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Feeling Groovy: How to Calm Your Cat & Create Peace In Your Multi-cat Household p22

The lifestyle magazine for modern cats and their companions

Catify Your Life! TO HOWYOUR D REA BODY 'S CAT GUAGE LAN l Guide

FALL· WINTER 2018/19

QUIZ:

How Bonded Are You & Your Cat? p20

ua A Vis p62

 These Toys Will Thrill Your Cat 

The Best Cat Stuff Next Level Catification Cats & Cannabis  Could CBD Help Your Cat?

p54  Jackson Galaxy Solves Your   Scratching Problems 

moderncat.com DISPLAY UNTIL JAN 31 ‘19

$5.95

Those paws!

We’re Giving Away Cool Cat Stuff! + Why Does My Cat Do That? Misunderstood Cat Behaviours


FALL/WINTER 2018/19

61 Feline Fine: Feline Pheromones and How They Can Benefit Your Cat Calm your cat, help him handle stress better, and create peace in your multi-cat household with the help of products that mimic feline pheromones!

BY MIESHELLE NAGELSCHNEIDER

30

Quiz: How Strong Is Your Bond With Your Cat? Reveal the strength of your bond: take this quiz to find out how well bonded you and your cat are, then follow the tips to super-charge your relationship!

42

Cannabis For Cats Your cat can keep calm and carry on with CBD, the cannabis that helps—without the high.  BY JANE MUNDY

58

Create a Catio For Your Cat! Ready to take your catification to the next level? Build your indoor cats a catio!  BY ROSE FROSEK

60 9 Simple Ways To Enrich Your Cat’s Environment These easy-to-implement ideas will keep your cat happy and engaged. BY JENNIFER NOSEK 62

How To Properly Read Your Cat’s Body Language: A Visual Guide Your cat’s ears, eyes, tail, and body language are trying to tell you something. Here’s how to decipher your cat’s body language.

70

The Good Doctor This endlessly inspiring vet threw herself into helping the pets of her community and hasn’t looked back.  BY TRACEY TONG

ILLUSTRATIONS BY MONIKA MELNYCHUK

2 moderncat

F AL L  · WINTER 2018/ 19

VOL 7

NO 2

54

FEATURES 22

cat

THE GOODS 20

It’s Play Time! Tested and approved: these super toys, designed to be mentally and physically engaging, will get your cat moving!

26

Catify Your Life From date night to grocery run, these fun finds let you show off your love for all things feline.

34

Purrfect Presents An inspired gift guide for cats and cat lovers.

68

Cat-Tastic Décor Interior solutions to thrill both you and your cat.

BODY & SOUL 48

Why Does My Cat Do That? Misunderstood Cat Behaviours and Their Causes

50

Finding Wellness Naturally With Homeopathy For Cats; The Find: Support for Urinary Tract Health

52

Natural Remedy: How Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Your Cat

54

Jackson Galaxy’s 4 Keys To Cat Scratching Success When it comes to scratching posts, cats have four key preferences you need to know about. Here’s how to get it right.

In USA: MODERNCAT (ISSN 1929-3933) Volume 7, Issue 2. Published semi annually by Modern Cat Inc. at 142 Churchill Drive, Newington, CT 061114003. Postage paid at Hartford, CT and additional offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, PO Box 310402, Newington, CT 06131-0402.


CAT LIFE 16

We’re giving away cool cat stuff! We’ve got months of great giveaways, from pet cameras and kitty litter to deodorizing candles and cat food, just waiting to be won! Turn to page 16 for how to enter.

38

DIY Craft: Make This Adorable Cat Cake Make a cat-themed cake for your next party! Get the decorating how-to on page 38.

REGULAR FEATURES 6 Editor’s Letter 8 Contributors 10 Stuff We Love 12 The Scoop 18 Photo Contest 77 Marketplace

18

Meet the Cover Cat! GC, NW DOV'ER'S STRONG is a red mackerel Tabby and white Exotic, hailing from Beijing, China. His proud owner is Ren Qian. This gorgeous show cat is a member of the Cat Fanciers’ Association.             Photographed by AmyWorks             facebook.com/amy.works.sy F AL L  · WINTER 2018/ 19

38 40

Baby, It’s Cold Outside 4 simple ways to help outdoor community cats during the winter.

57

Which Kitty Litter Is Right For Your Cat? Choosing a litter you and your cat like ensures a clean box your cat actually uses. We help you choose the litter that’s right for you and your cat.

64

Tricia Helfer Knows Cats—and She Wants To Help You Understand Them Too Tricia Helfer—actress, supermodel, and serious cat person­—answers your most pressing cat questions.

73

Connie’s Book Club Curl up with a cat and a good book. Editor-in-Chief Connie Wilson’s selection of must-reads.

80

Last Lick Surprise! Cats in unexpected places.

Your cat wants

Too cute!

COVER CAT

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BAGWEEL PHOTOGRAPHY

FROM CAT PAWS

73

20

this!


EDITOR'S LETTER

CONNIE WILSON WITH DAO DAO, PHOTO TANYA KING

OUR R E ADE R S WR IT E

How to Become a Problem Solving Cat Detective with Jackson Galaxy Get Your Mojo On: an Interview with Jackson Galaxy

“Your info has brought me closer to my standoffish cat, and I have seen major changes for the better. I am a bit of a cat whisperer now that we speak each other’s languages.”—Maya Drayton

Read the article:

>> moderncat.com/articles/how-becomeproblem-solving-cat-detective-jackson-galaxy/

C

learly we’re all about cats all the time here (best job ever!), but fall and winter seem especially suited to all things feline. After all, what could be better than curling up with your adoring and adorable cat when the weather turns inclement? With that in mind, we’ve created an issue centered on better understanding and deepening your bond with your cat (to get started, take the quiz on page 30), creating the ideal home environment for both you and your cat (no aesthetic compromise needed!) and sharing the most fun, beautiful, useful, and problemsolving cat products out there. We’ve also packed it chock full of creature comforts, like our how-to for an adorably decorated Happy Cat cake (p 38), finds to catify your life, from wardrobe to office, and wellness explorations, like our deep dive into whether CDB, a cannabis derivative without the “high”, can help your cat with ailments, pain, and anxiety. So go ahead, jump into this issue, preferably with your cat by your side. It’s my hope you’ll feel a sense of discovery and come away inspired. Thank you for being a part of our terrific community of cat lovers! Much love,

Connie Wilson, Founder, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief

Perhaps one reason we are fascinated by cats is because such a small animal can contain so much independence, dignity, and freedom of spirit. He demands acceptance on his own terms. —Lloyd Alexander

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F AL L  · WINTER 2018/ 19

Litter Box Problems

Getting to the bottom of why your cat is eliminating outside of the box “My furry family member, Henry, will be 18 years old this November. Henry is blind in one eye and has cataracts in both eyes. He has arthritis and moves a bit faster than a turtle on a stroll, but he knows his way around home very well. His hearing has diminished but he can hear a can of cat food being opened or the bag of dry food being poured. He likes to snuggle, communicate, and he is an excellent companion to me, especially after the recent loss of my parents. [Our vet and I concluded that it is] primarily due to age that Henry frequently urinates just outside of his litter box. I sincerely recommend to owners of furry family members, at the first notice of your pets elimination problem, please remain patient for kitty and yourself, stay kind and loving as you always are to your pet, and make the call to your vet for an appointment. The answer could be as simple as age.—Jennifer

Read the article: >> moderncat.com/articles/   litter-box-problems


cat

C ON TRIBUT OR S

F A L L  ·   W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 / 1 9 VOL 7

NO 2

Publisher

Monika Melnychuk is an illustrator who finds cats fascinating. She currently resides in Whitehorse, Yukon. When not illustrating, she enjoys riding her bike in the forest and sketching at coffee shops. Her work has been spotted on Canada Post stamps, on Blasted Church wine bottles, and in many magazines and newspapers across the continent. Turn to page 62 to see her illustrations for How to Properly Read Your Cat’s Body Language.

Modern Cat Inc. Editor-in-Chief

Connie Wilson Editor & Creative Director

Jennifer Nosek Assistant Art Director

Natalie Gagnon Social Media Coordinator

Alice Sewell Sales & Marketing

Alice Sewell, Laura Sluggett, Linda Helme Audience Development & Digital Marketing Specialist

Jessica Linnay Manager, Accounting Services & Subscription Services

Celine Benipayo Copywriter & Subscription Coordinator

Kyrsten Downton Controller

Cecilia de Roca Chan, CPA, CGA INTERESTED IN SUBSCRIBING? Give us a call at 1-800-417-6289 or subscribe online at moderncat.com/subscribe

Martha Pluto is a quirky and outgoing Toronto-based illustrator. She experiments with different traditional mediums and bases her work heavily on lines, shapes, and space. Her favourite colours to use in her work are reds and blues. When Martha isn't creating artwork, she cares for her plants and dreams about the day she can rescue and/or help foster animals so they can find their forever homes. Check out Martha’s lovely illustration for this issue’s Quiz: How Strong is Your Bond With Your Cat?—on page 30.

Advertising inquiries call (866) 734-3131 In Canada: MODERNCAT (ISSN 1929-3933) Volume 7, Issue 2. Published semi annually by Modern Cat Inc. at Suite 202–343 Railway St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6A 1A4 POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Cat, Suite 202–343 Railway St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6A 1A4 In USA: MODERNCAT (ISSN 1929-3933) Volume 7, Issue 2. Published semi annually by Modern Cat Inc. at 142 Churchill Drive, Newington, CT 06111-4003. Postage paid at Hartford, CT and additional offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, PO Box 310402, Newington, CT 06131-0402. PHONE

Jane Mundy is an award-winning writer and photographer. Her articles have appeared in many magazines, from Scientific American to More magazine, and she is a regular contributor to The Province and Vancouver Sun's travel section. Jane has also written two cookbooks: Ocean Wise 1 and Ocean Wise 2, and Modern Dog magazine published one of her first stories back in 2003. When Jane isn’t writing she’s hanging out with Fred, one of friend's felines, pictured here. Flip to page 42 for Jane's exploration of cannabis for cats!

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(604) 734-3131 OR TOLL FREE (866) 734-3131

FAX

F AL L  · WINTER 2018/ 19

(604) 734-3031 OR

TOLL FREE

(866) 734-3031

The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, images, photographs or other materials. By accepting and publishing advertising the publisher in no way recommends, guarantees or endorses the quality of services or products within those advertisements. Copyright 2018/19 by Modern Cat Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means, electronic or mechanical, including the Internet or photocopying without the written permission of the Publisher. Modern Cat and its logotype are the trademarks of Modern Cat Inc. Modern Cat is published two times a year. Two-year subscription prices: Canada $18CAD, U.S.A. $18USD, foreign $45USD. Subscription orders and customer service inquiries should be sent to Modern Cat Subscription Services, Suite 202–343 Railway St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6A 1A4

PRINTED IN CANADA

www.moderncat.com Publications Mail Agreement Number 42496543 We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada. Nous reconnaissons l'appui financier du gouvernement du Canada.


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STUFF WE LOVE Modern Cat staffers’ picks of the litter BO

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1 During the holiday period my mom has a lot of guests over so I always like to be looking my best! This is super easy with Made By Cleo’s adorable collars and bowties. The tartan pattern is a favourite of mine to ensure I’m always the center of attention!—Luna the Cat (From $23, madebycleo.etsy.com) 2 Let the Open-Air Litter Robot do the dirty work for you! This automatic, self-cleaning litter box separates the waste from clean litter, while you reap the real rewards of cat ownership: cuddles!—Connie ($450, litter-robot.com) 3 I always ensure my cat has the most stylish accessories but sometimes I need something pretty too! Carrie Cramer’s beautifully handcrafted jewelry is perfect for this. With options for gold, rose gold, silver, and diamonds, there's a piece to suite everyone's taste. She also just launched an awesome new line with renowned vet Dr. Lisa. Love it!—Alice (Starting at $195, carriecramer.com) 4 I’m always looking for ways to pamper my kitty princess, and this Luna Cat collar from Madison Maude is perfect for adding some sparkle, while still including safety features like a quick-release buckle. The added bell makes it even better!—Natalie ($35, Madisonmaude.com) 5 I travel a lot and even on a short trip I missed my cat Buddy until I bought a pet-peeps CatCam. Now I can see, hear and talk remotely to him on my Smartphone and iPad—no matter where in the world I am—and he loves hearing my voice. —Jessica ($100, pet-peeps.com) 6 Keep your cat comfy when travelling. I believe our furry friends love familiarity (think keeping their scent with them) so we rely on a Horizon Chill Pad when we visit our friends and relatives. Love the stripes and colours.—Connie ($29, petplay.com) 7 Canvas Catnip Kickers by Bruce And Fox Designs are fun and the sushi prints fashionable. My cat can’t get enough of these handmade ‘nip kickers stuffed with an organically grown blend of catnip and silver vine.—Jane ($15, etsy.com/shop/ bruceandfoxdesigns) 8 Designed for both sleep and play, this cat basket from Dharma Dog and Karma Cat is perfect for my cat to hide in, nap, and curl up. Cats love these! (You can throw toys in it too.)—Alice (From $60, dharmadogkarmacat.com) 9 My furry buddies love their hand-crocheted blanket by CanineCoziesBlanket and I love that they cuddle up with it on the sofa—it keeps fur off the furniture. Plus, the more you wash it, the softer it gets.—Laura ($12, etsy.com/shop/ CanineCoziesBlankets) 10 I’m obsessed with the adorable Pan Dulce Cat Plushes from Fierce Fantasy Designs! Cats love playing with them but let’s be honest, I totally bought them for myself. Just look at those cute little faces!—Jennifer ($31, etsy.com/shop/FierceFantasyDesigns) 11 I love wearing black, but it shows all of my cat’s fur! Lilly Brush saved my clothing from catastrophe with their portable pill, lint and hair remover, which comes in a sleek case so I can carry it everywhere.—Linda ($13, lillybrush.com or amazon.com) 12 My kitties go bonkers for wild Alaskan salmon treats! These freeze-dried salmon “rings” are free of added hormones and antibiotics, grains, and gluten. And that makes them guilt free! Plus, family-owned raw pet food leader Vital Essentials has added fatty acids (Omega 3 & 6) for healthy skin and coat and vital nutrients.—Jane (From $18, vitalessentialsraw.com) 13 My cat looks so warm and cozy inside her Woolie’s Cat Igloo. Made with soft, fleece lining, the igloo is a great safe haven for her, and machine washable. I want one for myself!—Cecilia ($90, MyThreeCats.com)

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CRAZY FOR CATNIP

What is catnip and how does it work? We explain this enigmatic herb and how it works its magic on cats Some cats can’t get enough catnip while others couldn’t care less—even the laziest fat cat can turn into a maniac furball with one whiff, yet another cat remains unaffected. What’s at work here? While it’s undeniably fun to watch a cat rolling and rubbing in catnip and doing back flips for about 10 minutes before coming back to earth, what exactly is catnip and what is it doing to your cat?

What catnip is—and isn’t Catnip is another name for the herb Nepeta cataria, a relative of oregano and spearmint. An active molecule in it is believed to mimic a cat pheromone. This molecule (called Nepetalactone) binds to a cat’s olfactory receptors to produce catnip’s euphoric results. This is why if catnip is ingested your cat mellows out, but sniffing the stuff, they go bonkers—the most intense catnip experience starts at the nose. Although your cat may look and act stoned, catnip is not a drug and it isn’t addictive.

How it Works Genetics determine whether your feline falls for the herb. The response is hereditary, with about 70–80 percent of cats exhibiting behaviours such as rubbing their heads and body on the herb, salivating, jumping around, and vocalizing. These cats are reacting to the Nepetalactone, the chemical compound found in catnip’s leaves and stems. Nepetalactone is believed to target feline “happy” receptors in the brain, producing a “high.” What’s at work here is your cat is essentially reacting to an artificial cat pheromone that triggers something akin to a sexual response. This is why kittens don’t respond to catnip until they are about six months old and begin to reach sexual maturity.

Is it safe? How long does it last? Yes, catnip is safe and cats definitely seem to love the blissed out state, making it a great enrichment tool for the home environment. Its results are temporary, causing about 10 minutes of euphoria, after which cats will be immune to its effects for about 30 minutes to two hours. Results among cats that respond to the herb will also vary from euphoria to calm mellowness to aggressive playfulness. All are normal responses.

Need some nip? We think these Sushi Toys from Munchie Cat are adorable! The perfect size for batting and carrying, each toy is durably designed and made with plush, pet-safe materials. ($17, Amazon.com/munchiecat)

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F ALL ·  WINTER 2018/ 19


Catnip Helping Cats

The high you can feel good about: indulge in the ‘nip that helps cats in need While your cat enjoys the high from Colorado Kitty Pot’s organic catnip, you can feel great, too—one hundred percent of the profits from your purchase helps pets and service animals in need. Colorado Kitty Pot was created to support Harley's Hope Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to keeping low-income people with their pets. The foundation’s laudable goal is to prevent pets from being surrendered or falling victim to euthanasia due to a lack of money for treatable conditions and behaviours. David and Cynthia Bullock started Harley's Hope Foundation in 2010. Needing a way to raise funds for their charity, the couple grew catnip on their Colorado property and occasionally sold small bags of the herb at special charitable events. “I was ready to let the plants go to seed. Then marijuana was legalized here in Colorado so we jumped on the pot bandwagon and the name Colorado Kitty Pot!” says Cynthia. Within a few months, a national chain was selling their product; the Bullock’s now purchase catnip from an organic farm in Washington State to meet the demand. “We now have a full line of catnip toys called Kitty Pot munchies that looks like human food but is clearly labelled ‘not for human consumption,’ says Cynthia, laughing. The couple’s foundation also offers a limited, free supply of catnip to approved individuals struggling with cats in need of veterinary care or behavioural training. to get your cat some Colorado *KittyWant Pot? Find a store near you or purchase

online at coloradokittypot.com. This is definitely one purchase both you and your cat can feel great about!

How to Cut Your Cat's Nails Plus why you should never declaw

When your kitty’s claws end in sharp points, it’s time to nip the tips, not only to protect you and the furniture but also to prevent a broken claw (ouch) when the sharp point gets stuck in the carpet. Some cats are freaked out when the clippers come out. If you weren’t able to accustom your cat to nail clipping when she was a kitten, ease into it. When your cat is sleepy and on your lap, gently massage a paw and press one or two pads for a few seconds, so the nails are extended. Give her a little treat. Repeat every few days and then bring out the clippers, trimming one sharp nail at a time or more if she didn’t notice and doesn’t wriggle free. And stay on the cutting edge with sharp nail clippers. A trim every two weeks is advised but older and arthritic cats may require a trim more often, advises the Humane Society of the United States. While declawing your cat may sound tempting to avoid any further destruction to your property, it is most definitely horrible for your cat. Declawing is an amputation; it is not merely the removal of the claws. To declaw a cat, the veterinarian cuts off the last knuckles of a cat’s paw—cutting though bone, tendons, skin, and nerves. In a person, it is equivalent to amputating each finger or toe at the last joint. The surgery is also an extremely painful procedure with associated health risks and complications such as infection, permanent lameness, pain or arthritis. Be kind to your cat, don't declaw.

We Found It!

Beautiful Leather Breakaway Cat Collars Sonja Farrell couldn’t find a high-quality and safe leather collar for Percy, her silver-spotted British Shorthair, so she quit her job in 2013 to start London-based Cheshire & Wain. Back in 2013, leather collars with breakaway buckles simply didn't exist, so she had to design one from scratch. It took over six months, multiple iterations, and material testing to finalise the leather safety collar design. Since then, she’s seen her colour-pop leather collars (think candy floss pink, mint green, and lemon sorbet), made with vegetable-tanned Italian leather and fitted with a brass buckle, bell, and discreet breakaway buckle, featured in Vogue, Elle Decoration, The Telegraph, and Time Out London, to name a few. Options to personalize the collar with a name or add a shark-toothshaped semi-precious-stone charm to offer healing vibes to your feline make the collars even more special. And for the curvaceous (aka fat) cat, Cheshire and Wain has collars designed to fit more Rubenesque feline, too. From $45, cheshireandwain.com

moderncat.com

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THE SCOOP CAPTION THIS!

Modern Cat's Celine Benipayo, Connie Wilson, and Alice Sewell.

The Coolest Event for Cat People The Modern Cat team had the best time at CatCon, which, for the uninitiated, is pretty much the coolest cat event ever.

And the winning captions from last issue are…

CatCon, which takes place annually in Pasadena, CA, is definitely the place for cat people to connect with their tribe. We met our awesome readers, checked out amazing cat products, hung out with our fave Instagram cats, took in some great lectures, and visited with adoptable cats. It was incredible. If you missed out this time, we highly recommend you start planning for next year.

Modern Cat’s CatCon Highlights 1 We had so much fun running Modern Cat’s booth! Not only did we have some terrific subscription offers, Modern Cat pins, and an awesome kitty prize pack up for grabs from P.L.A.Y Pet Lifestyle and You, we also had our super popular Modern Cat photo booth and we gave out samples of Fizzion’s Jackson Galaxy Stain and Odor Remover (a cat owner essential!). 2 We also teamed up with the Ian Somerhalder Foundation to help animals in need, with $5 from every subscription sold at the show going to their Rescue Grant Program. They also had a booth at the show with cute t-shirts, buttons, and other merch for sale and, to the delight of his fans, Ian even stopped by for a Meet and Greet with all proceeds benefiting the foundation.

“You can sit there all day; your bowl stays on the floor!”

3 We got to meet some awesome Instagram cats and their equally awesome owners! Famous felines at the show included Lil Bub, Pudge, Waverly McTinybeans, Sir Thomas Trueheart, Flat Marten, and Merlin Ragdoll.

“I know I'm a ‘domestic’ shorthair, but this is carrying things too far.”

4 We love that 486 kitties found their forever homes thanks to CatCon. 159 of those adoptions happened right at the show! The ASPCA also had 180 foster sign-ups thanks to CatCon attendees.

5 We discovered lots of cool new cat-themed products. From cute cat beds and toys to neon and health-checking litters and even kitty tutus, there was something for every cat and their person! To learn more about CatCon, head over to their site, catconworldwide.com. To see our pics from the show, check out our Instagram highlight, CatCon 2018!—Alice Sewell

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F ALL ·  WINTER 2018/ 19

SUBMITTED BY ROBIN PRAYTOR

RUNNER-UP CAPTIONS SUBMITTED BY LINDA GALLO

“What, no shrimp fork?”

SUBMITTED BY LUIGI AURILIO

“What the hell am I going to do with a ‘salad’ fork?” SUBMITTED BY JOSEPH DEWAN

”Which one shall I swipe off the table first?” SUBMITTED BY DOROTHY KOLLAT

“Or is it fork on the right and knife on the left?” SUBMITTED BY SUZANNE OLDHAVER

C A R T O O N S © 2018/19 B Y D A V I D J A C O B S O N

Test your "funny." Create a caption for this cartoon and submit your entry at moderncat.com/cartooncaption. The most comic captions will be published in the next issue.


s y a w a e v i G t a Gre

ENTER TO WIN

We’re giving it away! Enter to win fabulous giveaways October through March. Go to moderncat.com/giveaways to enter! Lucky readers will win every two weeks.

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Win 1 of 15 two-year subscriptions to Modern Cat magazine, chock full of helpful articles, heartwarming stories, and so many cute cat photos!

15th-31st

Win 1 of 5 Jackson Galaxy Constellation Convertible Scratchers! Each scratcher comes with USA-grown organic catnip to keep your cat coming back for more.

december

1st-14th

Win 1 of 5 CatCams from Pet-Peeps.com! See, hear, and talk to your fur babies while you’re away with this no contract, no monthly fee pet cam.

15th-30th

Win 1 of 3 Kitty Litter prize packs containing 15 bags of litter from Neon Litter. Available in a range of fun colors this awesome litter will have your cat raving!

january

1st-14th

Win 1 of 2 test kits from 5Strands Affordable Pet Testing! Create a healthier lifestyle for your pets by discovering and managing their food intolerances and environmental allergens.

15th-31st Win 1 of 10 Cool Cat Odor Eliminating Candles and Wax Meltables from David Oreck Candles. Freshen your home while removing unwanted cat smells!

february

1st-14th

Win 1 of 5 Comfort Zone calming prize packs. Calming pheromones signal to your cat that they are in a safe, familiar place and reduce behaviours like destructive scratching, urine marking and multicat fighting.

15th-31st Win 1 of 12 FurZoff, the new and better way to remove pet hair from your home and vehicles. Made in USA of 90% recycled material, it’s 100% durable!

march

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Win 1 of 5 PureLUXE Elite Nutrition grain-free holistic cat food prize packs. Includes two three-pound bags of food in your choice of formula.

15th-28th

Win 1 of 2 Shark Cat Ball beds from The Cat Ball! This special edition bed is the perfect place to chill and play! Made in the US.

1st-14th

Win 1 of 4 DIY Catio Plans from Catio Spaces to keep your cat safe and happy outdoors! Plans include step-by-step instructions and a material list for a successful project.

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Win 1 of 10 one-year subscriptions to Modern Cat’s sister publication, Modern Dog magazine! This awardwinning must-read for dog people helps you better understand your dog.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Beginning October 1, 2018 at 12:01 AM (PST) through March 31, 2019 at 11:59 PM (PST), enter each day at moderncat.com/giveaways. Each biweekly giveaway ends at 11:59 PM (PST). Every two weeks, the specified number of winners for that giveaway will win the prize featured in the giveaway calendar (ARV: $200). Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Contest is open to legal Canadian and US residents 18 and older as of date of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. Giveaway subject to complete official rules available at moderncat.com/giveaways.

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F ALL ·  WINTER 2018/ 19


R E P cat SU PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS ! E T CU Thistle Little Beau Blue

Baby Sockie Ava

Squeaky Lexi

Meeko Bean

Louis 18 moderncat

F ALL ·  WINTER 2018/ 19

Jon Cappy

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Buddy

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Duke Bailey Winkerton

Whiskey & KitKat Sprinkle Rogue

Belle

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Coconut Momo Think your cat ought to grace the pages of Modern Cat? Upload your cat's photo at moderncat.com/photocontest. Not only will he or she be entered to be our Cat of the Week, but a selection of the photos entered will appear on these pages!

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19


COOL STUFF

It's Play Time!

This Hide and Sneak tunnel is the perfect combination of everything cats love: crinkly noises, peek-a-boo holes, and a dark haven to escape to! The tunnel is handmade in the US, is nearly three feet long and is entirely crafted out of biodegradable materials. $11, deziroo.com

These super toys, designed to be mentally and physically engaging, will get your cat moving!

ViviPet’s Zoo Buddies Cat Toy Box is filled with six completely adorable handmade felted toys, perfectly sized and seasoned with catnip to delight seniors and kittens alike. Bonus: the packaging doubles as a peek-a-boo toy and, if your cat’s willing to share, you can use the provided clip to attach one of the toys to your phone and or keychain for on-the-go cuteness! $13, vivipet.com

Keep your cat busy and engaged with the Orbit Treat Dispenser! The lure of a favourite snack inside of a rolling, treat-dispensing toy keeps cats active and happily occupied while you’re away from the house. $5, JacksonGalaxy.com

Armarkat cat trees do double duty, providing plenty of playtime, exercise, perching, and scratching, while doubling as a cozy place to chill out or cat nap when your cat needs a break. All of Armarkat’s trees, from simple poles to elaborate condos, are easy to assemble and made with faux fur in a variety of décor-friendly colours. From $39, armarkat.com

Cats love to hunt anything that’s hiding in little cracks or crevices, and the Peek-and-Play Toy box from Pioneer Pet brings that instinct to everyday play! Put your cat’s favourite toys in the box, or even a treat, and your cat will go crazy trying to dig them out. $20, PioneerPet.com This too-cute toy from NappingJoJo combines playtime and food-grade dried Canadian catnip, all in the shape of a cool tiny sneaker. An irresistible combo! $12, NappingJoJo.com

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BEHAVIOUR

ONES PHEROM : L + CHIL ats c r u o y Help lm a feel c ed and relax

Feline Fine

Feline Pheromones and How They Can Benefit Your Cat An interview with cat behaviourist and author Mieshelle Nagelschneider, aka The Cat Whisperer™

Calm your cat, help him handle stress better, create peace in your multi-cat household—feline pheromones can do it all! We asked Mieshelle Nagelschneider, a Harvard University-trained cat behaviourist at The Cat Behavior Clinic and author of The Cat Whisperer, the acclaimed feline behaviour book for cat owners, to explain how to employ pheromones to help your cat feel relaxed, happy, and at ease!

Q To start with, what exactly are feline pheromones and what can they do? A: Feline pheromones are naturally occurring chemical substances that can be sensed by cats and effect their behaviour or physiology. These pheromones are produced by the cat and then released into the environment. Secreted from glands around the cat’s face, these friendly pheromones help produce a calming effect in cats and can help them handle stressful situations better. Pheromones are also used for communication between cats. 22 moderncat

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Q

Can they benefit all cats? A: Synthetic feline pheromone products replicate a cat’s naturally occurring friendly pheromones. These are the pheromones that help them feel relaxed and safe in their environment. Every cat benefits if their sense of emotional well-being is improved. Keeping cats in captivity (your home), either by themselves or with other cats, can be stressful. Multiple cats together in a closed environment can lead to tense situations that might not occur at all or as often as when cats live outdoors. Of course, it’s best for cats to live safe inside our home, but as cat owners we need to do what we can to help ensure their happiness and keep stress to a minimum. In single-cat households—even if there is every toy known to man—the cat’s stress response system can be activated by not receiving enough (or the right kind) of playtime and mental activity. Along with daily play sessions and other enriching activities, pheromones can occupy an important role in de-stressing your cat if her inner prey drive isn’t fully exerted each day. This goes for multi-cat households also.


Feline Besties Pheromones promote harmony in the multicat home.

Other stress related behaviours, such as overgrooming, destructive chewing, separation anxiety, timid and fearful cats, and lack of appetite have been helped with pheromone products.

Q

My cats are not best friends, but they seem to tolerate each other and never fight. Can pheromones help them become closer? A: If you’re not seeing friendly or social behaviour between them, such as allorubbing or allogrooming (think head bunting, rubbing up against one another, and licking each other’s faces), then they are not as comfortable with one another as they could be. They may even be displaying avoidance behaviour to some extent, which can increase stress levels. Pheromone products can not only reduce this stress but, over time, help them feel more relaxed and friendly with one another. After using pheromone products for a few weeks, my clients often report that their cats spend more time together in the same room and even begin to rub up against or groom each other. Instead of roommates, they become more like family.

Q How can you identify a cat that is really stressed, fearful, or timid and thus could benefit from pheromones? A: There are some obvious signs to watch for like hiding, hissing, growling, excessive meowing or cat clawing behaviour. A timid or fearful cat may overreact to usual day to day activity in your home. Opening a garbage bag in the kitchen can cause timid cats to hide under the bed. It’s important to know, however, that all cats are generally very watchful and curious in their environments. These feline instincts help ensure survival; should the situation call for it, they are ready for action! However, there are some cats that go a little overboard and could use some calming to help them worry less and feel safer. The friendly pheromones tell a cat everything is amicable and safe. I always convey to my clients that it’s important to do what we can to help our cats feel relaxed and safe in the home we share with them—and especially so when they’re faced with stressful situations. Q

What are some of the common cat behaviour issues pheromone products help correct? A: In addition to improving a cat’s emotional well-being, pheromones can also help change their behaviour. Aggression, urinemarking, and excessive cat clawing behaviour are among the most common behaviour issues. Many of my clients notice a significant reduction in the unwanted behaviours within the first week and the majority see more improvement over the course of several weeks.

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Cat Fact “Recent studies have shown that cat pheromones and human pheromones are similar in make-up. This may be one reason that cats and humans can become so attached to one another.” —Mieshelle Nagelschneider

Q One of my cats will occasionally have litter box issues and sometimes will urinate around the home. Can pheromone products help with this behaviour? A: Yes. Pheromones can be an important part of a full behaviour plan we design for our clients to get all the urine back in the litter boxes. One common example—if your cat is afraid of another cat in the home and this cat happens to be in the pathway leading to the litter box, this can create litter box usage issues. In a cat’s mind, it may be safer to urinate on the sofa or under the dining room table than pass by the opposing cat. Because feline pheromone products can create a friendlier cat environment and a calmer more confident cat, you’ll notice an improved relationship between the cats, which can in turn make the path to the litter box area less scary. Q

What about adopting a new cat? Are pheromones helpful in this situation? A: Moving to a new environment is one of the most traumatic experiences for cats—even if the move is from a cage at the cat shelter to the comforts of your loving home. For cats to feel as relaxed as possible and to help ensure adjusting to their new home goes smoothly, having pheromones in the home from day one is a must and can make all the difference in your new cat adjusting well. If you already have existing cats at home, we’ve seen pheromones be the only reason they accept the newly adopted cat. n


Promote Peace

Give these pheromone products for your cat a try! Comfort Zone’s Multi-Cat Diffuser is a drug-free, odourfree vapor that signals to your cat or kitten that they’re in a safe and familiar space. It helps reduce tension and conflict in the multi-cat home by mimicking a cat’s natural, calming pheromones and has been proven effective in combating urine marking and destructive scratching. ($40 for diffuser kit with single diffuser, comfortzone.com)

Have cat, will travel. ThunderEase’s Cat Calming Pheromone Spray decreases fear and anxiety during stressful occasions and situations, such as a road trip or visit to the vet—and it helps ease motion sickness. This all-natural calming solution, which also reduces urine spraying, provides a sense of comfort and security by copying natural feline facial pheromones. Also available in diffuser kits. ($30, thundershirt.com)

The Download: Addictive New App For Animal Lovers Bring on the cute pet profiles! Download the ZooPix app and get social with a friendly community of animal lovers and pet guardians Forget Facebook’s fake news and boring updates on other people’s kids—we’re here for the pet pics… Founder Will Reilly delivers a feel-good, animal-focused social media experience with his paw-some new app called ZooPix— free on the Apple app store. Designed especially for pet people, this app for animal lovers combines pet-focused social media, a rescue mission that helps adoptable animals find homes, animal-related services, and a pet show that will have you accumulating likes. ZooPix is a unique and interactive app that’s only a few months old and is quickly accumulating members. It’s like a big pet park: create a profile for your cat and connect with other animal lovers. All animals are welcome, from cats and dogs, fish and reptiles, to farm animals like chickens! We especially love how every time someone likes your photo, an animal sound plays—depending upon your pet, it could be a meow, bark or chirp. Their weekly Pet Show is super fun but fair warning: competition is fierce. Whose pet doesn’t want to be a Zooperstar and win virtual trophies and ribbons? ZooPix is also finding homes for pets in need by encouraging pet rescue and adoptions. Check out the “needs love” feature where shelters can join and showcase their available residents with the goal to find them a loving, forever home. But again, be forewarned: this app is addictive! With a rating of 4.9 on the App Store, you know everyone’s having a good time.

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Venture out carrying an “I love my cat” tote bag and other cat people will smile and nod knowingly. It’s a feel-good magnet. Plus, $1 from your purchase goes to support various animal sanctuaries and organizations. $25, lisetteartshop.com These pussycat panties from Oh My Cat Shop are exactly what we need to feel fun and sassy! Comfortable, nonshrinking, and they feature a variety of different cats, from fluffy to Sphinx—whichever you’re in the mood for. $26, OhMyCatShop.com

Don’t put off sock shopping any longer, because we’ve found the perfect pair! The Cat’s Meow striped socks will make your feet cozy and happy with their cute little cat faces. A great gift idea as well, they come in six fun colours. $7, Triple-T-Studios.com

We love black cats, and this Black Cat Bag is perfect for those who want to express that love in a fun and functional way. Made of super-durable vegan black vinyl, you can choose which glittery colour to add for the facial details! $50, SweetMidnight.com

Catify Your Life

From date night to grocery run, these fun finds let you show off your love for all things feline.

All the cat moms put your hands up! This Cat Mom enamel pin from TheFive15 store is so well made and so darn cute! Owner Angie makes super-fun cat, dog, and feministthemed (three of our fave topics) pins and keychains and also gives back to non-profit groups like animal rescues and female advocacy groups! Cat Dad pins available, too! $12, etsy.com/shop/TheFive15

David Oreck’s Pure Air candles are a favourite for clearing living spaces of any lingering kitty-litter smells. These freshscented soy candles are all natural and provide up to 50 hours of air purification! $15, DavidOreckCandles.com

Elegant, modern and timeless, the "Hang in there a little longer" cat dangle earrings by Cat Modern are the perfect gift for design-forward cat people. $50, catmodern.com


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QUIZ:

 HOW   STRONG   IS YOUR   BOND WITH   YOUR CAT? 


Take this quiz to find out how well bonded you and your cat are, then follow the tips at the end to super-charge your bond! Answer these 8 questions then add up the score. Illustration by Martha Pluto

#1 Does your cat approach you for affection? • Always! (Answered with just the tiniest hint of smug smile.) (score 5) • Most of the time. (score 4) • If he feels like it (like if there's nothing better happening or I have a really tasty treat in hand). (score 3) • Rarely. (score 2) • Never. (score 1)

#3 You've been away for the weekend. You return home to find your cat:

• Vocalizing and wending around your ankles. (score 5) • Waiting by the door when you walk in, ready to follow you everywhere. (score 4) • Totally relaxed, chilling on the couch. (score 3) • Watching you from the upmost perch of the cat tree. (score 2) • Your cat is nowhere to be found. She may be under the bed in the spare room. (score 1)

#2 When your cat sits near you, does she ever face away from you? • • • • •

All the time. (score 5) Occasionally. (score 4) Only when she doesn't realize I'm in the room. (score 3) No way. Never. (score 2) I rarely see my cat. She’s always hiding. (score 1)

#4 Does your cat check in with you to see what you're up to?

• Totally! My cat is always seeking me out and checking in with me. (score 5) • My cat is pretty good at checking in with me though sometimes I have to call her name to get her attention. (score 4) • If I have food, yes. If not, forget about it. (score 3) • Nope! He's too busy napping. (score 2) • He might be watching me from under the couch. It’s hard to tell. (score 1)

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#5 Your cat is sleeping beside you on the couch. She is: • • • • •

Lying paws out, tummy exposed. (score 5) Head butting you, asking to be pet. (score 4) Curled up relaxing. (score 3) Regarding you from the far end of the sofa. (score 2) You placed her on the couch but she immediately jumped down and hid under a piece of furniture. (score 1)

#6 You're home. Your cat is:

• Practically lying on top of your head. (score 5) • Sitting on the couch with you, but facing away from you. (score 4) • Lying on the adjacent couch. (score 3) • Watching you from across the living room. (score 2) • Hiding in another room. (score 1)

#7 Does your cat enjoy being handled by you?

• Of course, because my cat can't get close enough to me. (score 5) • Absolutely! My cat loves to be pet on her own terms. (score 4) • My cat is pretty into it unless there's something better happening. (score 3) • No way, hates it. (score 2) • Not sure, I’m afraid I’ll lose a finger. (score 1)

#8 If you hide, does your cat look for you? • Absolutely! My cat wants to be right where I am…in the kitchen, in the bathroom with me. Forget about solo time! (score 5) • Yep! She'll put forth an effort to see where I went. (score 4) • Her eyes might follow me for a moment or two before she goes back to napping. (score 3) • Are you kidding? She's more relaxed when she has the place to herself. (score 2) • I’m pretty certain my cat only shows her face when no one is home. (score 1)

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ANSWERS

Now tally up your points!

33–40

10–16

You’ve done a terrific job of making your cat feel relaxed, loved, and confident and your cat clearly loooooves spending time with you. Your cat trusts you, enjoys your company, and knows that good things happen when you’re around. Congrats on understanding your cat and giving her what she needs to feel at home and happy. This outgoing cat is likely naturally affectionate by nature, which, in a safe, loving, cat-friendly environment like the one you’ve created, results in a happy, lovey cat likely to engage in social behaviours that create social bonding.

Your cat can take you or leave you, as long as you feed him. You are not considered a preferred associate or your cat may even be wary of you. There is still hope. Some cats just need more time with their owner and more bonding activities that build trust, like playtime, grooming, petting, and positive interactions. Never discipline a cat as this can break the bond and hinder a bond from forming. Some cats are by nature more timid and fearful or are in environments that are too chaotic. This can get in the way of bonding and you may need to adjust expectations for these cats.

Your cat is very bonded to you and not afraid to show it!

25–32

Your cat is bonded to a high degree, but is not the super touchy-feely cat. Your cat still feels socially close to you, but is more the strong, silent type. Even though slightly less affectionate by nature (this cat will likely never be draped across your shoulder), your cat is still just as bonded to you as any cat can be. That said, this bond can usually be improved upon with activities to get your cat used to more physical affection and interactions with you.

17–24

Somewhat bonded, but not as bonded as they could be. Your bond needs some work but there is definitely a connection. This cat may dish out friendly behaviour but on his own terms when he feels like it. Spend more focused time with your cat (i.e. playing and engaging your cat, not just watching Netflix together). Work on spending quality time with your cat and doing things he loves and you will see your bond strengthen!

Not bonded yet.

Under 9

This cat is scared and feels unsafe. You need to start from the beginning, giving your cat a small, safe space to call her own, as you would when introducing a new cat to your household. Spend some time just quietly sitting in proximity to your cat and let her get comfortable with you in her own time. Don’t force her to come to you. Give her time to get acquainted. Pheromones therapy can also help (see page 22). (If you have a multi-cat home, territory issues could be at play; make sure there are enough resources, like litter boxes and towers to promote timesharing.) You may need to consult a feline behaviourist to help you encourage your scared cat feel at home with you.

If your cat doesn't score #1 keep in mind that some cats are simply less outgoing and affectionate by nature. You can also always, always work on your bond. For a more affectionate and confident cat, implementing the following bonding tips can lead to a cat that is more relaxed, happy, engaged, and confident, and therefore more likely to bond with you.

How to Improve Your Bond With Your Cat Make sure good things happen in your presence—think tasty treats and playtime. Wand toys are great for interactive play. Make sure to allow your cat to complete the “kill” sequence so they feel satisfied. For skittish cats, a laser toy is a perfect hands-off way of engaging them in play while keeping your physical presence at a comfortable distance. Schedule multiple play sessions with your cat each day.

Daily grooming sessions are a great way to relax, check in with your cat, and get them used to being handled by you.

Pheromone therapy (see page 22) can help your cat be more relaxed and friendly.

Make sure your house is set up for your cat—think perches offering vertical space, engaging toys, and well situated (not hidden away) litter boxes.

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Purrfect Presents SPECIAL PROMOTION

An inspired gift guide for cats & cat lovers

Does your furbaby love to lounge? Is he constantly seeking the purrfect catnap spot? Indulge your furry friend with a comfy, cozy, handcrafted Critter Crafting crochet Cat Mat! Crittercrafting.com Calling all cat lovers and children at heart! LisetteArt Shop features cat-themed apparel, arts, and goods with whimsical illustrations for all ages that are sure to make you smile. LisetteArtShop.com Delight her with the purrfect gift! Choose from an endless variety of elegant and versatile Laurel Burch items to please any cat lover! Enter code MODERNCAT01 at checkout for free gift wrap and 10% off! MyThreeCats.com

Your cat will love to scratch and lounge on Americat Company’s high-quality scratchers. Made with heavy-duty, cat-safe materials, and manufactured in the U.S. There are even 4 fun shapes to choose from! Available on Amazon and AmericatCompany.com

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Sylvia’s Big Adventure will astound you, keep you in suspense, and delight your sense of humor and compassion. It’s a story readers young and old will enjoy for generations! Order from mascotbooks.com


SPECIAL PROMOTION

— A gift guide for cats & cat lovers —

Lightweight and portable, Sturdi Pop-Up Kennels are perfect for travelling with your cat! Three sizes are available, no assembly required, and a roomy carrying case is included for food, water, and essentials. sturdiproducts.com

P.L.A.Y.’s Feline Frenzy Toy Collection is the cat’s meow! Pre-stuffed with USDA organic catnip, these toys will spice up play time with their intriguing scents, shapes and textures. Use code PURR15 to save 15%. petplay.com

Pet hair problem? Try Fur-Zoff, the best solution for the pet hair mess. In your car and home, FurZoff works faster and cleans better than any other product—and it lasts forever! $13, FurZoff.net

Does your child love captivating mysteries? Gem-Bem and the Mystery of the Ball of Branches is a beautifully illustrated must-read, encompassing both animal facts and values of true friendship and community. Great for ages 9-12. gembemstories4kids.com

Every cat needs a long-lasting scratching post! Armarkat’s Premium Model F5602 cat tree is made with plush, heavy-duty carpet and sisal posts, seasoned for “scratchability.” Easy to assemble and can hold up to 3 large kitties. armarkat.com

These fun Wiggly Ball toys from Dezi & Roo mimic live prey thanks to fuzzy tails that wiggle and curl and balls that bounce, rattle, and roll, providing your cat with a simple but highly addictive playtime toy! deziroo.com

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SPECIAL PROMOTION

Purrfect Presents — A gift guide for cats & cat lovers —

Make all your kitty’s Christmas wishes come true with Bruce + Fox’s wide variety of toys! Loaded with an addictive catnip and silvervine blend, and durably hand-sewn for hours of fun! bruceandfox.com

Colorado Kitty Pot is organic catnip that comes in 3 different options for your cat’s enjoyment. All profits benefit Harley's Hope Foundation, a nonprofit that helps pets and their people remain in their homes. coloradokittypot.com

The Secret Language of Cats explains how you can understand what your cat is trying to tell you—and how you can talk back. BookClubbish.com

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Inspired by shoehugging pets everywhere, the Sherpa Moccasin Pet Bed from Napping JoJo provides your kitty a luxury spot to dream in, and is sure to bring a joyful touch to your home as well! NappingJojo.com

Cats are natural crouch eaters so this elevated feeder from Vivipet is just perfect! Made with premium, human-grade materials and an adorable and modern design, how could you say no?! vivipet.com

Madison & Maude combine the sparkly rays of Swarovski Crystals with the ultra-soft feel of Horween’s Leather for a collar that’s stylish and safe for your cat thanks to a quick-release breakaway buckle. Your cat’s never had it so good! Madisonmaude.com


PET PROJECT

eat

D.I.Y.

Create an adorable cat-themed cake for your next fête. Here’s the how-to. By Jane Mundy Photography by Tiffany Bagwell

Materials

favourite 8” round cake—storeÆÆYour bought or homemade, no judgement ÆÆButtercream Icing (recipe below) ÆÆPiping Bag with 1M star decorating tip oz chocolate, melted or black ÆÆ3licorice strings Parchment paper for chocolate (skip this if ÆÆusing licorice) re-sealable plastic bag for chocolate ÆÆSmall (skip this if using licorice) ÆÆ1 pink jellybean for nose ÆÆ2 pink cardboard triangles

PHOTO BAGWELL PHOTOGRAPHY

This Happy Cat Cake is Almost Too Cute to Eat!

The Decorating How-to Spread about 3/4 cup buttercream icing onto your cake until the cake is completely coated in a thin layer. Scoop the remaining icing into a piping bag fitted with the star tip. Working in rings, pipe small star shapes around the top, followed by the edge and sides of the cake until all you can see are stars. If using chocolate to form the face, lay a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet or chopping board. Spoon melted chocolate into a small re-sealable bag and snip a corner. Pipe shapes for two eyebrows, six whiskers, and mouth. Place in freezer for about 10 minutes, or until firm. With a long and thin metal spatula or blunt knife, lift chocolate shapes and place on side of cake to form the happy cat face. Alternatively (and easier), cut licorice strips into shapes to form the cat face. Add the jellybean for nose and nestle cardboard triangles into frosting on top of the cake to create the ears. Invite your cat-loving friends over to enjoy a slice!

Buttercream Icing Recipe

ÆÆ1 cup butter, room temperature ÆÆ4 cups icing sugar, sifted

ÆÆ2-3 Tbsp milk, to thin the icing ÆÆ2 Tsp vanilla

Beat butter in an electric mixer with paddle attachment (or use a wooden spoon) until smooth. Add 3 cups icing sugar, one cup at a time, and mix until it has a smooth and velvety consistency. If icing is too thin, slowly add remaining cup of sugar. If the icing is too thick, add milk by the tablespoon until the mixture is easy to pipe.

For people, not cats, this cake is a made-for-Instagram photo opp. Tag @modern_cat_mag in your pics!

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WELLNESS

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

4 SIMPLE WAYS TO HELP OUTDOOR COMMUNITY CATS DURING THE WINTER When temperatures begin to drop, many of us find ourselves worried about the outdoor cats in our neighbourhoods. Are they okay out there in the cold? Cats are resilient, but they can always use a hand staying warm and healthy during cold weather, says Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, an organization dedicated to protecting and improving cats’ lives. “Cats live and thrive outdoors in all kinds of climates,” she notes. “But a little extra help during the winter months can go a long way for protecting community cats.” Alley Cat Allies recommends four simple ways people can make life outdoors even more comfortable for community cats during the winter…

Spay and Neuter —Improve Cats’ Health

1

Spaying and neutering improves cats’ overall health, and healthier cats are better equipped for the cold elements once winter arrives. However, if you’re conducting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), the only humane and effective approach to stabilize community cat populations, in the winter, follow these safety tips: • Check the TNR traps frequently and provide a warm holding area pre-and-post surgery. If it’s too cold for you then it’s probably too cold for cats to be in traps exposed to the elements for extended periods of time. Keep traps covered and secured in a temperature-controlled vehicle or building. • Ask your veterinarian to shave only a small area for the spay or neuter surgery. This will help the cats stay warm by maintaining maximum fur coverage.

Become an alley cat ally! Find more winter weather tips for outdoor cats at alleycat.org/WinterWeather. Alley Cat Allies has more than a half-million supporters and helps save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide.

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2

DIY this insulated cat shelter!

Provide Shelter —Protect from the Cold • Provide shelters to keep cats warm. These can be easy and inexpensive to build yourself, or can be purchased pre-made online. Check out a do-it-yourself shelter video at alleycat.org/resources/how-tobuild-an-outdoor-shelter—all you need to build a cozy cat shelter is two plastic tubs (one smaller than the other), Styrofoam, a plastic potted plant container, a hair dryer, and an X-Acto knife. • Insulate shelters with straw. Not only is straw inexpensive and easy to come by (just check your local pet supply store or garden center), but straw repels moisture. Avoid using fabric blankets or towels because they absorb moisture and can make the interior colder. • Remove snow from all shelter entrances and exits. It’s important to keep cats from getting snowed in.

3 Think Safety. Precautions —Like Knock Before You Drive— Can Be Lifesaving • Do not use antifreeze, which is deadly to felines, in an area accessible to cats. Keep antifreeze out of reach and clean up spills. Most antifreeze brands use ethylene glycol as the main ingredient so be sure to switch to a brand made with propylene glycol because it is less toxic. • Refrain from using salt and chemicals to melt snow. These can be lethal when licked off paws or ingested from melting puddles. They also hurt a cat’s paw pads. Pet-friendly de-icers are available at most pet stores. • Tap the hood before you drive. Give the hood of your car a few taps before starting it to make sure that a cat has not hidden underneath the car or inside the engine for warmth. Also, always check between your tires and wheel wells.

4

Offer Food and Water ­—Increase and Check Often

• Increase food portions to help cats conserve energy and stay warm. Canned or wet food, which takes less energy to digest, should be in plastic (non-metal) or heated containers. Dry food, which will not freeze, also works. • Keep water from freezing to prevent dehydration. To keep water drinkable, use ceramic (crock) or plastic bowls that are deep rather than wide and place them in a sunny spot. Or use heated electric bowls. Avoid using metal bowls.

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HEALTH

Cannabis for Cats Your cat can keep calm and carry on with CBD, the cannabis that helps—without the high. By Jane Mundy

S History  Documents show that Americans have been using cannabis oil since 1840. Dr. W. B. O’Shaughnessy was the first doctor to prescribe it and by 1906 there were over 123 different companies competing to sell cannabis oil. Then “reefer madness” hit in the 1930s, creating fear around marijuana and hemp that lasted decades. We’re finally seeing a reversal of this thinking. This October, Canada will become the second nation in the world to legalize both the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana and marijuana-derived products like CBD.

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tephanie Roach’s kitten was born with brain damage and suffered seizures— until Stephanie started giving her hempbased cannabidiol, known as CBD. Katherine Ann Howe’s 22-year old Siamese cat was crippled by arthritis. Since giving him CBD oil he is jumping on and off the bed without help. His mood is also better, which she credits to the reduction of pain. “CBD has been a saving grace for our sweet old fella,” says Katherine. “I don't know how much longer he'll be around, but his quality of life has improved greatly.” CBD is hot right now, but humans have been using it for over 8,000 years. People are prescribed medical marijuana to support the treatment of a host of ailments and illnesses, including skin irritations and cancer. So, if humans are helped by a particular medication that is natural and safe, it makes sense that we wonder if it could help our ailing pets.

A VETERINARIAN WEIGHS IN Dr. Katherine Kramer, a veterinarian at Vancouver Animal Wellness Clinic, is not legally allowed (as per the College of Veterinarians of B.C.) to prescribe or even recommend CBD, unless she is specifically asked about it. “I should wear a button that says ‘Ask me about CBD,’ Kramer says


“CBD has been a saving grace for our sweet old fella… his quality of life has improved greatly.”

CBD vs. THC Marijuana contains at least 64 phytocannabinoids (plant-based cannabinoids), among them cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC gets you high, CBD doesn’t. Hemp vs. Marijuana Hemp and marijuana are not the same, but they both belong to the cannabis family. Hemp produces less than 0.3% of THC, the active chemical in marijuana that gets you high. An average batch of marijuana contains anywhere from 5–30 percent THC content, while hemp is regulated to only contain a maximum THC level of 0.3 percent, making it impossible to feel any psychoactive effect or get a “high.” Most all marijuana is grown indoors, sucking up tons of electricity. Hemp grows outdoors: it is solar powered, requires very little water to grow and could help save the planet because it turns CO2 into oxygen.

with a chuckle. She welcomes this opportunity to increase awareness because for the past six years, her clients’ results are “nothing short of miracles.” Kramer’s practice focuses on geriatric and cancer patients, so she knows firsthand how CBD helps with pain and arthritis, with nausea, seizures, and anxiety. “Some cats, before taking CBD, had such horrible behaviour problems, and in an urban environment anxiety can go through the roof,” says Kramer, “but soon after taking it owners tell me they ‘have their cat back.’ And pets with cancer have been able to get their quality of life back.” If you told Dr. Kramer six years ago that she would “discuss” medical marijuana with her clients, she wouldn’t believe you. She had the ‘aha moment’ when a client, who worked with human patients treated with medical marijuana, suggested that his cat also try cannabis. “His cat had multiple health issues; prescribed opioids were knocking him out and affecting his appetite so he had nothing to lose. He was willing to try CBD so we worked out the dosage and in no time the cat improved; his appetite and energy came back and we reduced the conventional medications,” adds Dr. Kramer. “He lived a few more quality years after that. And I started looking at more worrisome cases.” A few years ago Dr. Kramer would get a call about CBD about once a month; now her clinic is taking calls from vets and clients across North America. In a nutshell, this is her advice:

#1

Talk to your vet about anything you are thinking about trying; your vet also needs to get educated about these products. If enough pet owners ask, it will force the vet community to take further action.

#2

It’s important to use a quality-controlled product. Be careful about the products you use as they could be laced with THC (more about that at left) or maybe there’s not enough CBD in it to be effective. The FDA recently found that 90 percent of products they tested had little or no CBD or it didn’t match label ingredients. Ask the supplier for a certificate of analysis.

3

#

Regarding dosage, the current catch phrase is “Start low, go slow.” And the rule of thumb .5 mg per lb of body weight. (e.g., 5 mg per 10 lbs) so a little goes a long way.

Dr. Kramer thinks that CBD’s therapeutic potential is enormous, but there’s the legality issue, mainly due to insufficient clinical trials. “I’m hopeful that with more research and studies the legal barriers will fall,” she says, “and then we will be allowed to prescribe CBDs.” (Although the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association officially encourages research into the safety, dosing and uses of cannabis in animals, the American Veterinary Medical Association has not yet condoned the use of medical marijuana and related products with animals.)

WHAT IS CBD AND HOW DOES IT WORK? CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of more than 60 nonpsychoactive compounds found in both hemp and cannabis (aka pot) plants. It creates beneficial physical changes to thebody’s endocannabinoid system—known to affect bodily processes such as digestion, mood, and sleep.

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Endocannabinoids are the chemical messengers that tell your body to get these processes moving and when to stop; they help maintain optimal balance in the body, also known as homeostasis. When the body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or cannot regulate them properly, you are more susceptible to illnesses. CBD is known to have anti-anxiety, anticonvulsive, antinausea, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor properties.

LEGALITIES In British Columbia CBD is available in pet stores and every corner dispensary, and the rest of Canada is catching up. Starting October 17, 2018, Canadians will legally be able to use recreational marijuana, but it may take longer for Canadian pets to get their paws on cannabis derived treatments. Good news is that Health Canada recently approved a clinical trial to research the use of cannabidiol (CBD) to treat animal anxiety. In the U.S., if you are in a hemp-legal state, you can order online. CBD aficionados, regardless of which state or province they live in, seem largely unconcerned with legal repercussions, as punishment for procurement has thus far proven unlikely. To give you some idea of pet cannabis consumption in the

US, sales of cannabis products marketed for pets at medical and adult-use cannabis dispensaries in 2017 totaled nearly $7 million in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, according to BDS Analytics. In Colorado, sales of CBD pet products grew almost 50 percent in 2017.

CBD SUPPLIERS In British Columbia (and soon all of Canada) CBD is available in pet stores and every corner dispensary. In the U.S., if you are in a hemp-legal state, you can order online from a reputable company like Seattle-based Kat and Austin. Owner Kat Donatello says that most of her clients use CBD for pain management and anxiety. Her products, including CBD laced with salmon oil for cats, are sold in about 400 pet stores nationwide, rehab clinics and veterinarian offices. Her dog Austin was a puppy when she gave him CBD for anxiety. “He was like a kid with ADHD and CBD allowed him to focus on training,” she says. “These days he has CBD for aches after a long run. And the day will come when it will be used for end-of-life care—it is a relief to know Austin will enjoy his final days with family.” n

Products That Can Help Want to Give It a Try? Here are Some CBD Products to Get Started With

OILS

TINCTURES

Grizzly Pet Products’ CBD Calming Aid for Dogs and Cats is tailor-made for travel, vet visits, or relieving anxiety in other stressful situations without causing drowsiness. Grizzly uses a unique blend of organically grown hemp oil and wild krill oil to create this all-natural soothing supplement that also promotes emotional balance in pets. ($30, grizzlypetproducts.com)

ORAL SPRAYS

CannaHemp Paws’ CBD Pet Tincture offers a concentrated form of CBD oil that’s great for cats that require a higher dose of CBD for their health needs. This tincture only contains three ingredients: certified organic hemp seed oil, coconut MCT oil, and cannabidiol (CBD). $30/30ml, Cannahemp.com)

FUNCTIONAL EDIBLES Austin and Kat’s CBD oil is designed as a daily dietary supplement for both cats and dogs. Packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, this CBD hemp oil can help relieve your pet of pain and inflammation, anxiety, poor appetite, and skin irritations. Reviewers report that pets love the taste. ($65/300 mg, austinandkat.com)

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Your cat will love these delicious hemp-powered whitefish-flavoured soft chews. Each chew contains 1.5 mg of Green Coast Pet’s fullspectrum proprietary hemp extract blend to support your cat’s immune system, inflammatory response, and neurological function, as well as a calm and relaxed demeanor. Easy to chew, they’re perfect for cats of any age. ($15, greencoastpet.com)

Medipet’s CBD Pet Spray is a helpful way to soothe your pets in stressful situations. Simply spray into your cat’s mouth before car rides or long journeys; it’s non-GMO and made in the USA. ($50, MediPetsCBD.com)


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BODY & SOUL

Why Does My Cat Do That? Misunderstood Cat Behaviours & Their Causes BITING  You’re petting your cat and he loves it, pushing into your hand, nuzzling you, purring, perhaps kneading you with his paws. And then suddenly—youch! He’s sunk his teeth into your hand. You may call it “love biting” but feline behaviourists refer to it as Petting-Induced Aggression. According to “Cat Daddy” Jackson Galaxy, these bites mean your cat is over-stimulated. As Galaxy explains to the Sydney Morning Herald, “The hair follicle receptors in a cat can only take so much petting before it hurts.” Galaxy recommends watching for signs of agitation, such as dilated pupils, tail wagging or thumping, ears flattened, meowing or growling, and skin twitching. If your cat exhibits these behaviours, stop the petting session. Above all, don’t punish your cat for biting you. He’s just trying to tell you he’s had enough after his subtler forms of communication went unheeded.

DROOL  Like many things with cats, drooling is not entirely straight forward. While some cat owners report that their cat drools when happy, really relaxed, or nervous, this is the exception, not the rule. Note that cats that drool in these circumstances will most likely have done so their whole lives; if your cat is suddenly drooling, it warrants a trip to the vet—drooling can point to kidney disease, poisoning, or dental problems, among other serious issues. It could also mean your cat doesn’t want to, or can’t swallow for a variety of reasons, including esophageal blockage,

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causing excess saliva to flow from the mouth. Medications can also induce saliva, and a cat may drool when nauseous. Bottom line, if your cat suddenly started drooling (and hasn’t done so her entire life), you should go to the vet.

FACE NUZZLING  Your cat has scent glands all over her body and she deposits her scent on objects (such as you) to leave a scent mark. She is, in essence, marking you as hers—scent marking is done to indicate ownership or assets as belonging in a group. Well-bonded cats will groom each other, creating a group scent. (You can promote group cohesion and thus harmony in your multi-cat home by using the same brush to groom your cats one at a time.) Cats go cheek-tocheek with you as an affectionate and social gesture. This bonding behaviour shows how much your cat trusts you, so what’s a little cat hair in your mouth for these loving moments?

SCRATCHING FURNITURE  Your kitty doesn’t mean to destroy your velvet couch—she just can’t help it. Scratching is an innate behaviour cats have a need to engage in. Scratching marks territory by leaving both a visual mark and a scent (paws have scent glands); it removes the dead outer layer of claws; and scratching allows them to stretch and flex their entire bodies—preferably by sinking their claws into a scratching post and not your sofa.

*

Turn to page 54 for Jackson Galaxy's tips on how to deter your cat from using your couch as a scratching post.


BODY & SOUL FINDING WELLNESS NATURALLY WITH HOMEOPATHY FOR CATS Ease your cat's ailments and maintain her good health with gentle natural medicine alternatives Homeopathy has been around for ages. Since at least the 18th century, humans have used homeopathic remedies, designed to heal ailments and maintain good health by triggering our bodies’ own internal systems. Homeopathy practitioners use this ancient form of natural medicine to benefit our pets, too. Using the principle of “like cures like,” homeopaths for pets choose small, diluted doses of naturally-occurring substances like herbs and minerals to treat the symptoms of illness or enhance wellbeing. Unlike pharmaceutical medicine, homeopathic remedies are free of unwanted side effects and are gentle on the body. They activate your cat’s own existing disease-fighting mechanisms to promote healing, rather than call on harsh chemicals that can disrupt the natural flow of body systems. WHAT CAN PET HOMEOPATHY TREAT? Virtually anything! Homeopathic remedies include: Relaxation remedies for separation anxiety, fear and stress that contain soothing ingredients like chamomile and calendula. Mobility and joint homeopathic medicines help aging cats maintain agility by using the active ingredient arnica, which comes from the sunflower family of plants. Allergy and skin remedies alleviate scratching, biting, and allergy

irritations by soothing skin with echinacea and the herbaceous nightshade plant. Digestive upset can be treated with homeopathic remedies that contain the natural mineral phosphorous combined with nux vomica, a deciduous tree native to India and southeast Asia. WHAT CAN YOU AND YOUR PET EXPECT DURING HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT? Rather than depend on a diagnosis that only summarizes superficial symptoms, a homeopath practitioner assesses the entirety of a pet-patient’s individual state of wellness through an observation period of whole body symptoms that affect physical, mental, and behavioural states in order to ensure a perfectly matched treatment solution. Medicines sourced from powerful natural ingredients like calendula and echinacea are chosen to address the signs and symptoms assessed under observation, and are administered as easy-to-use pellets, globules or liquid tinctures. Ready to optimize your pet’s vitality? Find homeopathic remedies and other wellness products for cats at shop.moderncat. com.—Jessica Linnay Remember, it is always recommended to consult your veterinarian prior to *starting new treatments.

Want to Give It a Try?

Natural homeopathic support for urinary tract health Life is tough when peeing is uncomfortable! Urinary Tract Health, a natural, homeopathic product from HomeoVet, is designed to support your cat’s urinary health. This natural health product helps maintain the health of your cat’s urinary tract and eases the elimination of urine. Signs your cat has urinary tract troubles include difficulty urinating, stomach pain, discomfort during urination, and excessive licking of the genital areas. Remember, whether a condition is acute or chronic, this product can provide assistance as a supportive treatment, but will not replace traditional veterinary medicine. It is important to verify etiology, general symptoms, and behaviour with your vet to give the best treatment. $13, homeocan.ca/en/

* Note: Always give your cat an access to fresh water in a clean bowl at all times. 50 moderncat

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FEATURED PROMOTION

Comfort Zone Calming Diffusers release calming pheromones that mimic cats’ natural, calming pheromones for up to 30 days, signaling to your cat he or she is in a safe and familiar place. This puts less stress on your cat, reducing stress response behaviours like destructive scratching, urine marking and multi-cat fighting. ComfortZone.com

Help your cat live her best life with these wellness products!

Say goodbye to the litter box as you know it! Kitty Poo Club delivers a new, pre-filled litter box directly to your home every month. Their exclusive, odordestroying litter is 100% natural and free of chemicals, dyes, scents and dust—and it lasts 30 days! Learn more at kittypooclub.com

VetRx for Cats & Kittens combines all-natural ingredients to help relieve sniffling, sneezing, nasal discharge, and noisy breathing from congestion or allergies. Use 2 drops per nostril for adult cats, 1 for kittens. Repeat every 5 minutes for up to 3 to 4 times a day to promote healthy respiratory functions. Find it on Amazon.

Vital Cat Freeze-Dried Mini Patties from Vital Essentials are sure to get your kitty purring at dinnertime! These super healthy and balanced meals contain only meat, organs and bones sourced from the USA and are available in four great flavors—Rabbit, Chicken, Turkey and Duck. Yum! vitalessentialsraw.com

Vetericyn Plus Feline Wound and Skin Care is purrfect for your feline companion! Safe to use on post-surgical sites, cat acne, abscesses, and bite wounds alike! It utilizes advanced hypochlorous technology, is alcohol and steroid free, and safe to use around the eyes, ears, and mouth of your frisky friend. Vetericyn.com

Manage hairballs with CocoTherapy CAT HAIRBALL PLUS! Made with only one ingredient, high-fiber organic coconut with NO artificial ingredients, preservatives, or fillers, you’ll feel good giving it to your kittens and cats—even those with sensitive stomachs or food allergies! It also supports healthy skin and coat for less shedding! CocoTherapy.com moderncat.com

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BODY & SOUL

Make sure your apple cider vinegar is raw and organic, like Bragg’s.

HOW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR CAN HELP YOUR CAT This amazing tonic has myriad pet applications, from deterring fleas to treating skin conditions and removing odours. Here’s how to take advantage of apple cider vinegar’s many health and household benefits!

W

e love ordinary products that do extraordinary things, and apple cider vinegar (also referred to as ACV), is one such product extraordinaire. ACV is made from fermented apples. It is one of the oldest fermentation processes known to humankind and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Today we’re seeing a resurgence of this popular but common household staple to help humans with everything from relieving sore throats, bug bites, and constipation, to even regulating blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. So, if this simple and natural but multifaceted home staple is so useful for humans, is it also good for our cats? The simple answer is yes—most experts agree that its documented human benefits also help cats; but, as always, it’s a good idea to check with your vet prior to starting new treatments. Made from just apples and water, it may be surprising to learn that it has strong antioxidant and antibacterial qualities. Slightly acidic (it has a pH of 3.1 to 5), it can soothe a cat’s overly alkalized digestive tract, aid digestion, and regulate weight and blood sugar. To do this, add a little bit of apple cider vinegar to your cat’s food or water (see table at right). ACV is also packed with potassium—11 grams in a tablespoon. You can also use it to rinse any vegetables or fruit you and your pets consume; Cook’s

Illustrated found that cleaning produce with a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water removed 98 percent of bacteria, proving it to be more effective than anti-bacterial soap. Apple cider vinegar must always be diluted with equal amounts water (or more) when it is used externally for your cat. Many holistic vets recommend a daily dosage of the following, added to your cat’s food or water: • 1 teaspoon for cats 16-25 pounds • 1/2 teaspoon for cats 7-15 pounds

Warning: Never use undiluted ACV and consult your vet first if your cat has health issues. Dr. Cailin Heinze, VMD, and assistant professor of nutrition at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, notes that for cats with kidney disease ACV is likely not a good idea, as the acidity of the apple cider vinegar could be harmful.

CLEANING Since ACV is a great deodorizer and pet-safe, you can use it to disinfect toys and bedding. Spray it anywhere you need odour control and/or a gentle disinfectant. It’s great for removing cat and dog urine smells in the home (and works to remove skunk odour too!) and repels fleas, mites, and ringworm. ACV won’t kill fleas and other pests but they definitely don’t like it! Combine 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a spray bottle or jar, and spray on bedding, floors, baseboards, or wherever else it’s needed!

>> Visit moderncat.com/ACV for more ideas and recipes using apple cider vinegar that can help your cat!

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• 1/4 teaspoon for cats 4-6 pounds • A few drops for cats under 4 pounds


Premium Cat Tree from Armarkat

Jackson Galaxy's 4 Keys to Cat Scratcher Success To your cat, a scratching post is a sign post and scent soaker indicating his belonging. So if you want your cat to use his scratching posts and not your couch, the placement of the scratching post, among other things, matters—a lot. There’s a reason your cat gravitates to your couch (or rug, or bed frame). Your couch is nice and sturdy, covered in a very scratching-friendly material, and lives in a socially significant territorial destination. But we can provide all of these things for your cat in a scratching post. Here’s how.

1

When it comes to scratching posts, cats usually have four key preferences that you need to know about…

  Location In a cat’s mind, scratching equals ownership. Think about where your cat likes to scratch—cats will mark things that are socially significant to them, whether that is a doorframe, your couch, or a rug. Scratching post placement is where you need to be willing to compromise. When you hide a scratching post in the back office that no one ever spends time in, you are ensuring a lack of Mojo and a destroyed sofa. And because scratching equals ownership, you need multiple scratching posts, throughout the home.

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2

Know your angles

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Watch your cats when they scratch. Do they prefer horizontal surfaces like your rug, or do they go for the side of the couch in a fully vertical position? Or do they scratch the base of your bed frame? Some cats prefer an angle when scratching, and some cats love to scratch in all three positions. Arched scratching post from shopmeoow.com


Fat Cat Big Mama's Scratch 'N Play Ramp from Petmate

The Original Scratch Lounge from Scratch Lounge Cat Mod–Vertical Sisal Pole from Catastrophic Creations

3

Cats want a scratching material they can dig into. Cats usually prefer textures like sisal rope, jute, wood, cork, carpet, or cardboard. Some cats have strong preferences, so it’s good to offer some different choices and see what they like the best. When in doubt, match what they scratch!

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  Size matters

  Texture

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Whatever you give your cat to scratch, it needs to be sturdy. Cats who are vertical scratchers need to be able to stand on their hind legs, extend their legs, and get a full stretch. Freestanding posts need a wide base—if it wiggles or wobbles, the couch wins.

Once you’ve got you’re scratching situation set up, move on to this catification staple for a harmonious home. (top right)


The Cat Sundial  This catification staple is a true game changer

Allow your cats to share, rather than fight over, territorial resources by creating a Cat Sundial. The Cat Sundial is the tendency for cats to follow the patterns of the sun throughout the home. The best thing you can do is know what windows let in the most sun at each time of the day and then make sure you place scent soakers—beds, cat trees, perches, hammocks, or condos—in those areas. When you give your cats multiple resources in these highly desirable sun-soaked areas, you allow them to practice the fine feline art of time-sharing. Think sharing rather than fighting over resources!

For more life-changing catfication strategies, pick up Jackson Galaxy’s amazing book Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide To Life With Your Cat.

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Create a Catio For Your Cat! Ready to take your catification to the next level? Build your indoor cats a catio! A portmanteau of cat + patio, catios offer the ultimate for indoor cats: an engaging space that offers stimulating, safe, and secure outdoor access. With the help of Mario Arbore of Square Paws, we show you how to customize a Lucky Dog enclosure kit to create your cat’s dream space.

T

he reasons to build your cat a catio are multi-fold. Catios provide fresh air, outdoor access, and healthy stimulation for your cats, while keeping them safe and secure. They can be built as stand-alone units or can enclose an existing patio. For the DIY-er, however, the task can seem daunting, leading many willing cat owners to never get started on the project. So we asked architect Mario Arbore how to use a Lucky Dog kennel kit with modular components to form the framework and then how to catify the interior for a doable project that will thrill your cats. Mario is all about cat-first design. Under the name Square Paws, Mario creates next-level custom cat towers that are works of art in and of themselves. He’s also built a Japanese Zen garden-inspired catio for clients Michele and Tim Sanders, a project that stoked his creative fire. “We had a gorgeous koi pond to work with and the Sanders’ have some Japanese pieces—from benches to Buddhas—so we hit on the idea of building an enclosed Japanese cat garden,” Mario says. “Michele wanted the cats to have high viewing points—cats need a place to get away, ideally high up for protection,” Mario explains—so I drew some plans showing elevation; we decided on a bridge with a metaphorical river of rocks running under, and the project took off.” They added benches, a pagoda, and a Buddha statue, and landscape lighting lit their 250 square foot catio. Michele was thrilled with the end result. “Mario designed our catio with four male cats in mind. They can enjoy the space without necessarily interacting or negotiating with each other. Andre is feral and very sick but when he’s in the catio, he is so interested and stimulated, like he has a new lease on life. Imagine what it does for my healthy three!” Though the plan Mario has provided here includes no Buddhas, cats will be no less pleased with the results. With a bridge, perches a plenty, the possibility of bird sightings, and fresh air, this kit-based cat enclosure checks all the boxes.

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MARIO’S TIPS FOR A DIY CATIO

#1

Build your enclosure. Lucky Dog Kennel Systems offers ready-to-assemble chain-link pet enclosure kits that make setting up a catio a breeze. The rendering pictured uses Lucky Dog’s Animal House AH 56203 ($725, saturdaysolution.com), complete with gabled roof, plus additional Lucky Dog modular components to extend the square footage. Or, if you’re handy, build a wood frame covered with chicken wire. [CatioSpaces.com offers awesome, easy to build DIY catio plans.] Minimum catio enclosure is 75-100 square feet. With more cats, bigger is better.

#2

  It’s important to give cats elevation points and different perspectives of their space, regardless the size of their catio. Start by creating steps using chairs and ladders; look how far they jump and where they


“In the catio, he is so interested and stimulated, like he has a new lease on life.” An amazing catio built from a CatioSpaces.com DIY catio plan!

want to go. Sometimes just arrange what you already have. Ideally, have a few high perches. Another key item is a “highway” (like the Japanese bridge in the Zen cat garden) with multiple on-off ramps as exit points in case of attack. It’s a catification thing.

#3

  Find a spring point of design and get creative. What makes you happy aesthetically? A pool, garden, views of a bird feeder?

#4

  Keep it fun. If your talent is gardening, incorporate cat-safe plants. Maybe you’re good at repurposing objects for cats to play with and inhabit. Above all, don’t make it a chore but at the same time, don’t go out of control!

#5

  If you’re good at building, use sustainable materials specifically for outdoors. For my Japanese-inspired project we used Trex building materials, strong and non-toxic.

#6

  Keep it clean. I’ve heard lots of complaints about cats using their carpet tower for just a few months. Use a wire brush [to refresh] and they’ll be back. Or re-clad with new materials and a staple gun. Be sure to put a carpeted tower in a protected part of the catio.

#7

Keep it interesting: Shift the furniture occasionally, maybe a different angle or move to another room. Cats are curious and love some change. Have a few moveable pieces.

#8

  Build it to last. Cats live longer when they aren’t outside and getting into fights with wildlife and other cats.

#9

  Watch the Jackson Galaxy Show on Animal Planet and tune in to what cats want. His catifying is inspiring. moderncat.com

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9 CAT LIFE

SIMPLE WAYS TO ENRICH YOUR CAT’S ENVIRONMENT

#1

By Jennifer Nosek

Get wild!

Fulfill your cat’s need for vertical space and bring out your cat’s wild side with a very cool, beautifully designed Indiana Jones-style roped cat bridge from Catastrophic Creations. (From $195, catastrophicreations.com)

#2

Open the curtains! A window perch with a view of the birds and critters outside will entertain your cat for hours. The Oster Sunny Seat Cat Window Bed installs in seconds via industrial strength suction cups to support up to 50 pounds of kitties. ($25, osteranimalcare.com) *Note: If your cat is urine spray-marking in the house, a cat he sees outside may be stressing him out, making him feel his territory is under threat. For more on this, go to moderncat.com/articles/how-stop-yourcat-urine-spray-marking/.

#4 #3

Eat Your Greens.

Give your cat access to fresh greens to nibble on instead of houseplants! Cereal grasses like wheat grass contain tons of chlorophyll and are packed with antioxidant vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for optimal health. Plus, they promote good digestion, helping to control hairballs. Grow your own organic, GMO-free cat greens with a self-grow kit from Bell Rock Growers. Just add water and in about a week you’ll have an edible garden for your cat to enjoy! (bellrockgrowers.com)

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A room with a view.

Introduce the thrill of discovery.

Every month, hide a new toy somewhere in the house for your cat to discover. A monthly toy delivery service like Rescue Box makes it easy! Each monthly box is packed with goodies for your cat and supports rescue, helping to vaccinate shelter cats and provide food. ($23, rescuebox.com)


#5

Keep it fresh.

Rotate which toys you provide for your cat to play with, putting some away and bringing out others, to keep things interesting. You can also refresh old toys with new catnip. Try the Vault Marinater from Petmate. It works on most materials, infusing your cat’s favourite toys with the stimulating scent of catnip! ($10, Petmate.com)

#6

Add ice cubes to your cat’s water.

Bonus points: make those ice cubes out of tuna water!

#7

Make time for playtime (and make sure you’re doing it right!).

Schedule multiple play sessions daily—and be sure to always let your cat complete “the kill” or he’ll be unsatisfied. For more on how to play with your cat correctly, read The All Important Play Sequence at moderncat.com/articles/all-important-playsequence. If your cat won’t play, you might be doing it wrong! Toy to try: our cats love the Dezi & Roo Wiggly Wand, designed to drive your cat wild by realistically mimicking live prey. Entice your cat to hunt, chase, and pounce! ($12—plus free shipping in the US!—from deziroo.com)

#8

Get your cat a fountain.

Cat’s love running water. And by encouraging your cat to drink more, urine is more dilute, reducing the risk of kidney stones. Try Pioneer Pet’s Big Max ceramic drinking fountain. ($80, pioneerpet.com)

#9

Promote exercise with an indoor playground for your cat.

Hicat’s simple, one piece, floor-to-ceiling cat climber is perfectly beautiful in its minimalism. And your cat will love it even more than you do. It’s designed to bring out the natural agility in cats to promote exercise, well-being, and interactive play. (From $250, hicat.us) n moderncat.com

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STEADY SOFT GAZE This means your cat is relaxed and feels safe.

EARS FORWARD I'm happy to see you! I might wind around your legs or head bump you.

TAIL RAISED AND SLIGHTLY CURVED AT TIP Your cat is happy.

I

f you’ve ever wondered why your cat “randomly” bites or goes from relaxed to spaz mode in what seems like an instant, chances are you’re missing—or misreading­—your cat’s body language cues. They’re not so subtle if you’re paying attention and know how to “read” cat!

EARS UPRIGHT I'm intent on listening and assessing my environment.

how to properly read your cat's body language A Visual Guide

Illustrations by Monika MeInychuk

DECIP HER YOUR CAT’S CUES

TAIL IS HELD STRAIGHT BUT WITH A LOW INCLINE Slight fear or aggression. THE SLOW BLINK A slow blink while looking at you is the ultimate sign of trust and affection!

i you

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EARS BACK

SQUINTING The cat equivalent of smiling, squinting can be used to show appreciation of people or of feline friends.

Ears rotated back—I'm scared, anxious, or fearful. CROUCHING Tail low and twitching slightly— your cat is excited or worried.

HAPPY TAIL Big pupils and a “happy” tail? This relaxed cat may want to play!

TAIL HELD STRAIGHT UP hair in all directions­—your cat is agitated or over stimulated.

EARS FLATTENED I’m fearful.

PUPILS DILATED EQUAL BIG FEELINGS! Dilated pupils can indicate arousal, anxiety, playfulness, or imminent attack.

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Tricia and two of her cats.

TRICIA HELFER

Knows Cats (and she wants to help you understand them too!) Tricia Helfer—actress, supermodel, and serious cat person—answers your most pressing cat questions

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I have so much to say! Q I have a six-month-old male kitty that loves to cuddle before bed. However, he gets as close to my face as possible while we’re dozing off and insists on putting his paws on my face! He’s not being mean and scratching, but he insists on keeping his paw there no matter how many times I push it away. I love to cuddle with my Jinxy boy, but I have woken up with slight scratches on my face. A: Ah yes, the face cuddlers! This is actually quite common and, I think, a sign of love. He wants to be as near to you as he can get. If you look on my Instagram (@officialtriciahelfer), you'll see I have a face cuddler, Rigby, who likes to plop his 18-pound body on my face and use it as a pillow. Another of my cats, Fiona, likes to be on my chest with her nose up against my chin. My Prissie has a habit of biting my nose if she thinks I'm not getting up early enough. It's these little quirks that make our cats individual and funny. There's not much you can do besides not allowing your cat in the bedroom with you when you sleep. If you don’t want to do that, definitely keep his nails trimmed—probably once every two weeks. He may grow out of this habit as he gets older, but that's not guaranteed.


Q My one-and-a-half year-old kitten Hades is always bringing me his toys and has to sleep with no less than four toys. I know cats will often bring their humans their “kills.” Both my boys are indoor cats as we live in an apartment. My question is: Is this my cat’s way of providing for me? He does that funny meow to get my attention and won't leave until I acknowledge the toy or present. A: This is absolutely him playing and bringing you his prize. I have a boy, Rigby, that deems it his mission in life to bring me my pilates reformer foot straps. He thinks they should be by me all the time; no matter how many times I take them back downstairs to my gym, he goes and gets them for me and brings them to me and drops them at my feet, all the while loudly letting me know he's doing it. I give him a “good boy” and some petting, and he shines with pride.

Q I have a 14-year-old female cat that has started caterwauling. She has never done it before and it is very loud. Possible cause and how to stop it? She is not sick, eats and drinks, and uses the litter box as usual. Plays like a kitten! A: If she’s never done it before then it could be a sign of illness. You say she's not ill, but she may just not seem it yet! If you haven't had her checked out by a vet and given a physical, I would do that—it could be a sign of thyroid or kidney disease developing. Or, it could just be age; have your vet also check your cat’s hearing and vision. Oftentimes as cats get older they start to yowl, especially at night. She could be starting to have some sensory (sight, hearing) decline and is a little disoriented and confused, which causes cats to vocalize more. Older cats can also start to have some dementia, called cognitive dysfunction syndrome, which is another cause of loud yowling. If it turns out to be something physical, like hyperthyroidism then medicine can help.

Night-time Tips for Cats With Cognitive Dysfunction Dementia-like behaviour in older cats is called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) and can affect your cat’s sleep cycle. Your cat may nap more during the day, leaving her awake and possibly restless and anxious at night when you are sleeping and unavailable to offer her attention. If your older cat is showing symptoms of cognitive dysfunction, such as nighttime vocalizing, making her as comfortable as possible can help. Offer a number of warm, draft-free resting spots—as cats age they are less able to regulate their body temperature. Plugging in a nightlight can help cats with declining vision navigate in the dark. And a radio left on low volume may comfort her when the rest of the family is sleeping.

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I'm at my cuddle limit!

Q My boyfriend and I adopted our four-and-a-half-year-old female cat when she was six months old. She started out shy but warmed up to him before me. Then, sometime around her turning one, she didn't want anything to do with him and still avoids him when she can. She is definitely a mama's girl, but my boyfriend is so sad she doesn't want to be around him anymore. We tried having him take over feeding, playing, and treat giving, but once she gets what she wants she goes back to avoiding him. Any idea on how or why she acts this way even though she's been raised by us both? A: Animals, just like humans, have their own quirks and strong personalities. Your boyfriend hasn't purposely harmed her, but maybe there was an accidental tail stepping or something that has triggered an "I'm staying away from you" feeling for her. Likely though, she's just matured into a cat that is drawn to you more. I have one, Max, that would have nothing to do with my husband for the first four months after we adopted him, and then, from one day to the next, suddenly wouldn't leave him alone; it was almost like I didn't exist and Max wanted to spend all his time with Jonathan. So it could just be phases of her life and what she's feeling at this time. You both should continue to take care of her and definitely he should continue to play with her. She'll know you both love her. Maybe you should adopt another cat that might be drawn more to your boyfriend!

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Q Vince (two-year-old neutered male) is very, VERY affectionate and will push his way into my hand for strokes. He purrs and dribbles while I stroke his head and then, out of nowhere, he attacks me. Not all the time but more times than I’d like and he’s drawn blood from my face several times. It’s as though he suddenly gets mad because he hisses when I put him down afterwards. I suspect he gets overexcited and lashes out. I don’t love him any less but he’s a big 13-pound muscle-y cat, and he’s got a hell of a whack on him. He attacked the vet in the same way even though the vet was warned but stroked him eagerly and got a face full of claws after a minute or so. How can he be so happy one minute then attack the next? We aren’t touching his tummy or anything, just his head, and he’s not hurt, just a little highly strung! Anything we can do? A: It sounds like Vince is the type of cat that gets over stimulated. He loves the attention but then snaps, or lashes out as you say, and attacks. If the vet says there's nothing physically wrong, then it's behavioural or emotional. I had a friend with a cat like that and it was jarring, but ultimately it was the person that just had to be aware and not let their face get too close. Try to not over-actively pet him. If it's overstimulation, softer petting for a much shorter period of time should help. Definitely avoid vigorous or lengthy petting, even if it’s just to the head. Try that and see if it makes a difference. Otherwise, that's just him and you'll have to learn to continue to love on him, but be aware so you don't get hurt. Whacks to the face are never fun. (And keep his nails trimmed!)


Go fragrance free with a lightweight, dusteliminating litter

Choose a dry, bacteria-inhibiting litter that stays in the litter box

Get your feline on the grass with SmartCat litter. SmartCat All Natural Litter is made from 100% USA, nonGMO farmed grasses, with no added chemicals or fragrances that some cats don’t like. It’s half the weight of most traditional litters and wait, it gets better: being almost dust-free, the chance of litter-related respiratory issues is greatly reduced. pioneerpet.com

If changing the litter box is one of your worst chores, Snappy Tom litter crystals can make your housecleaning more enjoyable. Either non-scented or lavender, the crystals inhibit bacteria and leave litter dry. As well, Snappy Tom’s litter is non-tracking, lightweight, and environmentally safe. A perfect choice for cats sensitive to dust and dirt. Change the litter less and you’ll have more playtime! snappytom.com

Brighten the kitty box with fun neon colours! Made of highquality silica gel, these neon crystals have the same texture as sand and because most felines are polite, they happily cover their “business” in vibrant pink, orange, blue, green or purple litter with amazing odour control. neonlitter.com

Which Litter Is Right for Your Cat? Love your cat and the earth with an environmentally friendly, high-performance wood-based litter Your cat will think she’s going in the great outdoors with ökocat. Starting with naturally fallen timber or unused lumber that’s chipped along with plant-based materials to form soft ground pellets, this litter comes full circle: it’s made with 100% sustainable products from the earth and can be returned to the earth rather than a landfill. Fast and firm clumping, it’s lightweight, biodegradable, flushable, and super absorbent for exemplary odour control. healthy-pet.com

If your cat is eliminating outside of the box, go to moderncat.com/articles/ litter-box-problems to read “Litter Box Problems: Getting to The Bottom of Why Your Cat is Eliminating Outside of the Box.”

Make litter fun with this dust-free pretty neon litter that excels at odour control

Choosing a litter you and your cat like ensures a clean box your cat actually uses. We help you choose the litter that’s right for you and your cat.

Forget cleaning the plastic litter box altogether! Kitty Poo Club offers an ingenious service. Join the club and say goodbye and good riddance to cleaning a plastic litter box: every month you’ll receive a cardboard box filled with high-performance silica-gel (mineral-based and odour-free) litter that you can’t buy anywhere else. Delivery is free via FedEx shipping. No fuss, no muss. kittypooclub.com

Keep the litter in the box instead of tracked all over the floor) with this freshsmelling option that’s focused on odour elimination Made with a special blend of larger particles, Fresh Step, Clean Paws litter is designed to stick less to your cat’s fur so it stays inside the box rather than on your cat’s fur and your floor. Clay-based, low dust, and clumping, it eliminates odour from urine, feces, and bacteria via smell-absorbing activated charcoal and fragrance that’s released when your cat uses the box. The power of Febreze option offers increased odour protection for multi-cat households. freshstep.com

Choose an absorbent and odour-eliminating corn-based litter that helps shelter cats Whole kernel corn is the main ingredient in World’s Best Cat Litter. Compressed into concentrated granules, it traps odours and forms tight clumps on contact with liquids. And corn is sustainable so you can feel good about your choice. Plus, get that warm, fuzzy feeling with each purchase of this lightweight, flushable, and near dust-free litter—you’ll help support GiveLitter that donates litter to hardworking shelters in the U.S. Since its launch in 2010, over 662,000 pounds of litter have been donated. worldsbestcatlitter.com

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These minimalist, hand-screened, super soft pillowcases from Xenotees are just calling for a cat nap! The cute cat outline makes us smile every time we see it. Simple and elegant, they’d look good anywhere! $18, Xenotees.com

Every cat should have vertical space to explore, so these stackable, customizable cat climbers are a feline dream come true. You can build them from floor to ceiling and delight your cat with a sturdy, safe, and beautiful structure designed to give her the overhead space she craves. Bespoke pricing, hicat.us

Let your cat recline in style in this sleek, mid-century moderninspired TriPod lounger. Cats love to sit in sinks, so this plastic lounge pod was designed to create that same feeling! And if your cat ever vacates his lounging spot, it can also be used for toy storage or as a cat grass planter, beverage server, or ice bucket! $100, mythreecats.com

CatTastic Décor Interior solutions to thrill both you & your cat

dinner time!

Looking for a cat bed that will look amazing in your home? The Slumber Party pet bed from Sweet Pickle’s Designs is both gorgeous and super comfortable for your cat. Machine washable, hypoallergenic, and double sided, simply flip this bed over when you want to change your look! $120, SweetPicklesDesigns.com

Cats can be particular about their food and water dishes, but these are perfect. The gently-curved sides of these high-quality, stainless steel bowls (tested to be lead, mercury, and cadmium-free) are designed to protect sensitive whiskers and the dishes don’t tip when your cat is eating or drinking. Two bowls $40, americatcompany.com

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Give your cat a homey, super-cozy place to stretch out with an oversized Cat Mat, handcrafted with loving care by the people at Critter Crafting, These crocheted cat blankets are machine-washable and loved by cats! $33, crittercrafting.com

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Every cat needs a cozy cave to call his own. The Cat Ball thoughtfully created a double-entrance cat bed, keeping in mind how much cats love to peer, swat, and hide! With two entry points for twice the fun, your cat can play out of either side of this bed with any dangling toys you’d like to tempt them with. The cat bed is made in the USA with 100% cotton fabric, and is squeezable and foldable for easy transport. $55, TheCatBall.com


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THE GOOD DOCTOR The endlessly inspiring Dr. Patti threw herself into helping the pets of her community and hasn’t looked back By Tracey Tong

I

t was the coldest December that shelter veterinarian Dr. Patricia Canchola could remember. It had snowed a wet, heavy snow the night before, and cold winds howled through the streets of Pueblo, Colorado. On a routine garbage pickup route, a trash collector thought he heard a crying baby. Following his instincts, he jumped into the back of the truck’s compactor area and began to dig. Out rolled a tiny kitten, who had been picked up while searching for food in a dumpster. Completely shocked at his find, the worker rushed the nonresponsive kitten to Pueblo Animal Services, where Dr. Canchola was working. Although greasy smelling, ice cold, and very hungry, the two-pound kitten had miraculously survived the rotations and compressions of the garbage truck. “After several warm, soapy, sudsy baths, she still smelled far from a rose and was still non-responsive and freezing,” remembers Dr. Canchola, who is known affectionately in animal welfare circles as Dr. Patti. “We pull out all the stops with supportive care. I figured we had nothing to lose and everything to gain but only morning would tell. [Come morning,] as I walked closer to the nursery, I knew her fluids were still running as the alarm was not beeping. As soon as I turned on the light, the loudest hungry cry met me at the kennel door.” The kitten bounced back. “She took full advantage of her cozy quarters, ate what we left with her overnight, and was ready to hit the ground running,” says Dr. Patti. That two-pound kitten was given the name Ruby. She was a hit with the staff and the media,

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who were captivated with the story of her amazing rescue. “Before we knew it, all the major TV stations in Pueblo and Southern Colorado were lined up to meet ‘Ruby in the Rubbish,’” says Dr. Patti. She made a full recovery and was adopted, her happy ending thanks to Dr. Patti and her team. Dr. Patti has always had a soft spot for hurt and stray animals. Growing up in Pueblo, she was a magnet for local strays. “I think I picked up every stray that I ever came across,” she laughs. “I had more relationships with animals than I did friends in my neighbourhood.” Her parents not only allowed young Patti to bring home stray dogs and cats, but engaged her in games of ‘pet doctor,’ where she would pretend to examine, diagnose, and treat sick stuffed animals. There was a “definite desire to nurture, rehab, and care for strays, be they hungry or injured,” she says. “That in conjunction with the fascination with anatomy, physiology, and basic sciences, I realized early on there was only one way to mix the two—be a veterinarian.” So perhaps it’s no surprise that little girl grew up to be a strong, confident, and hardworking animal doctor who would come to be named one of America’s best. Last year saw Dr. Patti chosen from hundreds of nominees and named the Hero Veterinarian winner at the seventh annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards. A graduate of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, she worked in Yankton, South Dakota and Lakewood, Colorado before landing back in Pueblo. After plans for her own state-of-the-art clinic unexpectedly fell through, she happened to hear about an opening for a full-time vet at Pueblo Animal Services. Private practice and shelter medicine are as different as cats and dogs, says Dr. Patti. “Once I ventured into shelter medicine, I was stunned and shocked to find out what goes on in the community. When I looked at the thousands of strays that entered our shelter, I couldn’t help but wonder, where in the world are they coming from?” She dug in and saw “cruelty and neglect cases, geriatric surrendered pets, litters and litters of kittens, feral cats with injuries and illnesses, cats and dogs hit by cars or mauled by other animals. I had entered the kingdom where a whole new beast was waiting.”


I think I picked up every stray that I ever came across. I had more relationships with animals than I did friends in my neighbourhood. That in conjunction with the fascination with anatomy, physiology, and basic sciences, I realized early on there was only one way to mix the two—be a veterinarian.

Grievously injured cats find their way to her shelter’s doorstep all the time. Earlier this summer, a stray cat suffering from lethargy and vomiting was brought to them. Dr. Patti and her staff found a blockage in his intestine. They were able to remove eight inches of bowel and treat him for his illness before reuniting the cat, named Apollo, with his rescuers. In another case, a kitten, found stuck in a machine at the local power plant, was brought to them with a crushed limb. “How she managed to find her way into a huge machinery shop,” Dr. Patti still doesn’t know. “Her front limb was caught in the machinery making it impossible to move,” she continued. “It’s estimated she was stuck for a few days. When she was presented to our surgery center she was dehydrated, malnourished and had a serious crushing injury to her front limb requiring amputation.” The kitten recovered from her wounds quickly, says Dr. Patti. Adopted by a Vietnam veteran and his wife, the cat was named Cosette after the heroine in Les Miserables. “Cosette is living the life of the musical she was named after," her mom says, "she wants for nothing and is in our safe keeping.” Pueblo itself sees a lot of poverty, which doesn’t help its stray animal situation. It’s one of Colorado’s top three cities for unemployment and has an average income of just $30,000. Pets become the unintentional victims of the high poverty levels. “It’s still a little bit shocking and I’m still a little bit surprised when I see the high number of animals that are lost, wandering, and displaced,” she says. With very little discretionary income, pet food and pet care end up at the bottom of the totem pole, says Dr. Patti. At the shelter, the top two reasons for owners surrendering their pets are well-known: the inability to provide medical care and food for their pets. After wondering what she could do to help people keep their pets in the home, the St. Martin’s Well Pet Clinic—a Saturday-only, non-critical, non-emergency clinic—was born. Named for Dr. Patti’s first shelter dog, Marty and St. Martin de Porres, a patron saint of animals and the patron saint of charitable acts, St. Martin’s Well Pet Clinic opened in April 2010 and has since extended its hours due to demand. It is run completely by volunteers. When Dr. Patti mentioned her idea, her vet clinic clients, who have since grown to become close friends, stepped forward to volunteer their time. The clinic operates on a sliding scale. “If they can’t afford it, we figure it out,” says Dr. Patti. “We make it happen. Whether [the contribution is] a dollar, two dollars, three dollars, I think it gives a sense of pride that they were able to do something for their pets.” Frequently, Dr. Patti would see strays come into the shelter with their ribs on moderncat.com

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I had entered a kingdom where a whole new beast was waiting.

display. It broke her heart. “That’s hunger at its worst,” she says. So Dr. Patti founded a non-profit pet food bank, called Amazin’ Amos Pet Pantry, to help hundreds of local families feed their pets every year. But for all the good work she’s done in the community, Dr. Patti doesn’t see an end in sight. “We know many situations will never change so we plan on being around to help,” she says. “We don’t see it as giving up our Saturdays.” That generosity is not lost on others. “I’ve developed a great deal of respect for shelter veterinarians over the years, and what they do behind the lines is one of the less glorious aspects of being a veterinarian,” says Dr. Mike McFarland of the pet company Zoetis. “It’s hard to imagine a more compassionate and dedicated professional than Dr. Patti. I can’t think of anyone who deserves this award more.” Indeed, one of the least glorious aspects of Dr. Patti’s work is the abuse cases she sees. As soon as she started working in shelter medicine, Dr. Patti found herself in court on a consistent basis, working side-by-side with animal law enforcement every day to bring animal welfare cases to justice. She felt it was crucial to present information with a scientific, forensic approach, so she took as many online courses surrounding animal cruelty, court etiquette, and forensics studies as she could, eventually earning a certification. Having been involved with “more cases than I’d like to count,” Dr. Patti has helped bring down penalties from monetary fines to extended prison sentences. “To be the advocate and the voice for those who have become the victims of human indifference and hate is the hardest part of my position, but the most important,” she says. “It helps knowing my voice for the pet was heard, but sometimes, the emotion comes out at home where I can release the frustration and tears.” While there are happy endings like Ruby’s, Cosette’s, and Apollo’s, there are still many other cases that don’t end so well. “Wherever there is spousal abuse or child abuse, I can guarantee if there’s a pet in the home, he or she is also the victim of abuse and more times than not it does result in death.” She hopes that with continued education centred around responsible pet ownership, that there are fewer cases of neglect and abuse. Until then, she is determined to keep working on behalf of the animals. When asked what other projects she has up her sleeve, even the tireless Dr. Patti is, understandably, at a loss. “I don’t know what I could possibly do next as I seem to use up all my spare minutes helping pets and families,” says the 55-year-old. But two months ago, she started the paperwork to convert St. Martin’s into a non-profit entity. “There is such a need for minor surgical procedures and dentals in the community,” she says. “Once our non-profit status is granted, I plan on submitting requests for grants to purchase equipment that would help provide such services. We should be hearing some good news any day or week now.” And to think that all this started because she accidentally stumbled into her job as a shelter veterinarian. “Had I not stepped into the area of shelter medicine, I would never have realized the need for basic preventative medicine and pet food,” she says. “I know what my pets mean to me and so I would hope that I have a deep sense of empathy for what families are going through. Being able to help them when I can and however I can makes my heart happy. I truly believe it takes a special kind of person to be the voice for the voiceless and I feel as though this is my

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Connie’s Book Club Curl up with a good cat and a good book

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF CONNIE WILSON’S SELECTION OF MUST-READS.

The Inner Life of Cats By Thomas McNamee Acclaimed author Tom McNamee brings you into the hidden world of felines with the life story of his cat Augusta. The Inner Life of Cats dispels myths and addresses misunderstandings by way of scientific information interlaced with rich prose, humour, and cat love. McNamee has done his homework: he helps us understand a cat’s perspective of the world and what they are trying to tell us. For instance, a cat can have eloquent ears, expressive eyes, and talkative tails—if you know what to look for. A prolific nature writer, Thomas McNamee has been published in The New York Times and The Washington Post, to name a few, and is the recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship. This, his latest offering, was spurred by his adopted black kitten Augusta, who inspired years of study of her species.

Gem-Bem and the Mystery of the Ball of Branches By Christiane D'Aoust Does your child love captivating mysteries? Gem-Bem and the Mystery of the Ball of Branches is a must-read, encompassing both animal facts and values of true friendship and community. Gem-Bem, a gentle and friendly domestic cat, lives with her human family and shares adventures with friends in the woods surrounding her Quebec home. Along with her best friend Chardé they experience humour and happiness, surprise and fear. These two adventurers meet a group of rabbits, witness the near-drowning of raccoon kits, and discover a strange ball of branches in the forest­—leaving the reader wondering if the mystery will be solved… This wonderful tale is full of information about the natural world and also contains examples of good moral practice, making it ideal for children ages 9-12.

Secret Language of Cats By Susanne Schötz Do you ever wish you could read your cat’s mind? We all know our feline companions can sometimes be complicated and confounding, going from hot to cold in the blink of an eye. Luckily there’s a new catto-human translation book that’s ready to explain the intricacies of the feline mind—The Secret Language of Cats offers insights to every meow, hiss, yowl and chirp, helping you understand exactly what your cat has been trying to tell you this whole time! Get this book and learn practical communication tips and start building a healthier, happier relationship with your cat.

Big Cats, Little Cats: A Visual Guide to the World’s Cats By Jim Medway Is the little cat-lover in your life ready to become a cat expert? Aimed at children ages three to seven, the lovely Big Cats, Little Cats is the perfect visual introduction to every cat species in the world. Little ones will love the illustrations of all types of cats, from house cat breeds to rare and large wild cats from around the globe. Paired with a kitten and cub identifier and an extensive index full of interesting facts about every breed and species, this is a super fun and educational read for the whole family! moderncat.com

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Must-haves for you & your cat

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Must-haves for you & your cat CANINE E COZIES COZIES Beautiful hand crocheted blankets for your cat.

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re!

Surprise!

CATS IN UNEXPECTED PLACES Cleo

Oliver

Maisy Miss Xayla Arthur

Chester Charles

Pooh Bear

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PHOTO TAMMY BERK FINE ART

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Profile for Modern Cat Magazine

Modern Cat Fall/Winter 2018  

Fall and winter seem especially suited to all things feline. After all, what could be better than curling up with your adoring and adorable...

Modern Cat Fall/Winter 2018  

Fall and winter seem especially suited to all things feline. After all, what could be better than curling up with your adoring and adorable...

Profile for moderncat