside. They’re also the teeniest of creatures and can enter your home thru minute cracks in windows, under doors, etc.. Once the flea has found it’s preferred host, your kitty, the life cycle begins anew.

 

 Raena's adorable face close up while sitting in stroller

 

 

 

The most common problem caused by fleas, is Flea Allergy Dermatitis ( no photos, they’re very graphic). Symptoms can include, lots of scratching, head shaking and biting at areas of the body where the fleas are, fur loss and hot spots. Another common health issue fleas can cause is Tapeworms. Trust me, you don’t want these nasty critters. Symptoms can be seen by examining your furry pals poopy. if Tapeworms are present, you’ll see lots of little white rice sized worm segments in the poop and possibly around kitty/doggy’s anus. And yes, humans can get Tapeworms from animals. If you see signs of Tapeworm in your pet, Treat them ASAP!!! These things won’t go away on their own. Because the Flea consumes blood, your pet may also become Anemic. Symptoms include, really pale gums, lethargy and possibly low body temps. Anemia is nothing to play around with. If you suspect your anipal is Anemic, see the VET immediately. Anemia left untreated can cause many health issues, including death.

 

Segmented Tape worm

Segmented Tapeworm Photo courtesy of wikihow

 

 

 

Bartonella, also known as Cat Scratch Fever is the last health issue we’ll cover that can be caused by Flea bites. This is something cats, dogs and humans can get. Symptoms include, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and swelling of the lymph nodes. Bartonella is very serious and if you suspect your anipal has been infected, see the VET immediately. As if fleas aren’t scary enough, we anipals also have to worry about Ticks, Mosquitos and other parasites like chewing lice, hookworms, round worms and more, including heartworms (caused by infected mosquito bite).

 

Raena stands on edge of stroller and looks out

 

 

 

So, the question was, how do we feel about Flea and Tick protection? First we’ll say that mommy A hates the idea of putting poison on or in us for any reason. That being said, she also hates the thought of us contracting any of the illnesses these parasites can cause. When mommy saved me, me had a horrible case of Fleas and Tapeworm. Of course me got a bath almost immediately with nothing more than a mild cleanser. Mommy used a Flea Comb to remove the fleas not washed down the drain and then gave me a great blow dry. She then treated me’s Tapeworms with an all natural cure because me was too young to take the actual medication usually prescribed. When using natural remedies, one must remember that they generally take longer to work, so in the case of Taeworms, mommy had to be vigilant about cleaning the litterbox and me’s bloomers.

 

 Dezi outside in walking harness

 

 

 

Most animal parents are familiar with at least a few of the treatment options available. Treatments include, shampoos, sprays, powders, collars, edible pills and spot ons. We recommend that animals only be treated during the actual Flea and Tick season for the area they live in. Most people tend to “Treat” year round. It’s our opinion that’s not necessary, however, we do recommend checking with your VET. The most effective poisons for treating Fleas and Ticks are Fopronil, (S)- methoprene, Imidacloprid, Pyriproxyfen and many swear by Brewer’s Yeast.

 

 Close up of Dezi sitting pretty in the stroller outside

 

 

 

As much as mommy may hate putting poison on us, we use a spot on during the spring and summer months. We have a new one we’re trying out right now and will be telling you more about it soon. As most of you know, we are on a very fixed income, but please, don’t take chances with your pets life by using products just because of price. And NEVER, we mean NEVER EVER use a product intended for another species. Using a dog product on a cat could lead to death, and using a cat product on a dog could mean not enough protection. If your anipal is ill, please talk with your VET before using any treatments. Remember, the poison, whether ingested or applied to the anipals skin, will get into their system. You don’t want to over tax a sick animal’s liver/kidneys/heart, etc.. And, if mosquitos are a problem in your area, please consider treating your anipal for heartworms. Prevention just might save their life. If you are using collars or powders, take extra precautions to wash your hands before touching your face, eyes or mouth and keep an eye on small children. Remember, these are Poisons and could be toxic to the young or infirmed. 

 

 Raena walks towards the woods on her harness

 

 

 

Well, we hope we’ve helped you to better understand the Flea and protection. Altho’ mommy hates it, she believes some evils are necessary in small doses. Optimal temps fur fleas is 70-85° F and 70% humidity. That doesn’t mean they can’t thrive in other temps, but when your temps reach 70°, start thinking about Flea Treatments. Don’t furget you can check out the other posts in this series by clickin’ Training Tips and Everything Feline from our menu above. And, what questions do you want answers too? Leave questions and topic suggestions in the comments below or send us an email. Join us here each Furiday to learn more ‘bout your favorite furry purrer. We’re also joining Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday.

 

So, tell us, do you use any parasite preventions and if so, which ones? 

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle  

Service Cats: What Age Should Kitty Be Altered & Preparing For A Trip To The VET

MeOW  We’re late, we’re late fur a very impurrtant date!!! Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. And welcome to all our new followers. We say you’re only a visitor once. After that, you’re family. We open this post each week to give you Trainin’ Tips and answer all your questions. So, ifin there’s anythin’ you’ve been wonderin’ ‘bout, just ask. Your questions can be ‘bout health, behavior, Trainin’, or anythin’ else you wanna ask. Nopawdy knows everythin’. And ifin we don’t have an answer, we’ll find one fur ya’. You can ask via the comments below or by sendin’ us a private email via our Contact Page. Purr requests, we’re no longer statin’ who asked the question. But, there is no dumb question, everypawdy needs help sometime. You can ketch up on all the posts in this series by clickin’ Training Tips and Everything Feline from our menu bar. So, let’s get the business outta the way and get this pawrty started.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new 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 lays on counter at vet office

 

 

 

So, we’re going to tackle a couple of questions today because they kind of go hand in hand. Here’s the questions: What age should kitty be spayed or neutered?, And: My kitty hates going out in the car/My kitty gets really stressed when he/she has to go to the VET, what can I do to make it easier on him/her?

 

 Raena posing at the vets

 

 

 

 

Regardless of kitty’s age or background, they can be Trained. A really skittish kitty may always be a little fearful, but even they can learn to be calmer and less stressed. And, in the end, that’s all we can ask of them. We gave you Training Tips and Tricks on Harness and Leash Training here. There are numerous reasons to Train kitty to be comfortable with going out/riding in the car. We’ll be covering more of this in a future post. Anyways, we live in something called Tornado Alley; meaning a tornado could appear and wipe out everything in it’s path. Many of you live in areas that could flood or have the ground beneath you quake and open up. Regardless of weather, there are many natural disasters that could occur making it necessary for kitty to have to leave the home and ride in a car. So, Harness and Leash Training are always a good idea. You should always secure kitty inside their carrier with any provided tethers, or by clasping the leash to a zipper, handle or carrier grate. This step will ensure that kitty doesn’t escape even if they manage to get their carrier open. The last thing you need is a scared kitty running loose in an unfamiliar place possibly surrounded by unfamiliar people/other anipals.

 

 Raena sits on the scratchers at petco

 

 

 

We highly recommend keeping kitty familiar with going out throughout their lives. We also recommend taking kitty to places other than the VET. Think about it, if the only place you ever went when you went for a ride in the car was to some place you didn’t like, how eager would you be to continue to go? So often kitties only go out when they need to visit the VET. Even the calmest of kitties will eventually get a little stressed out by these outings. Our prayer would be that no kitty ever got sick or needed regular doctor’s visits, but the reality is that as kitty ages VET visits become more frequent. And, since we can’t all live in areas that have VETs that make house calls, a kitty that’s comfortable going out makes those visits much less stressful for all involved.

 

Me thinks me’ll take a little nap in here.

 

 

 

Remember, kitty also feeds off your emotions. More than a few times we’ve heard, “My cat seems to know I need to take them to the VET.” The answer is, of course we know. We’ve already felt your stress about having to corral us into our carrier and make the drive while listening to us sing the song of our people. Take control of your own emotions and start sending “positive vibes” instead of nervousness or stress. No matter how small your home may be, we recommend leaving kitty’s carrier/stroller out at all times. The more comfortable kitty is with their carrier/stroller, the less stressed they’ll be when you close them up in it. You should make closing kitty in their carrier a game you play off and on throughout their lives. Once kitty is in their carrier, calmly close it up for just a few minutes at a time. Once kitty is comfortable with this, start taking kitty out to the car and drive around the block and back home again. You can eventually make these trips longer and longer. And remember, all trips in the car shouldn’t end up at the VETs. We often go through the drive thru at the bank, just to say hey to the tellers in the windows. We’ve also gone with mommy to buy gas. We stay in the car while she pumps the gas and then we either go inside with her to pay or go thru the drive thru window. Again, we’ll cover more of this in a later post.

 

 Raena sleeps in Gen7 stroller

Ifin I’s stay here long enuff, maybe I’s can go fur a stroll later.

 

 

 

Now to the question of when kitty should be altered. In recent years all surgical procedures have advanced and become safer. Lots of VETs perform what is called a Gonodectomy (removal of the ovaries or testes) on very young kittens, beginning around 6 weeks of age. Most require the kitten to weigh at least 2 pounds. This procedure is more common in rescue and shelter kittens in an attempt to make sure adopted kitties actually get the surgery and can’t reproduce. While we totally understand the need for this, mommy is personally against this procedure on such a young and small animal. That being said, we also don’t believe kitty/doggy should be allowed to mature and “go thru a heat cycle” before being altered. We certainly don’t believe kitty should have to experience the birthing process. It is not necessary and increases the risk of mammary cancer, cervical cancer and other medical issues. We tend to favor the spay/neuter surgery occur when kitty/doggy is about 5 to 6 months of age. By this time the male testes have fully dropped, the female ovaries have fully formed and there’s less chance of “missing/leaving” behind an ovary or testicle. Altho’ rare, this has and does happen.

 

 Mommy A waking Raena after her spay surgery

Raena’s spay day at 5 1/2 months old.

 

 

 

We were also asked if we believed that a female kitty in heat was in some form of pain and should be given pain meds. Our answer to this is absolutely not. But, that being our opinion, we researched said topic and could find nothing to substantiate that kitty is in actual pain. The yowling and contorting of her body is not due to pain, but her desire to mate. She doesn’t need pain meds, she needs to be altered as does the spraying male tom that’s yowling, fighting and stinking up the house/yard/neighborhood. It is our opinion that we often over medicate these days whether it be human or animal. That being said, kitty should be altered before she has to go into heat. Again, it’s much healthier to spay kitty before a heat cycle. However, don’t let that stop you from adopting a mature kitty who hasn’t been spayed. It’s never too late. And it’s never too late to start Training your kitty. Remember, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards. To revisit Training kitty to go out, you should take kitty out at least once a week throughout their life. This will help insure that VET visits go smoothly and kitty isn’t bouncing off the walls when you take them in the car.

 

Dezi sits in stroller

Dezi in stroller in the car.

 

 

 

 

Don’t furget, you can ketch up or refresh your memory on any of the posts in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu bar. And keep the questions coming, we luv writing these posts and hope you find them helpful. Meet us back here each Furiday fur topics to help make your relationship with the anipals in your life better. We’re also joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Friday.

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

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