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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         

I’m Not Selfish, Mommy’s Being Mean

Hey? Is anypawdy out there? It’s me RaenaBelle. I’s got somethin’ to tell ya’. Mommy’s bein’ mean to us!!! Can you believe it?

 Raena laying on perch

 

 
RaenaBelle Mayce!!! Don’t tell peeps dat.

 Dezi sits on the floor in her typical pose

 

 

But it’s true sissy. I saw it with mines own eyes, I did. You might’a been sleepin’ but I was right there.

 

 

       Yeah Raena, me’s sure you were. Mommy purrays all day everyday and asks God to purrtect you from yourself and keep ya’ from getting’ hurt or breakin’ somethin’. So me has no doubt you were “right” there. So just what did you see?

 Raena checks out box

Sissy, I saw bunches of toys. I mean enuff to start our own toy store. All of ‘em fur us from da give away we won over at Three Chatty Cats. You know da one, da Honest Pet Products, where everythin’ is made from all natural stuffs. There’s all different kinds of toys even. And they smelled divine. Mommy layed ‘em all out and even got da flashy box after ‘em.

 Raena sniffs bag of toys

 

 

       Yes Raena, me saw all dat.

 Raena with her catty pillar

Ya’ did? Well I’s wasn’t sure, cuz you didn’t say anythin’ when all mommy gave us was one niptastic catty pillar. And she put everythin’ else away.

 Raena with toys

 

 

       Yeah me saw her Raena. And me heard her say dat she was gonna save some of those toys fur mes birthday, your spa day and maybe even Christmas. Mommy knows we’ll furget we even saw ‘em by then and dat we’ll be happy kitties when she brings one out.

But I’s wanted ‘em all right then.

 Raena with her catty pillar

 

 

 

       Yeah, me’s sure you did Raena. But dat’s very selfish. And besides, just how many toys can you actually play with at one time?

Well sissy, don’t you ‘member mines furst night here? I had never seen toys. And… (Raenas’ eyes get big remembering what she saw when placed on the floor)  MeOWWWwwwww I was runnin’ from one toy to another. So I can play with lots of toys at one time.

 Dezi sniffs the catty pillar

       Yeah Raena, me ‘members your furst night, and me ‘members you runnin’ in circles. It was really cute, and mommy and even me were happy dat you were havin’ a good time. Mommy even got a video of ya’. Ifin anypawdy missed it or ya’ just need a smile and a little chuckle, you can watch it here. But, there comes a time when you have to learn not to be selfish anymore and dat time is now. Don’t worry, mommy’ll give us da rest of those toys, just not today. Now, go play with your catty pillar. We were really blest and each got one of our own. And fur anypawdy wonderin’ ‘bout our a/c leak and da repairs of such, we have an update. Mommy did call da manager to demand a time fur da repairs. And da manager told mommy da maintenance man would be here Wednesday.

Yeah, but he wasn’t da one who showed up on Wednesday was he sissy?

 Pet Parade banner new

       (Dezi shakes head and rolls her eyes) No Raena, he wasn’t. Da manager showed up on Wednesday to tell mommy dat da rent was goin’ up again in October. We say again, cuz our rent just went up when we renewed our lease. She wanted mommy to initial da changes on our lease. Mommy reminded her dat we never got any notice of this increase, and this certainly isn’t 30 days notice. Then she purrceeded to tell mommy dat a a/c repairman would be here on Monday to fix da a/c. And she said, “It’s going to be messy.” Well duh!!! Did she want mommy to say furget ‘bout it then? Like leakin’ pipes and moldy carpet, floors and stuff ain’t messy. Yes, da woman’s an idiot. She has to be, right? Well at least da repairman should be qualified. MOL  Anyways, me needs to tell ya’ dat we’s joinin’ Rascal and Rocco and their pawsum co-hosts fur da Pet Parade. We hope you all have a pawsum weekend. 

 Dezi and RAena look out the front door from the same ledge on the Liberty cat tree

 No, me doesn’t have an ear in me’s chest or a forked tail, dat’s

little sis Raena beside me on da cat tree lookin’ out da

door. We be lookin’ fur sunshine.

 

 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue 

Raena: Navy Blue 

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

 

 

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

Stick of the Vine, Silvervine That Is

Meowllo everypawdy, does me have somethin’ to tell you today. Furst let me say dat it’s stormin’ here again and we’re ‘spectin’ both maintenance and a plumber, so we’ll be ‘round to visit as soon as we can. Yeah we have a new maintenance man, it’s da managers son. Our air conditioner was put in hap hazardly and da drain pipe ain’t drainin’. ‘Course we didn’t know dat till mommy stepped on wet cawrpet. This has happened befur and our then maintenance man sent hims mommy over to fix it and nopawdy ever followed up. Her idea of fixin’ it was to scoop da water out of da trough. Well dat didn’t fix da drain purroblem. Mommy asked them to get somepawdy out to purropurrly fix it, but since da water had been poured out and it wasn’t leakin’ on da floor dat minute, da manager did nuffin’. Well it didn’t get fixed so it filled up again and mommy turned in a request fur maintenance. So yesfurday da manager and her son da maintenance man came down.

Dezi cocks head to the side in thought

Mommy let da maintenance man in, but told da manager dat it was a maintenance issue and there was no reason fur her to be there. Furst she said, “I wanna see”, to which mommy replied dat she didn’t need too and then she said, “Well, I was just going to stand right here inside the door.” Okay, so which is it, ya’ need to see it, or you just want to get in our house? Well mommy pawlitely told her No and went to show da maintenance man where da purroblem was. While he was there, he found dat we also have a small leak from one of da pipes on da hot water heater. Since he’s not a licensed plumber, he can’t fix dat, so he told da manager to send out da plimber and he’ll be back to fix da pea trap on our a/c so dat hopefully it’ll drain purropurrly from now on. Well, now dat me’s gotten way off track, let me get back to our special treat.

 Dezi amid the Yeowww nip toys and silvervine stick

 Hmmmmm Kitty heaven. Nip and what’s this?

Da Vine in a stick

So, all us cats have heard ‘bout catnip right? Ifin not all, at least most of us. “Course we also know dat not all kitties react to da nip, and Silvervine has taken da kitty world by storm lately. Our furst taste of da vine came after our ‘pawrtment flood when our furiends from da Katnip Lounge sent me and sis Lexi some as a cheer us up and homecomin’ gift. We liked it fine, but we both liked nip too. And mommy was really glad cuz after checkin’ into this vine, she found it was quite costly, even da seeds to grow it yourself. Most of ya’ know dat sis Raena likes da nip too. We had no idea ‘bout da vine, cuz we didn’t have any left. Sis Lexi got da last of da gifted vine. Well here lately our furiends Purrseidon and Mr. M keep talkin’ ‘bout this vine stick he has and how it helps him with his arfur-itis. Well sis Raena nor meself has arfur-itis, but dat stick does sound fun.

 Dezi enjoying a silvervine stick

 Oh me cats!!! This vine stick is sooooooo good

Well you know our mommy, she wants us to have everythin’ we need and most of what we want. She can’t afford dat, but she wants it. And just cuz mommy can’t afford somethin’ doesn’t mean she won’t try to find it. So mommy began a search fur these sticks of silvervine and actually found some fur less than a dollar. Mommy added them to her wish list and said, “Someday, girls, someday.” Anyways, a short time later some pawsum Anonymous Angels put some green papers in our paypal account and after checkin’ with them to see ifin they minded mommy spendin’ a dollar frivolously, she ordered them sticks. They was gonna be shippin’ fur furee all da way from China. Mommy figgered they’d get here in time fur Christmas. MOL  Anyways, total cost was .99 pennies. Mommy didn’t mention to Raena and me dat she had ordered them cuz she had no idea when they would arrive. Well guess what? They got here this week. Seems mail from China doesn’t take any longer to get here than mail from da U.S..

 Raena playing with a silvervine stick

 This stick is all fur me? Fank you mommy and angels.

Raena couldn’t wait fur mommy to open da little package. She was crawlin’ and jumpin’ all over mommy da whole time. Mommy furinally got da package open and sure ‘nuff there they was, 2 sivervine sticks. Mommy ‘membered dat da instructions said to cut off some of da bark to expose da white vine flesh, so she purrceeded to da kitchen and got out a knife and carefully cut a few little notches into both sticks. Trust me, she was careful alright. Mommy has a finger dat doesn’t work right cuz she cut through da nerves and tendons and blood vessels and such years ago. Dat was long befur me was born, but me heard all ‘bout it. She had to have surgery to try to repair it, and it still ain’t right. Anyways, me’s getting’ side tracked again. Where was me?

 Raena playing with a silvervine stick

 Oh kittens, I’s luvs this stick of da vine.

Oh yeah, notchin’ da vine sticks. After notchin’ those sticks, mommy gave Raena one and me one. OMC Let me tell you, dat’s right kitties, pull up a seat. Ain’t nuffin’ in da world like a silvervine stick. Mommy says she ain’t sure ifin it’s actually da vine or just da stick dat makes us so happy, but either way, she’s glad we’re enjoyin’ them. And we are. Fank you sooooooo much sweet Angels fur da green papers and da sticks of da vine. We are so blest. Mommy’s been tryin’ to get a foto of us carryin’ ‘round our new sticks, she says it’s so funny. But alas, we’re too fast fur her. MOL  Me’s gonna wrap it up fur now and get me’s stick befur Raena steals it and claims both of them. Hope you all have a pawsum day.

 Dezi playing with a silvervine stick

Till da next time……………………………………Be Blest!!!

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Deztinee and RaenaBelle   

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