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Is Your Home A Barren Zone For Your Cat? How To Enrich Your Cat's Environment (p46)

The lifestyle magazine for modern cats and their companions

FALL· WINTER 2016/17



Want It!



Ways In Which Cats Are Cute, Defined

Publications Agreement Number 42496543 Return Mail Dept, 202–343 Railway St., Vancouver, BC V6A 1A4

 Turn to page 22!  

Cat s! o o t Tat p80 DISPLAY UNTIL JAN 31 ‘17


It's Princess Cheeto!


Cats Galore Inside! p70


Adopt Me!

6 Ways To Make Your Litter Box Better p54 + We're Giving Away Cool Cat Stuff! p20


NO 2





Excessive Nighttime Vocalization Your furry alarm clock and what to do about it!


9 Ways to Make Your Old Cat Feel Young Put some bounce in your older cat’s step with these nine ideas for restoring some kitten-like ‘tude.



Love Cats, Will Travel Stay in amazing locales around the world for free, simply by looking after someone’s pets!


6 Ways To Make Your Litter Box Better Step up your litter box game with these six ways to make life a little easier and better.


Does Your Cat Need a Friend? How to tell if your cat wants a buddy, how to choose the right friend, and how to arrange a meet-cute between them.





Toys Your Cat Will Go Crazy For! Keep your cat active and engaged with these Modern Cat-approved toys guaranteed to delight your cat!


Purrfect Presents Great gift ideas for everyone on your list!


Cat-tastic Décor Finds to thrill both your cat and your inner interior designer.




How To Enrich Your Cat's Home Environment



Your Hairball Survival Kit Help for handling this hairy phenomenon.


Make an Easy Catio; Love This!; Quotable


Catnip & Friends How catnip actually works, plus alternatives to try!


Connie's Book Club; Just Chillin'



64 The 10 Cutest Parts of Cats: A Definitive Ranking We lay it out for you—the cutest cat parts, itemized. You’re welcome. 74


The Coolest Cat On The Internet Get ready to fall in love by Princess Cheeto, star of the Internet's coolest cat photo series. BY ROSE FROSEK

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In USA: MODERNCAT (ISSN 1929-3933) Volume 5, Issue 2. Published semi annually by Modern Cat Inc. at 142 Churchill Drive, Newington, CT 061114003. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT and additional offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, PO Box 310402, Newington, CT 06131-0402.

Cat-Tastic Décor F inds!


46 LIVING 10

Stuff We Love Modern Cat staffers’ current obsessions.


We’re Giving It Away! We’ve got months of amazing giveaways, from awesome Cat Ball cat beds to a one-year supply of Wellness cat food, just waiting to be won! Turn to page 18 to see what’s up for grabs.


Cat Tums Too-cute tummy shots to brighten your day.

REGULAR FEATURES 6 Editor’s Letter 8 Contributors 10 Stuff We Love 12 The Scoop 20 Photo Contest 77 Marketplace

40 COVER CAT It's Princess Cheeto! Get ready to fall for this flamin' hot Internet sensation. Flip to page 74 for too much adorableness. Photographed by Hugo Martinez.

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Tricia Helfer Knows Cats—and She Wants To Help Your Understand Them Too. Your most pressing cat questions answered.


Pretzel Nation How an online community rallied around one very special cat.


Your Cat Is Even Smarter Than You Think …Particularly when she pretends not to understand you.


DIY Craft: Chic Cat Throw Pillows Improve your sofa with the addition of these adorable (and easy to make!) embellished pillows.


Adopt These Cats Your new best friend could be on this page!


DIY Craft: Make Your Cat a Tiny Hat! Is there anything more delightful than a wee marching band hat? We think not. Get the how-to on page 72!


Last Lick: Cat Tattoos Inked with cat pride! Find your tattoo inspiration here.


Win Me!




e’re crazy about our cats. Of course we are—they’re our family, trouble makers one second and adorable couch mates the next, cheering us up at the end of a long day. It’s love, plain and simple—perhaps the plainest and the simplest—unblemished by the jealousies and misunderstandings that so often plague other relationships. In fact, it’s proven that the company of cats even provides actual health benefits, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, something you’ve perhaps seen yourself—simply petting your cat or even watching her play can lower your heart rate and blood pressure and generally have an overall calming effect on your being. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to unwind after a hectic day at the office than with some kitty downtime, watching focused leaps for a dangled wand toy or crazy, laugh-inducing catnip-fueled antics. Spiritual guru Eckhart Tolle says a purring cat on your chest will help thought subside, focusing your attention on the “now.” He posits that animals are more deeply connected with the source of life than most humans, and that their rootedness in just “Being” transmits itself to us when we’re in their presence. So here’s to our cats, those Zen master role models and love bugs who bring daily joy to our lives. Our goal here at Modern Cat is to help you live your best life with your cat, helping you to understand their needs and provide them with the best of care giving them the greatest chance at living long and healthy lives. We’ve packed this issue with everything from the best toys to engage and entertain your cat (p 22), how to solve problem behaviour like nighttime vocalization (p 24—you can thank us later), how to enrich your home environment and make your cat happy (p 46) and so much more! We hope you enjoy the issue as much as we loved putting it together. Thank you for being a part of our amazing cat-loving community!




Friday Freebie Love! “I received two gifts in the mail yesterday. One was my bag from The Tiniest Tiger and is absolutely gorgeous! I love it. The second was the box it came in—my adorable Windy jumped into as soon as it was empty. It sits next to my chair and all three cats sit in it and rub against it. Thank you Modern Cat magazine and The Tiniest Tiger for both gifts.” —Donna Newman Hanson Win Freebies on Facebook! Follow us: >>

With love,

The New Kidney Disease Test That Could Save Your Cat's Life >>

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

It’s so wonderful to watch an animal, because an animal has no opinion about itself. It is. —Eckhart Tolle

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Catching kidney disease early can enable cat owners and veterinarians to treat the disease and allow cats to live years longer. “My last 2 cats required daily fluids infusion due to kidney failure. Each lived almost an extra 2 years with this treatment. I'm glad to know I can find out sooner now.” —Vicki Jankowski



F A L L  ·   W I N T E R 2 0 1 6 / 1 7 VOL 5 NO 2 Publisher

Dr. Liz Bales has spent the past 16 years practicing veterinarian medicine. Her specialty is the unique behavioural and wellness needs of cats, with a focus on feline behaviour, nutrition, and internal medicine. She is also the founder of the Feline Environmental Enrichment Design Company (FEED Co.) and inventor of The NoBowl Feeding System. In short, this woman knows her cats! Check out Liz’s article on how to enrich your home environment to meet your cat’s needs on page 46!

Modern Cat Inc. Editor-in-Chief

Connie Wilson Editor & Creative Director

Jennifer Nosek Audience Development & Digital Marketing Director

Lauren Cheal Social Media & Events Coordinator, Subscription Services

Nav Nagra Design & Production

Clara To Sales & Marketing

Jacqueline Lowndes, Julia Pineda Junior Accountant

Celine Benipayo Copywriter & Administrative Assistant

Rebekah Chotem Controller

Cecilia de Roca Chan, CPA, CGA Honourary Editor-at-Large

Jytte Wilson

We’re thrilled to feature the artwork of illustrator Michelle Simpson in this issue! A professional illustrator and graphic designer with a BAA in Illustration, Michelle draws inspiration from nature, animals, and her childhood memories. We can see why her children's book, Monsters In My House, won the Brenda Clark book prize award! Check out more of Michelle’s work at and flip to page 24 to see her illustration for “Excessive Nighttime Vocalization” (We’re sure you’ve seen your cat give you this look!)

INTERESTED IN SUBSCRIBING? Give us a call at 1-800-417-6289 or subscribe online at Advertising inquiries call (866) 734-3131 In Canada: MODERNCAT (ISSN 1929-3933) Volume 5, 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 5, Issue 2. Published semi annually by Modern Cat Inc. at 142 Churchill Drive, Newington, CT 06111-4003. Periodicals postage paid at Hartford, CT and additional offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Modern Dog, PO Box 310402, Newington, CT 06131-0402. PHONE

For this issue, professional photographer and animal lover Severine Wider trained her lens on our super-adorable Star Cat contest winner, Pretzel. As Pretzel’s many devoted fans—appropriately dubbed Pretzel Nation—can attest, nothing can keep a good cat down, as these photos clearly show. Severine runs Severine Photography, a portrait and wedding photography studio based in Jacksonville, Florida, and home base for the beautiful portraits she creates. She loves to photograph pets—just ask Severine’s two Weimeraners, Comet and Zizou. Check out Severine’s photos of this remarkable cat on page 44. 8 moderncat

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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 2016/17 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. Subscription orders and customer service inquiries should be sent to Modern Cat Subscription Services, Suite 202–343 Railway St, Vancouver, BC Canada V6A 1A4

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STUFF WE LOVE Modern Cat staffers’ picks of the litter BN 1 Your cat can sleep, spy, scratch, and play in Be One Breed’s beautiful, cat-pleasing Katt3 house. Its modular design allows you to switch up the configuration as often as you please, ensuring your cat is never bored. And with a memory foam bed, scratcher, toys, and a cloud pillow, you’ll be hard pressed to get your cat away from it!—Connie ($100,


2 My cats and I love the NVR Miss Litterbox. Not only do its high sides prevent fervent digging from spraying litter but its curved walls make for easy scooping and its easy entry is perfect for aging cats. Love it!—Lauren ($21, 3 Adjustable front and back openings make this Comfy Cocoon, part of Petmate's Jackson Galaxy line, perfect for snuggly naps—and playtime! My cat’s a big fan of darting in and out of it.—Rebekah ($20, 4 Prepare to smile! Making the Most of All Nine Lives: The Extraordinary Life of Buffy the Cat is a collection of super-cute pictures that showcases Buffy getting into all kinds of mischief. Whether he’s steering a boat, firing up the BBQ, shoveling snow or winning a game of chess, Buffy is always the perfect photo model. This witty ginger cat had me in stitches!—Cecilia ($13,



5 Strutting my stuff is easy when I’m wearing my Maya Meow Cat Collar. Because they’re handwoven, each collar’s design is totally unique, so I know I look good!—Stella the Maine Coon ($8, 6 The Pawdentify Pet ID System keeps my cat Stella safe should she get outside without my knowledge. Informing anyone who finds her that she’s not meant to be outside, this tag—also totally adorable, btw—will reunite me with my best furry friend! And it comes with an easy-attach tag connector!—Jacquie ($22, 7 Combining my penchant for poetry and love of cats into one trendy little book, Poetry From Scratch (get it?) is a rhyming delight that celebrates cats—and poetry—of all shapes and sizes. Because who doesn’t love a good cat haiku?—Nav ($20,


8 This is my new best friend. Much as I love being covered in cat hair, it isn’t always the look I’m going for. Thankfully, a few swipes of the Lilly Brush and my ensemble is uncharacteristically free of cat hair!—Celine ($20, 9 The luxe upholstery and extra thick stuffing of Armarkat’s cute and cozy cat bed offers a semi-private nap spot/hideaway that is totally decadent.—Julia ($45, 10 Whatever the stressful situation, I turn to Bach’s Rescue Remedy to calm my cat down. Its unique blend of five flower remedies helps my cat feel much more relaxed during vet visits, thunderstorms, and when travelling—phew!—Clara ($27, 11 If you’re looking to provide your cat with the ultimate catnip experience, look no further than 100% certified organic Tiger Grass Catnip Buds. It’s grown in the U.S. and hand-harvested, capturing just the most potent part of the plant—the bud portion— which is sure to bring out the Tiger in Fluffy.—Taryn ($7,


12 I’m not sure who loves this cat cave more, me or my foster cat. It’s hand-felted from fine all-natural wool in a beautiful ombré colour—you wouldn’t even know it was a cat bed save for the kitty within its cozy walls!—Jennifer ($50,


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Dog People, Cat People: There Really Is A Difference, Facebook Study Shows

Facebook data analysis finds some truth to long-held stereotypes


oes your choice of pet really have anything to do with who you are as a person? Facebook wanted to find out. Using their unique access to data (think status updates and photo uploads), researchers at Facebook have presented some really interesting findings illustrating just what differentiates cat people from dog people. To start: Who has more friends? Who's more likely to be single? What TV shows do we curl up to and watch with our best four-legged buds? In order to answer these questions, Facebook dug their claws into aggregate, de-identified data from a sample of about 160,000 people in the United States who shared photos of cats, dogs, or both. When it comes to curling up to enjoy a good book, movie, or marathon Netflix session, the study found that cat people are overwhelmingly fond of fantasy, sci-fi, and anime, while dog people, on the other hand, are crazy about anything dog related. The data showed that dog people are partial to Marley & Me, The Notebook, and Duck Dynasty, whereas cat people like Dracula, the movie Terminator 2, and television show Naruto. Geographically, cat people are more concentrated in urban areas better suited to the small size of a cat, and there are more dog people in rural areas.

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And what about those long-held stereotypes? Turns out, there’s some validity to the claims. On average, dog people have 26 more friends than cat people, suggesting dog people are more social, however, cat people are more likely to be invited to events, suggesting that though they have fewer friends, perhaps they have better friendships. Cat people—hate to break it to you—are more likely to be single, but this singledom is not limited to women (crazycat-lady myth dispelled!); single cat owners represent all ages and genders. And yes, there’s a difference in attitude. Facebook’s “feelings” emojis, in which users can annotate a status with their current mood, were analyzed as well. Cat people disproportionately reported feeling tired (must be all those event invitations!) while dog people frequently reported feeling excited. Everyone, however, felt the same amount of heartbreak. Though the study showed some interesting differences, it also found we can at least agree on a few important things: The Great Gatsby is a great book, feeling heartbroken is the worst, and the love we hold for our pets—feline and canine alike—is boundless.



Profess your love of cats with these iron-on patches!

Spot On We're in love with these too-cute patches!

Combining a love of cats and clever sayings into succinct and witty iron-on patches is Winnipeg, Manitoba-based artist and graphic designer ARTIST & DESIGNER Kristen Lourie. Kristen designs KRISTEN LOURIE an array of humourous and supercute embroidered patches (sloths! Jeff Godlblum!), but our favourites, of course, feature cats along with cute sayings like "No Time For U." We want every single one of these instant outfit enhancers. Find them at Kristen’s Etsy store Kodiak Milly from $11,

Why Drink Alone? Special occasions, the end of a long hard day, or just spending quality time with your cat calls for a treat. Colorado-based company Apollo Peak agrees, so they came up with something a little different for moments shared with your feline friend: “wine” for cats! Fear not, this all-natural liquid libation contains no actual alcohol. The rosy or golden hue (depending on whether you choose Pinot Meow or Moscato) comes from organic, USA-grown beets, combined with fresh, organic catnip from the Pacific Northwest to entice and delight even the most discerning (read: picky) cat palate. The scent of catnip may initially make your cat frisky, but once she sips a little she’ll mellow out and get down to some serious relaxing. Both the Pinot Meow and Moscato are available at

oll MC Pults s e R

Ready for adventure!

M! E H T

38% 14 moderncat

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of Modern Cat readers travel with their cat.

THE SCOOP Make a bold statement with wearable cat hair

CAPTION THIS! Test your "funny." Create a caption for this cartoon and submit your entry at The most comic captions will be published in the next issue.

What do you do when your cat leaves drifts of hair around your house? Turn it into eccentric jewelry, of course! It may not be the common reaction to cat hair, but when Flora Davis noticed how soft and malleable her cat’s fur was, she decided to experiment. Using cat hair, Flora creates the soft, pearl-like balls that have become the hallmark of her jewelry, surrounding them in copper wire and metal handwork to fashion unique earrings and necklaces. Reactions to the jewelry vary—it’s certainly a conversation starter—but Flora can always count on the support of her number one fan and co-producer, Gaia, the purebred flame point Ragamuffin whose ample fur inspired the whole production. Earrings start at $40, necklaces $100, and can all be purchased from Flora's Etsy page ( You can even send a few handfuls of your own cat's hair and have her create the ultimate, wearable tribute to your cat!

And the winning captions from last issue are…

“So I guess it's just a matter of time before pigs fly.” SUBMITTED BY AMY HARTL SHERMAN

RUNNER-UP CAPTIONS “The only reason I'm up here is because they won't let me on the furniture.”

CAT FACT 16 moderncat


Did you know the fur in cats’ ears is called Ear Furnishings? How cute is that?

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“Yeah, we used to get a whole CAN of tuna but now it's just a mini-bag of kibble.” SUBMITTED BY ANITA MURANO

C A R T O O N S © 2016/17 B Y D A V I D J A C O B S O N

Cat Hair Jewelry?


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



Cat Ball


Win 1 of 4 cat beds from Cat Ball! Four lucky winners will win a mini or regular-sized Cat Ball, their choice, in their favourite fabric!


Win 1 of the new Taco Meow Cat Beds from to spice up your cat's siesta time! Includes a trio of catnip “chili pepper” toys.



Win 1 of 4 $50 Gift Cards from to use towards a Meowtel Cat Sitting Reservation with a terrific cat sitter near you!



Win 1 of 10 Petstages Nature Tracks, now available at PetSmart! Bring the outdoors in with chasing, playing, and lounging activities for your cat.


Win 1 of 4 Yeowww! Catnip Prize Packs! You’ll get one each of Candy Cane, Chi-CAT-a Banana, Cigar, Tin of Stinkie Sardines, Pink Pillow, and Pollock Fish catnip-stuffed toys!



Win 1 of 5 Whisker Stress-Free Dishes in black! If your kitty leaves food in her bowl or spills food on the floor, then this wide, shallow feeder is your solution!


Win 1 of 5 book bundles from The Silas Series. Four story books included that introduce your kids to Grannie’s cats, Silas and Opal, through these Vermont-made, wholesome, rhyming stories – soon to become your child’s favourite!


Win a one-year supply (a $200 value!) of Natural Cat Food from Wellness Pet Food! Choose your favourite: natural Wellness dry, wet or treat recipes.



Win 1 of 4 Walking Palm Cat Caves, the comfortable sleeping burrow for cats! These durable “caves” provide security, warmth, and luxury for the special furry friends in our lives!


Win 1 of 3 awesome prize packs stuffed with cat food and products from Oven-Baked Tradition, maker of all-natural oven-baked cat food that contains fresh meat, fruits, veggies, and functional ingredients!


Win 1 of 5 Torus Watering bowls from Torus! Your choice of a 1 litre or 2 litre bowl in either pink, blue, charcoal or red.


Win 1 of 10 NEON Litter prize pack bundles. Your cats will RAVE! Fun colours, soft on paws, perfect odour control, and only scoop the clumping crystals twice weekly!

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Beginning October 1, 2016 at 12:01 AM (PST) through March 31, 2017 at 11:59 PM (PST), enter each day at 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

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

R E P cat SU PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS ! E T CU Macy Bella Benny Polly Hugo & Arwyn

Raven Isabel

Bellatrix 20 moderncat

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Pickles Homie




Leyla Belle





George Ninja Washingotn Think your cat ought to grace the pages of Modern Cat? Upload your cat's photo at 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!

Astro Ludde


The super-cute and space-conscious Kitty Camo Coil by Petstages collapses for easy storage when not in use. The rest of the time, it satisfies your cat’s natural need for a safe retreat from which to observe the goings on of your—or, more accurately, her—household. $25,

Since she’s already tried to claim yours, why not unroll a Feline Yogi yoga mat to give your cat a dedicated mat all her own? It combines a stretch out and lounge spot with rewarding scratch-ability and a catnip-stuffed natural twine ball for play time! $25,

Toys Your Cat Will Go CRAZY For! Keep your cat engaged and entertained with these Modern Cat tried and tested awesome toys! Stuffed to the gills with catnip, these colourfully embroidered Yeowww’s Stinkies Catnip Sardines will drive your cat wild! $13,

Grab, kick, throw, chew—whatever your cat’s jam, she’ll want to get her paws on this catnip toy from Pioneer Pet. Filled with plenty of organic catnip, this cute fish-shaped toy will entertain catnip-loving cats for hours. Feel good bonus: a portion of proceeds goes to shelters and rescue groups! $11,

Double the pleasure, double the fun! The Annabella Pillow from Bavarian Cat Toys contains catnip and valerian, combined with a natural spelt filling that makes this cat-sized pillow completely irresistible! $20,

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{Editor's Choice} Ready to get wild? Primal Pet Shop’s awesome toys are handmade in the USA using real bison fur and leather to drive your cats crazy. Their Flying Squirrel teaser toy has an enticingly long swishy tail, a leather lace to make it scurry, and can be stuffed with organic catnip or a rattle for extra fun. $14,

Here’s a super-fun cat toy you can feel great about buying! Honest Pet Products’ Eco Catty Pillar is made from natural felted wool and hemp twine, with all the wool components made by rural Nepalese women, which supports impoverished families. Plus, a portion of every sale goes directly to Nepalese families in need. We love it and your cat will too! $16,


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EXCESSIVE NIGHTTIME VOCALIZATION Your furry alarm clock and what to do about it! By Mieshelle Nagelschneider, aka The Cat Whisperer, cat behaviourist at the Cat Behaviour Clinic Illustration by Michelle Simpson

Cat Myth Cats are nocturnal (most active at night) Cat Fact Cats are crepuscular (most active at dusk and dawn) “Even with your head buried under a pillow, that meow can sound like an airplane during takeoff. The cat will relentlessly try to pass himself off as a rooster until you show signs of waking up to give him attention or feed him. Why? Maybe his internal hunting clock has been set to go off around dawn.” —excerpt from The Cat Whisperer


t’s not uncommon for my clients at The Cat Behavior Clinic to tell me that they have not had a good night’s sleep in several years. Their cats have been routinely waking them up all throughout the night and especially between the wee hours of 3 and 5 a.m. This common feline behaviour can occur because of a cat’s natural instincts, because of other factors at

play, or both. A good night’s sleep has become a thing of the past for many cat owners and they are happy to get even four hours of sleep each night. Some of my clients have practically fallen asleep driving to work in the morning due to not getting enough sleep!

No cat should go several hours in between meals during the day. Cats are designed to eat frequently, not just twice a day.


Common reasons for your cat’s nighttime vocalizations:

What you can do to get your cat to sleep through the night and past the wee hours of the morning.

• Your cat’s internal hunting time clock is set for morning (between 3 and 5 a.m. to be exact) instead of in the evening time.

• Feed later in the evening. If you feed your cat on a schedule during the day, be sure to feed the last meal of the day a few hours later into the evening. Or, for example, it could be that you will need to divide your cat’s current last meal of the day into two servings—one being given at 5 p.m. and the last portion given at 10 p.m. This can help your cat feel more satiated throughout the night and into the morning.

• Your cat is not active enough during the day and therefore is more awake at night. • Your cat’s last feeding of the day is too early and your cat’s body is waking him up early in the morning due to hunger. • Change of environment (e.g. you’ve moved to a new home and there is more light coming through the windows in the morning than in your previous home, which is waking your cat up earlier). • Change in schedule (yours or his). • You’ve reinforced the meowing behaviour by giving your cat attention which can prolong the meowing behaviour once it starts. • Health issues may be at play, especially if the behaviour has suddenly surfaced with no changes in the cat’s environment.

If your cat is accustomed to getting a response from you when he meows, once you stop giving him attention for the meowing behaviour he will try twice as hard to get your attention. This is called an extinction burst or the “it gets worse before it gets better” phenomenon.

• Keep your cat awake more during the day. Enlist the help of a timed-feeder to feed your cat a few times a day. Spacing meals a few hours apart can help keep your cat awake more during daylight hours. No cat should go several hours in between meals during the day. Cats are designed to eat frequently, not just twice a day. There are timed-feeders available for both canned cat food and dry. Incorporating a food puzzle into the daily feeding—the Stimulo by Aikiou is my favourite— is also another option to help keep your cat awake more during the day. He will have to work at getting the food and this will take longer than simply eating it out of a bowl. Simply put, if your cat is keeping busy and is awake more hours during the day, he naturally will sleep more hours during the night and even later into the morning. This means more sleep for you too! • Reset your cat’s internal hunting time clock. Getting your cat to “hunt” (aka: playing with cat toys) can be an important strategy to resetting the hunting time clock to evening instead of morning. To reset it to evening, use a wand toy (the Playful Panther is my favourite) to play with your cat in the evening before bedtime. It can take several days of this strategy before you start to notice any effect. • Ignore the behaviour. Once the meowing behaviour starts, it’s important to not reinforce the behaviour by giving any form of attention to your cat. If you do, you can end up training your cat to meow even more and create a real problem. If your cat is accustomed to getting a response from you when he meows, once you stop giving him attention for the meowing behaviour he will try twice as hard to get your attention. This is called an extinction burst or the “it gets worse before it gets better” phenomenon. Be patient. This can last a few weeks, but continue to ignore the behaviour no matter what and it should get better. n

Medical Alert: Please have your cat checked out by your vet. Health issues that could cause cats to meow excessively include thyroid issues, kidney problems, diabetes, arthritis, tooth pain, or any other kind of pain.

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Give your cat a leg up.

Help your older gal get up on the bed (or reach her chosen windowsill perch) with a special staircase that lets her reach her favourite places. Nighttime snuggles await! Check out Armarkat ( for truly beautiful staircases designed to give your cat a leg up!


Get your freak on!

Help your super senior rediscover kittenhood with a new toy! All cats love the Da Purr Peller ( with its enticing feathers, and you can't go wrong with the NekoFlies series of absolutely terrific wand toys (picture: find it at!


Treats, treats, treats!

Your older cat deserves to be spoiled every now and then and some special treats are just the ticket! Bonus if these treats do double duty in the health department. Grain-free treats from Redbarn ( are great for cats with potential allergies, and the irresistible salmon flavour and shape will have your cat chomping at the bit.

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Next level catnaps!

Your older cat deserves a super-comfy place to lie down, and an orthopedic bed that’s easy on achy joints, like Bowsers Oslo Ortho bed (, makes for dreamy catnaps. The memory foam cushion is infused with Cool Gel Micro Beads that cradle joints and regulate body temperature, and the scooped front allows easy access for older, arthritic pets.


Stop the spread.

Aging cats need fewer calories because of their decreased activity level, so a specially formulated food for seniors is a smart choice to keep the pounds off—carrying extra weight is responsible for a whole host of health problems. If your senior is experiencing particular health problems, some brands have food specially formulated to offer joint support, urinary tract support, and adjusted protein levels to suit your older cat's needs. Try Snappy Tom's Ultimates Nutrition Plus Senior (, made with fine tuna flakes and garden greens. Specifically formulated for an aging and sensitive digestive system, they provide protein and antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.


Stop food theft. If you have a multi-cat home and your senior has a special diet, you’re going to want the SureFlap microchip pet feeder. It prevents food theft ensuring prescription food is eaten by the right cat. The sealed bowl only opens for the correct cat (recognized by a microchip collar, included), plus it keeps food fresh, and reduces pests and odours.


Engage that brain!

Keep your cat's mind active and engaged with a window perch, like the innovative Window Kitty ($50, This unique cat window-seat gives your cat a fun play tunnel that offers a stimulating view while protecting your window blinds and your privacy. Bird watching has never been so simple!


Keep those joints happy.

Older cats often experience joint pain, and that pain can hinder their nighttime runabouts. Though identifying your cat's joint pain can prove difficult (they are notoriously good at hiding it), studies show that around two-thirds (!) of cats over twelve have degenerative joint disease. Signs of joint pain include reluctance to move, reduced activity, altered grooming, and a change in temperament. Providing a joint supplement designed to support and sustain joint health and function is a good way to help your cats stay active. We like Cosequin from, which contains Glucosamine Hydrochloride and Chondroitin Sulfate to promote joint health. (If your cat is inactive, no longer maintaining her diligent grooming, and reluctant to be touched, it’s time for a vet check-up!)


Keep things interesting.

Add new fun items to your cat's home by signing her up for a monthly subscription box like Meowbox! What could be more fun for you both than handpicked toys and treats, delivered right to Mr. Mittens' door? $23 dollars a month gets you four to six items, perfect for one or more cats, shipping included!


! w w w A

CAT TUMS! Too-cute tummy shots submitted by our fantastic readers

Loki Yoki

The Squirt


Sooo much tum!

Merlot Lazlo



Miss Winnie


For a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re up to in the MC offices, the latest breaking stories and videos, cool contests, events, & exclusive giveaways, become a fan of Modern Cat on Facebook & follow us on Twitter, Instagram, & Pinterest. Go to, &

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Love Cats, Will Travel


Stay in amazing locales around the world for free, simply by looking after someone’s pets! By Noa Nichol


or many travelers, staying in a decked-out New York penthouse, a luxurious chateau in southern France, a rustic Italian villa, or a bona fide British castle (featured on Game of Thrones, no less), is prohibitively expensive. But if you happen to be an animal lover with a case of wanderlust, the price for such unique and high-end accommodations can be free—you need only take good, loving care of a pet or two. This is thanks in part to Andy Peck, 45, an animal lover with the travel bug. In 2010, he looked after two cats and three dogs in a villa, complete with vineyard and pool, in Galacia, Spain, and an “aha” moment was born. Peck realized there was no service to link pet owners with sitters they could trust— people who love animals and would love the opportunity to

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care for them in exchange for a place to stay, either in their own neck of the woods or while exploring the world—and set about to remedy this. He spent the next two years with his fiancée, Rachel Martin, backpacking around the world, testing and promoting the concept, and together ultimately co-founding the website It is now a network of more than 50,000 members, with housesitters and homeowners in 150 countries, including the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. “There are millions upon millions of pet-owning households around the world for whom the worry of leaving a beloved animal at home alone or in boarding impacts how long, how far, and how often they travel,” says Martin. One of the best, most unique features of the online service


These two Ragdoll beauties belong to TrustedHousesitters member Robin Kick from Vico Morcote, Switzerland and are just two of the cute cats you could find yourself looking after. Look at that view!

is that it’s a “sharing economy,” meaning that no money changes hands between subscribed pet owners and sitters. Rather, “soft” assets are exchanged— things like time, care, a love of animals, a comfortable home and, often, a desire to see far-off lands. “It’s a win-win solution—homeowners can travel with complete peace of mind that their home and pets are being cared for, while sitters can road-test different areas and save money on accommodation costs,” Peck says, adding that sits can last anywhere from “a few days to more than a year, with house sitters being able try out living in different styles of properties, from city-center apartments to country cottage retreats.” The pets in question range widely as well, from standardissue cats and dogs to rabbits, horses, chickens—even alpacas.

“To date we’ve facilitated more than a million nights of pet sitting in more than 150 countries—meaning happy pets of all shapes and sizes staying at home in their own beds while their owners are given the freedom to travel,” Peck says. Martin adds, “Vet experts generally agree that animals are happier, more comfortable, and less stressed in their own, familiar space, even when their owners are not present and there is someone else caring for them. Not to mention the fact that owners will likely feel less stressed, too, knowing their pet is happy, comfortable, and safe no matter where in the world they happen to be.” Here’s how it works: for $99, homeowners can create an unlimited number of secure listings (for different properties or different time periods) on, detailing their house and pet-sitting requirements. The listings are then sent by email to registered sitters who have indicated they are looking


Though many people—animal lovers included—dream of seeing the world, the high cost of travel may stop them before they get to the boarding gate. Here’s how housesitting helps you flex your passport while keeping your travel expenses in check:



The most obvious benefit of housesitting is the money you’ll save on hotels and holiday rentals.





Many owners of architect-designed homes, beachfront properties, and city penthouse apartments register their homes on every day. Sitters stay for free in these highend properties and enjoy a standard of accommodation that would normally be beyond the average traveler’s budget (that Game of Thrones castle, for one!)

for those particulars—say, certain types of pets at a certain time and in a particular region. Homeowners can then shortlist the sitters that respond to their listing by experience, references, background checks, and other comprehensive information. In this way, a sitter’s profile is key. “It really starts with your profile and making sure it demonstrates and reflects your quality and trustworthiness as a sitter,” Martin emphasizes. “It’s important to spend some time creating your profile, adding any previous experience you may have with pet sitting, references, photos, and even videos—as much detail as possible that will make a pet owner feel good about letting you into their home and into the life of their pet.” Once sitters start to gain experience through the site, they receive reviews from pet owners they’ve sat for, much like the rating systems on Uber and Airbnb. This helps sitters build up a favorable reputation on the site and expand their opportunity to sit for more owners. “The site really regulates itself, though we have put a lot of time and effort into ensuring it’s a positive experience for everyone,” Martin says. Far from being removed from the process, she and Peck have continued to pet sit since founding TrustedHousesitters, applying for sitting opportunities through the website just like everyone else. “For example, we’re off to Colorado in 10 days to look after a dog named Hamish,” she says, adding that, besides her love of discovering new parts of the world, a strict no-pets policy in her current apartment building adds extra motivation to the mix. “Not only is this really a brilliant way to travel,” she says, “It’s also a wonderful way to enjoy the company of pets.” PHOTO ©TRUSTEDHOUSESITTERS


Reasons Housesitting is the Perfect Way to Travel

By being flexible about where you housesit, you can discover amazing locales you may not have thought of visiting otherwise.



Many house sitters make lifelong friends, not only with the homeowners they sit for but with friends and neighbours, too.



Housesitting lets you experience an area in a way you wouldn’t staying in a hotel.


Rachel Martin and Andy Peck co-founded in 2010 when they realized there was no service to link pet owners with sitters they could trust—people who love animals and would love the opportunity to care for them in exchange for a place to stay.

pack your bags (& cat treats too!) for these fabulous locales  ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// WELLS, UNITED KINGDOM Travel back in time with a stay in this converted chapel whose historic walls you'll share with the charming yet timid cat, Imogen. Still boasting its original lead glass windows, this 1860s historic building provides a serene getaway and is just an hour's drive from Stonehenge!

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VILLANUEVA DE TAPIA, SPAIN Deep in the heart of olive country, your stay in this carefully restored cortijo will be rural bliss! Just north of Spain's south coast, you'll find your very own oasis while relaxing in its peaceful garden, admiring the many olive trees that surround you and taking in their signature scent.

HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL SITTER While your future plans may include traveling abroad, think about starting local (as in close to your home) first, especially as a beginner sitter. This way, owners may meet with you first, in person, putting your application above the rest. Go above and beyond what is asked and expected of you. A home-cooked meal or fresh-cut flowers upon the owners’ return are thoughtful ways to show off the great job you’ve done.

If you can offer references from past sitting experiences, great. If you’re a first-timer, don’t fret. TrustedHousesitters allows character references from people who know you well and can vouch for you.

Write a great profile, highlighting why and how you are the perfect person to mind an owner’s home and pets.

Treat their home as you would treat your own, keeping the pets well cared for, the property clean and tidy, the plants watered, etc. Do your duty—and do it well.


MARKETHILL, UNITED KINGDOM Dreams become reality when staying in this historic converted castle, nestled snuggly in 600 acres of your very own (for the duration of your stay) forest. Look familiar? This fairy tale castle was used in Game of Thrones, but for your stay the reigning monarchs will be an adorable dog and two regal cats.



A gift guide for cats & cat lovers

The Sleepypod mobile pet bed is a bed, carrier, and crash-tested car seat. This innovative 3-in-1 design helps alleviate cat anxiety during journeys because your kitty remains safe in her own familiar space! $190,

Inspired by great modern architecture, the Oscar Cat Rest from Davies Decor brings style to your home and comfort to your cat. Eco-friendly carpet is securely attached for aggressive scratchers.

Discover the true story of two miracle cats who nuzzled their way into a woman’s life—and helped her realize that she was really the one in need of rescue. Available on Amazon.

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Keep cats safe with the Pawdentify Pet ID System. Easier to read, lighter, and quieter than engraved metal tags. Plus, Links-It with Kevlar makes attaching tags easy! Made in the USA and guaranteed.

Works instantly to eliminate even the worst cat spray stains and odours. This must-have product is the most powerful cleaner on the market and is safe to use around pets, family, and home!

Apollo Peak, based in Denver, Colorado, invented Cat Wine. Made with all natural ingredients including organic beets and herbs (no alcohol or grapes), it is designed as a fun way to enjoy a drink with your cat. #whydrinkalone


This feeder is perfect for multi-pet households with food theft problems, especially if one of your cats has a prescription diet. It keeps food fresher, prevents pests, and diminishes odors!

The newest entry in the feline literary canon is a delight. Hipster cats, stay-at-home-mom cats, windowsill cats, and outdoor cats—you’ll find them all here, immortalized in poems about, for, and by cats.

P.L.A.Y.’s Pet Teepee creates a safe and stylish sanctuary for your cat! Constructed of 100% natural cotton canvas and natural pine wood poles as well as a removable cushion.

SturdiBox Foldables is the original, multi-purpose, watertight box with snap closure—a must for the litter needs of your traveling feline. Available in a multitude of colours and several sizes! Get yours at

Da Purr Peller flies, floats, and flutters like a bird! Go Cat's newest interactive toy, guaranteed feline fun! Handcrafted in the USA. Find it at Petsmart and Amazon. Cat's love it!

Give friends with fur-buddies the best gift ever! The Lilly Brush BE FOREVER FURLESS brush removes fur from furniture, bedding, and rugs in seconds! No waste. No mess. No refills!

Furever 3D is a unique way to memorialize your pet! Using photos of your pets, they create fullcolour three, five, or seveninch figurines and holiday ornaments. Snap and send photos directly from your smartphone to their website!



Purrfect Presents — a gift guide —

In Call of the Cats, Andrew Bloomfield shows how caring for cats deepens our capacity for empathy and makes us better people overall. His story sparkles with suspense, insight, and understated humor. The KatKabin provides cats with the ideal snug shelter! Unlike any other pet house, this unique and fun design is suitable for indoor and outdoor use and comes in a range of colours. $99,

Snappy Snoozers Pet Beds are ideal for cats! Inflatable PVC makes them extremely comfortable and the waterproof beds are designed with a snap-able quilt that is easily detached and machine washable. Use indoors or outdoors!

Honest Pet Products makes truly natural toys using hemp fabrics, organic catnip, natural wool, hemp twines, and bamboo poles. Safe, natural play for you and your cat— satisfaction guaranteed!

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Wear your love for cats on your sleeve with designer tees from Shred My Couch. The fashionforward friend of the feline finally found a fab frock! $24,

The EZ-Groomer Undercoat Rake utilizes a breakthrough in grooming tooth design! It effectively removes the undercoat, reducing shedding, while the rounded bottom of the teeth provides a massage that cats love!


Purrfect Presents — a gift guide —

CURIO is a stylish, innovative and complete litter box solution handcrafted from real wood in the USA. Assembles in minutes and ships anywhere. Love your pet, love your home! These candles are purrfect for all cat lovers! Available in cool cat designs and refreshing scents. Add serious cattitude to your home with eco-friendly soy candles from Shen & Sam Co. $20,

Kitangle cat litter boxes are sensible, sturdy, and stylish! Designed for the pet owner seeking unmatched functionality, they offer high quality in a modern colour palette.

The difference is in the baking! Oven-Baked Tradition’s all-natural oven-baked cat food contains fresh meat, fruits, veggies and functional ingredients to help your cat grow up healthy. Eating as Mother Nature intended! From $15.99,

Let your cat's personality shine with a humorous ID tag from Bad Tags. Featuring a variety of sayings and colours, each tag includes personalized contact info. You can even create your own tag! From $14,

Here’s a feline fun way to link your keys! Collect all five of these kitty cute keyrings at keylinkkeyrings. com. Made from 100% stainless steel and manufactured in the U.S.A.

Pet hair problem? Try Fur-Zoff, the best solution for the pet hair mess. In your car and home Fur-Zoff works faster and cleans better than any other product—and it lasts forever! $12.99,


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 I'd like to consider fostering cats for my local shelter, but I'm not sure my own cat with like it. How can I determine if I should give it a go?

Each cat is an individual and different when it comes to accepting others into her home. I have some cats that are pretty much welcoming and some that are not happy campers at all when it comes to new arrivals. I think the best way to get started is to meet with your local shelter and tell them your concerns. Tell them that you'd really like to help out, but don't know how it will go down with your own cat. They may start you off with a friendly foster, a cat that gets along well with others. Generally, it will be your own cat that has a problem with a new cat in his territory,

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but sometimes it’s also the foster cat with the bravado. Just like people, not all are going to get along. If you decide to go ahead, don't just bring the foster cat in and shove the cats in front of each other. (Health checks also need to be done to make sure the foster isn’t bringing anything in before you integrate them.) Even with an all clear, it's best to keep them separate to begin with anyway. Simple things like switching the blankets/towels in one your cat’s area with the blankets/towels in the foster cat’s room will help the cats get to know each other’s scent before they are face to face. Smell is super-important for cats. Have you noticed, if you have more than one cat, that the others will hiss at the one you took to the vet? This happens because the cats smell unfamiliar scents on that cat. Same with a new cat coming in—the resident cats will hiss and growl. There is a certain amount of letting cats be cats that has to be allowed—they have to do their natural dance of figuring out who the other one is.  Obviously

ppy I'm a ha


immediately a lover or if he’s shy. It can take awhile. Once he seems fairly comfortable in this smaller space (it could be a few days), you can let him out to explore the rest of the house. It's a good idea to do this during a quiet time.  Maybe you’re heading out so he'll have the opportunity to look around casually on his own terms, or you are there, but calmly reading a book or sleeping or watching TV. He may hide a bit, but he'll know his safe place, so keep that door open. Gradually, once he’s comfortable, you'll be able to move his food/water and litter stations. Rushing a cat to feel comfortable is usually an exercise in futility. Remember that all cats are different—some integrations are super easy, others not so much, so be patient.

you don't want it to be violent, but a little testiness while they get to know each other is natural and okay. Just follow the aforementioned “getting to know each other” guidelines and limit their unsupervised interaction until they're sort of just slightly growling at each other. Past that, they'll likely start to be friends, or at least continue to ignore each other.

My husband and I inherited my Grandma’s cat. Any tips on helping him feel comfortable in a new home full of new smells and new people?

First off, I commend you for welcoming your Grandmother's cat! There are so many sad stories of animals being dropped off at shelters or abandoned completely in situations like yours.  Coming into a new environment can be stressful. It is often a good idea to first bring the cat into a smaller room that is dedicated to him. He'll likely be stressed still, but he'll get acclimated to his smaller surroundings. If you can, keep the food/water on the other side of the room from the litter. Just like you probably don’t eat by the toilet, he won't really want to either. Be attentive, go in to the room, bring a toy to play with—let him suss you out. But don't be upset if he's not

How do you suggest I deal with having friends over who are allergic to cats and/or don’t like them? My cats are like my family and I don’t feel comfortable locking them away, but I also don’t want to make my friends uncomfortable. What should I do?

I've faced this many times. I believe that my house is my house, and my animals are part of my home, so whomever is coming over needs to realize that. There are people though that are terribly allergic, and I'm accommodating to them. I will absolutely put my cats in another area of the house, and will vacuum and so forth. Then there are people that say they are allergic, but really aren't; they just don't like animals. Usually those people aren't at my house. But, if they are, I look at it like my cats wouldn’t necessarily want to be around them either. Quite a few of my cats don't like visitors anyway, so locking them away in their safe zone, with food/water and litter is actually more relaxing for them anyway. Basically, if people are coming over and I don't feel I can keep control of the door being opened, or a friend coming over who is allergic, the cats are away safely. If someone drops by and expects me to “get rid of my cats,” they are the ones that get to go away instead.


on the corners of furniture/places you don't want your cats to scratch can be really helpful in training them where is okay to scratch. [Pioneer Pet makes awesome cat-dettering furniture strips called Sticky Paws.—Ed.] You can also try rubbing catnip on the scratching posts to attract scratching in that area.

What are the best ways for me to help cats if I am unable to adopt more? I'm already at four, which, given my apartment size and resources, is about my max but I'd still like to help cats in need.

Tricia with two of her cats.

How does scratching work? If I have a scratching post does that mean I never have to clip my cat’s claws?

Scratching is natural for cats. It's something they will always do. Scratching posts are great, but it doesn't mean you won't have to clip your cat’s claws. Definitely the more opportunity cats have to scratch on scratching posts/scratching toys, the less your furniture will be targeted. Depending on the size of your place, you may have to have more than one or two posts. There are also some good training items like sticky tape that will help teach your cat not to scratch certain objects. This big double-sided tape strip sticks to furniture and will slightly stick to your cat if they try to scratch there. Putting this tape

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Great that you realize your limits but still want to help! Look up your neighbourhood shelter and decide how you can help out. It could be donating funds or being more hands-on, like volunteering time, either with smaller rescue groups or city shelters, or working with organizations dealing with feral cat colonies and spay/neuter/release programs. Volunteering can be as simple as going by to spend time with the animals and giving them some love, or more involved, like transporting cats to vet visits and helping out with cleaning. Spring/summer is always bottle-feeding baby time and volunteers are needed around the clock to bottle feed the tiny kittens. If you decide to work with a feral colony charity, you may help out on the streets, trapping ferals and making sure they get spayed/neutered, giving them a temporary home (such as a bathroom in your apartment!) to recover in before they are released into a feral colony. Most of the ways to help will require a short introduction and learning period with the shelter, so you can learn how to best lend a hand (and also so they know they can trust you). You can also meet some really great people this way too!



Thanks to our awesome Star Cat Contest sponsor Feliway!

Pretzel Nation How an online community rallied around one very special cat, covering her $10,000 surgery so she could go on to brighten days and help others By Rose Frosek

Photographed by Severine Wider A baby opossum in the middle of the road?! Not a farfetched hypothesis when driving a country lane in Jacksonville, Florida, and certainly what Carmen Bernard thought she’d find when she pulled over to get a better look. To her surprise, the small creature turned out to be a kitten, “it's poor little back legs and tail all twisted up,” Carmen recounts. “I was sure it must have been in pain so I scooped it up in a shoe box and took it home with me so I could get it to a vet.” The vet promptly determined the kitten’s injuries weren’t due to road trauma as Carmen had thought, but rather a genetic birth defect, and gave Carmen two options—euthanize the little kitten or take her home and care for her herself. So Carmen came home with the pitiful kitten and decided to make a Facebook page for her. “I thought I was being original and had no idea that everyone and their cousin makes pages for their pets!” she says. When she woke up the next morning to close to 400 likes, she couldn’t believe it. Carmen decided to ask the fledging online community to give the kitten a name.

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Pretzel, as she was christened, now has 47,000 thousand fans around the world. It was Pretzel's fans that suggested that Carmen take her to a specialist, so Carmen carted the kitten off to the University of Florida for an evaluation, where it was not only determined that she would require a series of reconstructive surgeries to fix her legs and prevent a lifetime of skin irritations and UTIs due to the way her legs were twisted back and around, but also that she was completely blind. The doctors gave Carmen an estimate of $10,000 for the necessary surgeries to fix Pretzel’s legs. “I thanked the doctors and laughed and cried all the way home,” Carmen says. “Who has that kind of money?” Apparently Pretzel’s fans did. Carmen posted an update on Pretzel’s page and immediately offers of help started pouring in. “I never in a million years expected so many people to come to the aide of a cat like that. She was even on our local news broadcast one night!” Carmen says. Within no time at all, the hospital received enough donations to cover the cost

and the surgeries were scheduled. Pretzel’s fans even donated gas cards to help Carmen make the two-and-a-half hour trip each way, two to three times a week. (Pretzel's deformities were so severe that the surgeries took place in stages over the course of a few months.) Unfortunately, Pretzel had to have one leg amputated during the process but the other leg was successfully fixed and today she is happy and healthy and spoiled rotten. Now, Carmen is focused on giving back and doing good via Pretzel’s Facebook page, spreading positivity and raising money for all kinds of different charities by having raffles and auctions or entering contests. She has raised money for all sorts of animal-related causes, as well as to help people, sending mosquito nets to tropical areas to prevent the spread of malaria and helping install wells so people in developing countries have access to clean water. “I’ll never be able to thank all of the people enough that have helped her to get her to where she is today,” Carmen says—but she’s certainly intent on trying.


Pretzel has a lot of fans (Pretzel Nation!). What is it about Pretzel that people love? I think that they enjoy a rags-to-riches story and the positive feel of the page. I keep everything fun and uplifting.


You and Pretzel are tremendous advocates for what you charmingly call “scratch-n-dent” pets (love that!). Why should people consider adopting a pet that faces a few challenges? So many potential furry best friends will sit in a shelter and get overlooked because they are less than perfect. I think the imperfections add to their charm. The love and gratitude that they will give to you is equal or greater than what the typical pet will give and the feeling of knowing that you have saved a life of an animal gives you a special warm fuzzy feeling.

Carmen & Pretzel


What should people know before they adopt a threelegged cat? What about a blind cat? Basically a cat is a cat. They are independent when they want to be and all up in your business at the most inconvenient times. The 4 a.m. wake up calls for food are the same. Being blind or mobility challenged doesn't change a thing! A blind cat will still knock your glass of water off the table and a three-legged cat will still climb up the back of the furniture to sleep in their favourite window sill. When people come to my house they never know that Pretzel is blind unless I tell them and usually don't notice the missing leg either because she gets around, up and down everything so well.


What do you think people can learn from cats with disabilities? To not take life so seriously. Whatever happens, happens and you just make the best out of what you have to work with. The sun will still come up tomorrow and the litter box will be cleaned at the end of the day. n



Physically and mentally stimulate your cat and provide all-important vertical space with the Thunderdome. Configure the wallmounted sisal posts and platforms as you wish for scratching and jumping fun! ($395,

Your home may be beautiful, but is it a barren zone for your cat? Here’s what your cat needs… By Dr. Liz Bales



ou’ve gone to great efforts to give your cat the best of everything: you’ve done your research, feed the best food, and attend to every physical and medical need. But is your cat happy? Veterinary behavioural science has demonstrated that cats need more than shelter, food, and a clean litter box to have a fulfilling life. Cats also need what feline behavioural experts call environmental enrichment. The human home is made just right for humans, but it lacks some things that are essential to the health and happiness of cats. In an environment where a cat’s instinctual needs are not met, he will become stressed, anxious, and bored. Some cats hide boredom and anxiety well, but other cats may not tolerate being unable to express their instincts and begin to have behavioural and medical problems, such as: • Compulsive overeating and obesity • Scarf and barf • Over-grooming leading to hairballs • Destroying furniture • Waking pet parent in the middle of the night • Retreating into isolation

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New research has even found that, for some cats, stress and anxiety can cause urinary issues, ranging from painful urination and urinating outside of the litter box to complete urinary obstruction, which becomes a life-threatening emergency. In short, we owe it to the cats that we love to understand what they instinctively need and provide that for them in a safe, indoor environment. Here’s how to do so.



Create a Safe Space. In nature, cats are both predator and prey, so being exposed can make them feel vulnerable and stressed. Cats have a strong instinct to hide to feel safe and relaxed. Give them a safe spot to retreat to with beds, boxes, perches, cat trees, and shelves.


Give Cats Multiple and Separate Key Resources. Cats handle conflict by avoidance. They get along best when they don’t have to share. Cats need multiple “key

Engage your cat's natural hunting extinct! NoBowl's innovative feeding system allows your cat to hunt for her own dinner! ($60,

resources” (litter boxes, scratching posts, resting places, water and food sources) in separate areas of the living space.


Provide an Opportunity to Hunt. Cats need to hunt to be physically and mentally healthy. In nature, cats hunt between nine and 20 times a day, 24 hours a day. Cats spend most of their waking hours hunting for food. Simply feeding from a bowl does not provide the stimulation that they need. Cats should hunt for and eat multiple small meals a day—not gorge from a bowl twice a day. In addition, cats are solitary hunters that prefer to hunt and eat alone. Forcing them to share a single location for food can cause conflict that leads to stress and urinating outside of the litter box. For a solution to this problem, check out my NoBowl Feeding System (, a cool feeding system that let’s your cat hunt for her food.


Provide Positive and Predictable Human Interaction. Play with each of your cats every day! Cats benefit from at least 15 minutes of daily play with their humans. When you end any play session, allow your cat to “catch” his “prey” (the toy) and give your cat a food reward to complete their natural hunting, catching, and eating “seeking cycle.”


Provide an Environment that Respects Your Cat’s Sense of Smell. A cat’s sense of smell is 15 times stronger than a human’s. Cats need to engage their exquisite sense of smell to hunt for their food. Likewise, cats dislike certain smells—especially citrus—so avoid scented air fresheners and carpet cleaners in their spaces! n



The Easy Way to Turn Your Backyard into a Safe, Secure Catio Having outdoor access provides your cat with a whole lot of stimulation—birds, bugs, sounds, and smells that they aren’t otherwise exposed to. But allowing your cat to go outside puts her at serious risk of getting lost, injured, hit by a car, or attacked by other animals. But what if you could provide safe outdoor access? The Cat Containment Kit from Easy Pet Fence lets you convert your enclosed backyard into a safe catio for your cat. If your yard is already fully fenced in with no gaps or holes for cats to sneak through, but still has potential escape routes for cats who like to climb, then this system may be your solution! By attaching to the top of your pre-existing fence (or any structure, like the wall of your house, shed or garage, that comprises part of your yard’s perimeter), it prevents your cat from climbing up and out of your yard. The nifty Cat Containment extended overhangs block potential escape routes so your cat no longer has the option of scaling a wall or fence, allowing for safe, enclosed outdoor playtime in your own backyard!

Outdoor cats have a tremendously diminished life expectancy; some statistics suggest that, on average, free-roaming outdoor cats live less than 5 years as compared to the 12 – 15 (and even 18 – 20) years enjoyed by indoor-only cats.

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"The way to get on with a cat is to treat it as an equal—or even better, as the superior it knows itself to be." —Elizabeth Peters, The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog

Love this!

The awesome and talented Christine Csencsitz crochets beautiful blankets for animal shelters, which not only keeps adoptable cats comfy, it helps them find homes by making them look extra cute! The more blankets Christine made, the more she realized how much she enjoys her craft and her hobby grew to a business. Now, her cozy handmade blankets are available through Etsy, so you can get one for your favourite cat. By purchasing one, you help Christine buy more yarn to create the blankets she donates to shelters. Get in on the giving and get yourself a beautiful throw in doing so at


CATalyst formula is the all-natural, revolutionary way to treat your cat to a long and healthy life. This tasteless liquid is a simple addition to canned food and will help with joint health, immunity health, and digestive health, while building a strong and shiny coat! 100% guaranteed. Cats need to hunt, not be served from a bowl. The NoBowl Feeding System is the world's first indoor hunting system. Developed by veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Bales, NoBowl is designed to manage weight, alleviate anxiety, and prevent digestive issues. Based in the science of feline behaviour and environmental enrichment, NoBowl is a revolution in cat feeding.

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

All Natural Goodwinol Shampoo is gentle enough for even six-week-old kittens and puppies! This safe and natural shampoo is made in the USA, contains a natural insecticide, and has a clean bright scent!

Probiotic Cat Essentials build happy and healthy cats! High potency and freshly grown in small batches, these quality probiotics are essential for immune health, digestion, and urinary tract health. Four-plus month supply at

Get your cat the best natural clumping cat litters at a wallet-friendly price! Next Gen now offers a natural litter for every pocketbook with their Fresh line. Timber Fresh from Next Gen is an economical, long lasting, natural cat litter solution made from hinoki cypress wood with a pleasant forest scent. It’s lightweight and forms firm clumps.

Primal Freeze-Dried Formulas offer a convenient and safe raw-food diet without having to grind or chop ingredients yourself. And pairing it with their Raw Goat Milk makes perfect sense because of the importance of moisture in your pet’s diet. Primal Freeze-Dried and Goat Milk: two great tastes that go perfect together!



Did you know response to catnip is hereditary?

Catnip and Friends Did you know that only 70 – 80% of cats respond to catnip? Read on for how catnip actually works, as well as alternatives to try. How Does Catnip Work? Catnip, a member of the mint family, contains a volatile oil found in the stems and leaves of the catnip plant. It is the scent of this oil, called nepetalactone, which cats are very susceptible to. It causes cats smelling catnip to exhibit behaviours common to female cats in heat, rubbing their head and body against the plant, pawing, licking, and chewing it, and even salivating and vocalizing. In short, catnip creates a sexual response, the result of your cat reacting to an artificial cat pheromone. (Catnip is considered to be non-addictive and completely harmless to cats.) As Ramona Turner, a veterinarian specializing in feline care for 25 years explains to Scientific American, this response lasts for about 10 minutes, after which the cat becomes temporarily immune to catnip's effects for roughly 30 minutes. She also notes that catnip does not affect kittens until they are about six months old and begin to reach sexual maturity. And some cats, an estimated 20 to 30 percent, won't react to catnip at all; whether or not they do is all based on genetics. If your cat falls into the non-reactive category, try one of the following herbaceous alternatives.

Catnip Alternatives Honeysuckle Like catnip, honeysuckle contains the chemical compound nepetalactone. But unlike catnip—which usually only affects

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cats who have been through puberty—cats younger than six months (the average age of adolescence), often react to honeysuckle. Though there are 180 species of honeysuckle, the only one your cat will be interested in is Lonicera tartarica. The shrub, native to North America, has berries that are poisonous to your cat so make sure to only give her the aromatic, woody part. Pro Tip: Add a splash of water to the woody plant to reinvigorate its scent and get your cat going wild!

Silvervine This fragrant, flowering plant gets its name from its long, dark green leaves with silver tips. This cat treat, native to Asia, contains a chemical compound called actinidine, which is what your cat responds to. The reaction to silvervine is very similar to that caused by catnip, the major difference being the duration of response, which can last up to 30 minutes compared to the usual 10 minutes with catnip.

Valerian If your cat doesn't respond to catnip or honeysuckle, try valerian, which also contains the chemical compound actinidine. Though the plant bears beautiful flowers, your cat will only want it for its roots. They act as a stimulant and elicit a response similar to catnip. Humans can also take advantage of this sweet smelling plant, but don't expect an energy boost! While valerian is great for perking up your cat, it will have the opposite effect on humans.



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


Just Chillin'

Call of the Cats: What I Learned About Life and Love from a Feral Colony Sometimes life has plans for you—a course you couldn’t possibly have anticipated—and by stepping up to the unexpected challenge you find yourself right where you were supposed to be. This is exactly what happened when Andrew Bloomfield found himself crashing on the couch of an ex-girlfriend’s modest bungalow in Southern California, his Hollywood dreams thus far dashed. When he discovers the wild perimeter of his new backyard is home to a colony of feral cats, he slowly finds himself drawn into their care, a financially ruinous, sleep-depriving mission that consumes 20 years and utterly transforms both him and his life’s trajectory. In his resonate memoir Bloomfield describes the tumultuous saga—the challenges, joys, rewards, and transformative life lessons learned in caring for this wild group of felines.

Fuddles and Puddles Cats are generally the unquestioned rulers of their domain—that is, until a pesky dog happens to intrude on their blissful reign and upsets the balance! That’s precisely what happens to top cat Fuddles when her owners bring home a slobbering, howling, floor-wetting dog suitably named Puddles. But can “frenemies” become best fur-friends? This lovingly illustrated book hilariously renders the age-old cats and dogs dynamic with an adorable ending kids will love!

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from Fuddles and Puddles

Create an environment in which your cat feels calm, thereby reducing problem behaviours (think spraying, scratching, hiding, freaking out over visits to the vet or travelling…) with this nifty plug in! The Feliway diffuser contains a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone that cats use to mark their territory as safe and secure. By mimicking the pheromone, you can promote chill vibes and enjoy a relaxed cat! Check it out at

MODERN CAT POLL QUESTION Do you have a cat even though you're allergic? CAST YOUR VOTE AT MODERNCAT.COM


­Step up your litter box game with these six ways to make life a little easier & better By Lauren Cheal & Taryn Cheal

#1 GET THE RIGHT SCOOP The perfect scoop can make all the difference. For clumping litter, pick a scoop like the Litter Lifter ($6, that has triangular-shaped tines that cannot pick up clean litter, reducing the need to shake each time you scoop!

#2 MAKE CLEAN UP EFFORTLESS Keep sweeping or vacuuming tools handy so you can tidy up the area each time you scoop (once a day is best!) with little effort. Small consistent efforts will keep the area pleasant for all involved. We love the Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Vacuum for making clean up a breeze!

#3 MIX THINGS UP! Give a new type of litter a try. Corn, wheat, newsprint, and other alternatives to clay might be a perfect fit for your furry family, or a new type of clay litter might make you and

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Mr. Fluffy smile. Experiment with different types to find the right kind of odour control and tracking level for your cat’s needs. If you are trying a new type, be sure to introduce it gradually, mixing the old and new together to let your cat adjust. There are all sorts of options out there. For example, Neon Litter ( comes in super-bright colours—kitty litter art, anyone? Though your cat may not appreciate your artistic efforts, you’ll both love this litter’s super-absorbent sand-sized micro crystals made of silica gel. Soft on paws, it provides outstanding odour control and needs to be scooped only two or three times a week. If you're looking for a natural cat litter with no synthetic chemicals, clays or perfumes, try World's Best Cat Litter (, an all-natural eco-friendly corn-based kitty litter offering high performance clumping and superb odour control, so you use less and save more!

#4 TRY A NEW LITTER BOX TYPE Make sure the box is big enough to comfortably accommodate your cat. We’re big fans of the NVR Miss Litter Box ($21, because its high sides help cut down on litter escaping due to overzealous digging techniques.

#5 DON’T HIDE THE LITTER BOX Don’t hide the litter box. Make sure your cat has a comfortable spot for taking care of business. The litter box needs to be placed in a socially important area for your cats. You might prefer that the box is kept out of sight, but stashing it in a dark basement or closet might lead to unwanted elimination elsewhere in the house, and that’s not good for anyone. Also keep in mind that cats are most at ease when they can see out of their litter box.

#6 TRY A LITTER BOX DEODORIZER If your cat’s litter box is located in a social space as it should be (see #5), you’ll likely want to take extra action against odours. It’s normal for to smell for a few minutes, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. A litter box deodorizer like the one Skout's Honor makes ($20, lets you reclaim your home environment and breathe deeply. We love it, not just because it works—goodbye litter box smell!—but because it’s non-toxic, biodegradable, eco-friendly, and free of harsh chemicals, meaning you can make that litter last a little longer and freshen everything safely and responsibly! n



e? m i t y pla

DOES YOUR CAT NEED A FRIEND? How to tell if your cat wants a buddy, how to choose the right friend, and how to arrange a meet-cute between them By Pooja Menon


n theory, there’s no such thing as too many cats (okay, barring hoarding scenarios). After all, we’re talking about more cat kisses, cat muffins, and catnaps. But how do you decide if you and your current feline are actually ready for a new cat? Before you approach your cat with the proposition of a new family member, ask yourself a few questions. Do you have time for a second cat? Why do you want one? Is it for you, or is it because you think your current cat needs a companion? Whatever the reason, it’s important to take into account that no matter how many cats you bring home, they will all require plenty of attention from you. So unless you have time to give, you’re probably better off with your one and only. Now that you’ve figured that out, how can you tell if your cat

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is ready? Unfortunately, this is rather tricky to gauge. There are no clear-cut signs to indicate that your cat will be accepting of another cat. While it is possible to test your cat’s reaction to other cats by asking your friends or neighbours to bring their cats over so you can attempt to introduce the two (preferably through a barrier like a closed door or a glass window), your cat’s reaction from the encounter will be inconclusive. Cats need time to make up their minds about each other and this can take days, weeks or even months. Cats can also change their minds very quickly so a single encounter will not tell you much. Still, if you’ve got your heart set on adding to your brood, there are ways to prepare to make the transition easier on both you and your cat.

Picking "the One"

The first step is to create a profile for the cat you want to adopt. Important factors to consider are the age and personality you seek, both of which should be compatible with your own cat’s age and temperament. For example, if your cat is an adolescent, he’ll probably enjoy the company of a cat of similar age or younger. But if your cat is older, his idea of fun is most likely napping by the window, and a kitten would not be compatible with his leisure plans. While it is easy to reason that a kitten might help your old fella “get more active and lively,” the reality is that the mismatch of energy levels between the two will likely be equally stressful for both. If your cat is shy, getting a slightly confident cat as the second cat might help your shy cat become more curious and brave. Since cats tend to mimic each other, your sassy cat might learn the art of taking it down a notch from your shy cat. This is what we would call a balance. It’s unwise to get two shy cats as this could lead to them bonding with each other as opposed to bonding with you. Two confident cats could step on each other’s toes, leading to stand-offs.

The Meet-Cute

Now that you’ve got a rough idea of the kind of cat you’d like to adopt, it’s time to set up your home and make it cat-ready! First, stake out your existing cat’s safe spaces—these would include his sleep area, rest area, play area, and hiding spots. Set up litter boxes, scratching posts, cat trees, and his food and water bowl. Your resident cat will have his safe spaces as well as the rest of the house to roam in, except for the new cat’s safe space. Determine your new cat’s safe space—this could be a bedroom that the resident cat does not frequent. Set the room up similar to your resident cat’s safe space. Place your new cat in his safe space as soon as you bring him home. Do not attempt to introduce both cats right away. We want them to start off on the right foot. Over the next few days, let him settle into his new home and make sure to give him ample time to bond with you alone within the safe space. It’s also important for your resident cat to get the same amount of time with you. You can usually tell if your new cat is settling in well by how excited he is to see you every time you come to visit him or by


how well he’s eating. A stressed cat will seldom touch his food. Once sufficient time has passed, usually anywhere from a few days to a few weeks (depending on your cats’ personalities), and both cats seem content, it is time to allow for a slow introduction. You can start by giving them each an item that contains the other one’s scent, so they can get familiar. If both cats seem receptive to the scent swap, it’s time to attempt a room swap and take scent swapping to the next level. Swap them into each other’s safe spaces for a few minutes every day, but don’t attempt to introduce them face-to-face just yet. Next, create positive associations. Most cats are food motivated; the key is to find out what food motivates them. Once you do, feed them on either side of a closed door so that they can smell each other when eating. This automatically helps them associate the other’s presence with a tasty meal, which becomes the reward. You can eventually crack open the door a little during meal times and monitor your cats’ responses to each other, continuing to open the door a little bit further based on their reactions. Once you’ve accomplished this, another positive association

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experience could be playtime! “It’s important for both cats to get enough stimulation while at home,” says Sarah Welsh, Feline Support Liaison at the San Francisco SPCA. “The more stimulation they get, the less likely they’ll be to get into fights with each other. Puzzle toys, for instance, are a great way to keep them busy.” It’s never too early to start setting the stage for future integrations. If you currently have a single kitten, Sarah recommends starting different socialization activities right away. Early socialization will help your kitten adapt better to changes—like the addition of a new cat to the household—later on in life. “By socializing your kitten early, she’ll be much more likely to accept change than, say, your five-year-old cat (that wasn’t socialized). Start taking your kitten to friends’ places, give her sufficient playtime with other kittens, and expose her to traveling in cars. The more your kitten can be around other cats when she's younger, the easier she’ll adjust to future changes.” That said, don’t let your cat’s potential lack of early socialization experiences deter you. With patience and the above game plan you could soon be living in a happy multi-cat household. n


! er v e or F s Friend


Who, me?







YOUR HAIRBALL SURVIVAL KIT Help for handling this hairy phenomenon  By Rebekah Chotem Hairballs are a natural outcome of your cat’s fastidious grooming routine, but that doesn’t mean you love cleaning them up! To help with the woes of hairball control, we’ve rounded up a selection of essentials to reduce hairball frequency, as well as cleaning products for when the inevitable happens. One of the best ways to cope with hairballs is to reduce their occurrence. What you feed your cat can make a big difference. Wellness Pet's Natural Hairball Control cat food !, for example, helps prevent hairballs by nourishing the skin and coat (less loose hair to swallow) and contains a fiber blend designed to move hair through your cat’s digestive system. Getting your cats to eat it couldn't be easier—enticing meat flavours will have them chomping at the bit! The hairball control treats from Pet Naturals of Vermont @ are not only super-tasty (irresistible chicken flavour!), they also promote healthy skin, coat, urinary tract, and good digestion, reducing hairball formation. In other words, less icky hairball messes for you to clean up and more happy cats! CocoTherapy Cat Hairball Plus # is made with only one

ingredient—high-fiber organic coconut—to help cats pass hairballs more easily by adding moisture and bulk to their stool. It also supports healthy skin and coat (less shedding!) as well as digestive health and gastrointestinal tract function, thereby preventing hairball formation. Grooming tools that remove excess and loose hair, like the Andis Deshedding Tool $, are your best friend in hairball prevention. The Andis Deshedder reaches beneath your cat's longer topcoat to gently remove undercoat and loose hair—purrfect! (Bonus: less cat hair on your couch!) Regular brushing combined with a hairball control shampoo is also a solid line of defense against hairballs. Oster’s natural Oatmeal shampoo % is safe for your cat and contains a cleansing aloe to improve your cat’s skin and coat. Despite your best efforts, hairballs can still happen. On those rare occasions, Anti-Icky-Poo’s odour removing spray ^ cleans up the mess with a pet-safe blend of live bacteria and enzymes that doesn't mask odours, but works quickly to neutralize them. Hairballs might not be pretty, but dealing with them is a lot less tedious with these problem-solving products!

Find all of these awesome products in our e-store,, filled with the best cat products hand-selected by the Modern Cat editorial team!

What are hairballs? 60 moderncat

Hairballs are the natural result of your cat grooming herself and swallowing hair in the process. (Longhaired cats are more prone to hairballs but all cats can experience them.) A cat’s digestive system is generally able to process the hair and, ideally, it simply passes through the intestinal tract, emerging in your cat’s feces. Sometimes, however, a tubular mass of hair is vomited instead, which is what is commonly referred to as “coughing up a hairball” (ew).

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hen Dr. Sophia Yin, a pioneer in force-free positive-rewardbased training, passed away in 2014, the world lost a tremendous advocate for the humane treatment of animals. Her legacy lives on, however, not only in the training, behaviour, and veterinary communities, but through many lives she touched by helping people better understand animal behaviour. A core group of her dedicated employees stayed on after her passing to manage the company and continue her work, and it remains an invaluable resource. Through her website,, her free training advice and videos are still available. Here we share two spot-on answers from Dr. Yin addressing two common cat questions.

What's special about cats? “Because cats often have their food out at all times and have not been exposed to many different foods you often have to first add treats to their meal so they learn to like the treats. Then, you often have to cut back on their regular meal because they are getting too much and train them during mealtimes until their food becomes a valuable resource. Another peculiarity of cats is that they are good at

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pretending they have a low attention span or don't get it. They may meow and meow or walk around aimlessly until you just walk over and give them the treat or reward. In these instances, rather than walking over to them when they really want your attention, walk away so they know that if they don't play your game, you'll remove all chances of a reward. Usually they will follow you and try harder to do what you want them to do to earn the reward. If they don't, then stop the session and resume a little later.”

Are some species, such as dogs, smarter than others such as cats? “This depends on how you define intelligence. If you define the most intelligent animal as the one that gets its way, then cats are hands down much smarter than dogs. People tend to think that animals that don't learn what they are teaching must be stupid rather than considering the fact that maybe they themselves are bad teachers or that they are using the wrong incentives or motivators. When animals are trained using positive reinforcement and behaviours are shaped in a stepwise fashion, cats and many animals one might consider dumb can learn as fast as dogs.”n


—Particularly When She Pretends Not T o Understand You







Cutest Parts of Cats

Here it is. The knock-down, drag-out, undisputed list of the 10 Cutest Parts of Cats. You may object to the order here, but you are wrong. We’re experts.



Eyebrow Whiskers


Yes, they are amazing and make them look 75 years old. But it’s not just all about cuteness, folks. Whiskers are also an incredibly sensitive sensory tool that help cats see in the dark and detect changes in their environment—think kitty radar. Also called vibrissae (there’s some dinner party trivia for you!), your cat’s whiskers allow them to make sense of their surroundings. Never cut your cat’s whiskers; cats get frightened and disoriented without these important touch receptor. Also: Did you know that, in addition to nose, upper lip, and eyebrow whiskers, cats also have whiskers on their jaw line and on the back of their front legs? It’s true. Cuteness amplified.

Bonus points here for multi-coloured noses with smudges! Your cat’s nose is indisputably cute (it’s #9 on the list!), but it’s also pretty darn amazing. Cats have 200 million scent receptors (while we have a comparatively paltry five million) that allow them to locate prey, their home, determine if other cats are in the area, decide what’s safe to eat, and so much more. Cat’s have a poor sense of taste so scent is very important when it comes to dinnertime. And each cat has a unique “nose print,” just like we each have unique finger prints! The colour of a cat’s nose is directly related to their fur colour, thus a black cat = black nose; orange cat = orange nose; white cat = pink nose; grey cat = grey nose, and multi-coloured cat = a possibly multi-coloured nose! Cute stuff. Don’t worry if your cat’s nose is dry. A cat’s nose can oscillate between wet and dry throughout the day, with dryness the result of such things as environment (like sitting on a warm window perch) or licking of the nose, saliva causing it to dry.

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8 Socks A classic for a reason, white socks accentuate your cat’s super-cute paws. Did you know that cats walk and run on tippy toe (called digitigrade), which makes them both faster and quieter? And that they have a dominant paw? It’s true: cats can be right or left pawed, or ambidextrous, though most cats will show a clear paw preference. To find out which of your cat’s paws is dominant, you can set up an easy test: put a treat in a hard to reach place, like a tall glass, and see what paw your cat tries to retrieve it with. You will have to repeat this test a lot (around 75 times) to accurately determine your cat’s preferred paw. A study from Queens University in Ireland found that gender frequently correlates with paw dominance; female cats generally favour their right paw, while males usually prefer their left.



Special Markings

 Chin Furs/Full Beards

A unique fur pattern, an out-ofthe-blue smattering of caramel colour on a cat’s tummy, two different coloured ears—if it’s different, it’s amazing.

Whether it’s a few small chin hairs (glistening with cat spit) or a glorious full beard (preferably in an accenting colour), this is where it’s at.

5 Dat Tum Do Obviously.



Teeny Tiny Teeth

Ear Furnishings

We’re not talking about those serious fangs, but rather the teeny, teeny tiny teeth in the middle. They’re, like, so small guys and so cute.







2 Toe Furs Ugh, a splay of fur escaping from underneath the toe pad, it’s just too dramatic and too cute.

Toe Beans The holy grail of cat cuteness. You may not always get a good glimpse of these cute pink pads on the underside of your cat’s paws (named toe beans for their resemblance to jellybeans), but IF you do, your reward is adorableness beyond measure. Cats can be hesitant about having their feet handled for a reason—these cute paw pads are extremely sensitive. With a large concentration of nerve receptors, your cat’s paw pads are actually finely tuned sensory organs that help your cat balance and hunt. Cats can feel surface texture and perhaps even vibration through their paws! Your cat’s paw pads come in a colour that match their fur colouring, upping the cuteness.




Throw Pillows The minimal, understated catification of a pair of throw pillows will add a chic dose of catitude to your interior design. We suggest choosing pillows in black, very dark green, or a neutral like ecru or cognac to keep it simple and classic. Then just follow this simple DIY—only basic sewing skills are required—to transform the pillows from boring to subtley cat-tastic

What You’ll Need to Make 1 Pillow

ÆÆ1 throw pillow in your desired shade and size ÆÆHand-sewing needles ÆÆThread that contrasts with the colour of your pillow black or brown button ÆÆ1(wesmall suggest ½ inch; this will be the “nose”)

ÆÆ2 black, brown or crystal buttons (these will be the “eyes”) tan or white embroidery floss ÆÆBlack, this will form the “whiskers”)

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How-to Thread a long needle with the thread and sew the “nose” button to the center of the pillow. Sew the other two buttons above the nose to make the eyes. Thread an embroidery needle with two strands of floss. To make the whiskers, make a small stitch on one side of the nose. Tie off and trim thread ends to 2 or 3 inches long. Repeat several times on each side of the nose to make more whiskers. And that’s it—you've just made yourself a cat-tastic throw pillow!


Curio Cat

too cute!

These classic, mid-century inspired cat homes can be a cosy place for a catnap or a stylish way to hide that unsightly litter box—simply insert a litter tray. Handcrafted from sustainable wood, this eye-catching piece of cat furniture is perfectly at home in even the most stylish living room. From $200,

Spice up your cat’s siesta time with a Taco Meow Cat Bed! This culinary inspired bed comes with three catnip chili-pepper toys, and is filled with a layer of cellophane to create that quintessential taco-cracking sound. Your cat can curl up on top or within this delectable bed! $48,

Does your cat like to scratch on an incline? Vertically? While lounging? Whatever her preference, the new Katris Lynks scratcher can be configured to suit your cat’s exact scratching needs (just like Tetris!). Made with super-strong, super-dense corrugated cardboard, this scratcher not only looks cool, but lasts for serious scratchisfaction! $50,

CatTastic Décor Finds to thrill both you and your cat

{Great gift idea!} Serenity found! Shen & Sam’s hand-poured soy candles are an eco-friendly, renewable, sustainable, and American grown answer to your stress. Bliss out to the scents of lavender, chamomile, and rose, or be transported to a simpler place with island coconut. Best of all, they come in super-cute cat jars, ready to be re-purposed after use! $20,

In First Nations’ beliefs, a totem animal is one that stays with you for life—both physically and spiritually. Doesn’t that just describe our cats? It’s only fitting, then, that they should have a beautiful totem pole all their own to lounge on, play in, and celebrate them. This toteminspired cat tower from Square Paws is a true, handcrafted work of art. $925,

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Seamlessly blending elegance with a futuristic design, the Vesper High Lounge not only pleases your cat, but is a beautiful addition to your interior design. With faux fur cushions for lounging, an observation opening for surveying, and that allimportant sisal scratching post, this beauty has it all! $180,


Adopt these Cats! Want more love in your life?

Who doesn’t! Lovable cats from coast to coast are searching for their new best friend. Could one of the cats on this page be for you? Read on to find out…

LOCATION: WEST COAST — Best Friends Los Angeles BIO: Kit Kat, seven, is a star at the Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center in Mission Hills, CA, known for her gorgeous shiny black fluffy coat and sweet yet sassy attitude. She greets people at the door and loves to be petted. Kit Kat's also great with other cats, so she would fit in well in a multi-feline household. Actually, this gorgeous gal would be a perfect match for any cat lover. If that's you, make sure to meet Kit Kat soon! She's ready to be your best friend now. LOVE MATCH? For information on adopting Kit Kat, call (818) 643-3989 or email

LOCATION: PACIFIC NORTHWEST— Cat Adoption Team, Sherwood, Oregon

BIO: Jag is a lovable, special young cat who is spending his time at the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) in Sherwood, Oregon, while waiting to meet his new family. This little guy is about a year old and super friendly. His favourite pastimes include chasing wand toys and laser pointers, playing with enthusiasm, snuggling, palling around with other cats, and showing off for belly rubs. But there’s something even more unique about Jag. He was born incontinent, and although he had a tail, it was medically necessary to have it amputated. Today, this tailless wonder feels much better, but does need human assistance to empty his bladder. Sure, it’s not his favourite thing in the world, but he doesn’t hold a grudge. Despite facing tough times, Jag has grown into a handsome, affectionate cat who can’t wait to meet his special someone. LOVE MATCH? For information on adopting Jag, call (503) 925-8903 or email

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LOCATION: MIDWEST — Animal Allies in Duluth, Minnesota

BIO: You can’t keep a good cat down, and Captain is no exception! Captain is a handsome red orange tabby cat who recently lost one of his hind legs. This doesn’t stop him from leaping into laps, enjoying snuggle time, or from commandeering dog beds (and treats) though! This sweet boy is about three years old and has adjusted well to his tripod status. Captain is full of hidden treasures and will steal your heart. He loves to cuddle, enjoys the company of other cats, and has an adventurous personality. LOVE MATCH? For information on adopting Captain, call 218-722-5341 or visit


LOCATION: EAST — Best Friends New York BIO: Cammy, a three-yearold tabby girl, is the kitty you've been searching for! The perfect combination of affectionate and independent, you'll instantly fall for Cammy's sweet face and lovable personality. Adopt Cammy and find the love of your

life from Best Friends New York! LOVE MATCH? For information on adopting Cammy, call 347-76ADOPT or email


Meet Kit Kat!


Thes Cats Nee a Homee! d


LOCATION: WEST — Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah

BIO: As part of Best Friend’s “Single and Loving It” adoption campaign, Abner qualifies for a waived adoption fee and a free flight home, anywhere in the US or Canada! This boy came to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary from a place where it was actually illegal for his animal shelter to find him a home, just because he has FIV. But FIV isn't a scary condition. Cats can live long, full lives with it, and it's very hard for other cats to catch. But Abner doesn't happen to like other cats, so it might be best if he's an “only.” He’d also be okay in a home with one or two cats who would leave him alone, and he'd be great with dogs. Otherwise, Abner is an easygoing soul. Laidback and fairly independent, he's warm-hearted. He does have some pain in his spine, but medicine helps. He enjoys being cuddled and having lap time. And he would sure love the chance to prove that an FIV cat deserves to find love like any other. LOVE MATCH? For information on adopting Abner, call 435-644-2001, ext. 4223 or email catadoption@


LOCATION: SOUTH — Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption (which will become Best Friends Atlanta on October 1st!)

BIO: Do you work from home and find that you are far too productive? Are you constantly staying on task and ignoring distractions, to the point where life has become predictable and somewhat boring? Well, we have the solution for you! Introducing Elly, the best distraction you'll ever meet! If you take Elly home, she will make absolutely sure that the monotony of everyday life is broken up by exciting play and snuggle sessions. Elly can sense when you've been spending too much time on adult things, and she won't hesitate to remind you that while pens are extremely useful when it comes to doing paperwork or paying bills, they are also a crucial part of the fantastic game of "Cat Bats at the Thing You Are Holding and Trying to do Adult Things With." But wait! There's more! In addition to keeping you from getting too serious with your adult things, Elly is a wonderful stress monitor, intervening with rubs and snuggles from the sweetest kitty you could ever ask for. Elly is here at the shelter waiting to be taken home by someone willing to give her plenty of love and snacks. She does fine around other cats, but would prefer a home without dogs. LOVE MATCH? For information on adopting Elly, call 404-8156680 or email


Make Your Cat

a Tiny Hat!

I'm with the band!

Make your cat a marching band hat with this how-to By Adam Ellis


• Glue stick

• X-Acto Knife

• Scissors

• Glue gun or liquid glue

• Bone Folder (not necessary but useful)

• Pencil (or pen)



Start by making a cylinder. Adjust the width and height to your preference, but a marching band hat should be fairly tall. Glue a thin band around the top and bottom.


To form the top of your hat, glue the cylinder down to a piece of paper the same colour as your bands.


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Add a feather and a fancy emblem to the front and you're ready to start your own marching band!

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Once dry, trim the excess paper. Next, flip the hat over and glue it onto a piece of paper. This can be whatever colour you choose.

4 Once dry, trim the excess, leaving a half a circle in front for the hat’s brim.

  For more cat hat how-to’s (think the essential Princess Cone, classic Party Hat, Sherlock Cap, Tam-0-Shanter, and so much more), check out Adam Ellis’ awesome book, Tiny Hats on Cats—because every cat deserves to feel fancy! Not so crafty? Your cat can still wear a hat! Check out Etsy seller To Scarborough Fair for an amazing selection of adorable hats for cats.




THE COOLEST CAT ON THE INTERNET Whether in a Marie-Antoinette inspired chapeau of cotton candy or pixilated shades, Princess Cheeto delights, as her worldwide fan base readily attests By Rose Frosek Photos Hugo Martinez


rincess Cheeto lives in Brooklyn. Of course she does. Could a cat this cool live anywhere else? Her name, an homage to both Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Tumblr memes of Britney Spears, is a pop culture mash up perfect for the Internet. And indeed, she has taken it by storm, thanks to 27-year-old photographer Hugo Martinez and his singular vision for his singular cat. Cheeto was actually a surprise gift. Hugo’s friends adopted her from a Manhattan shelter for his 22nd birthday. Smitten, he started an Instagram account, just for himself and his friends, posting photos of his new best bud. Fast forward, and Cheeto now has over 90,000 Instagram followers, partnerships with major brands such as Target, Steve Madden, Purina, and American Apparel, and a print project in the works. But despite the success—Buzzfeed has called her “the most purrfect cat of the year” and Comedy Central proclaimed “Princess Cheeto stars in the best photo series of all time”—Cheeto and Hugo remain down to earth. When asked how

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! oh hi



Hugo Martinez & Princess Cheeto

Princess Cheeto’s life has change since becoming famous, Hugo is quick to assert that it hasn’t. “We really don't give in to thinking about that. We're just happy that, because of our photos, we've been able to afford the best food and the best care for Cheeto. That's what's really important to me.”

It Ain’t Easy Being Cheesy, or It Takes Work To Dominate the Internet Hugo Martinez shares his process and gives tips for starting your own cat-centric Instagram account Q: How much time is spent on each shot? It can depend on what type of image we're doing. I hand make everything that you see in our photos, whether it be a large, complex set or tiny detail, so it really depends. Usually I'll work on an image for an entire day or two. More elaborate photos like our holiday photos can take up to a week.

Q: Inspiration behind the photos? Overall, I'm inspired by Japanese culture, pop culture, and by my favorite artists like Murakami, KAWS, Herb Ritz, William Wegman, Frida [Kahlo], [David] LaChapelle, just to name a few. We have this photo series called Outfit Of The Day. Those are the images where Cheeto has something on her head. The inspiration for many of the hats on her head that I make out of food or from ordinary objects comes from fashion legends like Thierry Mugler and Phillip Tracy. I try to shape the food or objects in the same way that they shape their famous hats.


Q: What are Princess Cheeto's favourite things? Her shark bed, wet food, coconut Popsicle's, cardboard texture.

Q: What cameras do you use? Some of my favourite photos were shot with my iPhone—that's the camera I use the most. I use it with Olloclip lenses [a lens for iPhones]. And I use mirrorless cameras mostly, like the Canon EOS M and Sony 6300. I use Photoshop and the VSCO app for post production work.

Q: Top three most popular posts to date? I would have to say Breaded Cheeto, Susheeto, and one of our holiday photos with me and Cheeto on a bike. n

HUGO’S INSTAGRAM TIPS • Try to stay away from using flash on your camera. Use sunlig ht/daylig ht instead • Be consistent • Be original and think outside the box Don’t worry too much about likes or followers. Create something original and genuine. Even though many people are obsessed with all the likes and follows, that type of validation shouldn't really matter when it comes to your pet and things that you love. When your doing something genuine and fun people will see that and the rest will follow.

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Must-haves for you & your cat

moderncat marketplace


Must-haves for you & your cat

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Modern Cat Fall/Winter 2016  

The wait is over! The Fall/Winter issue of Modern Cat is stuffed with so many fun and helpful features, you do not miss out! We're thrilled...

Modern Cat Fall/Winter 2016  

The wait is over! The Fall/Winter issue of Modern Cat is stuffed with so many fun and helpful features, you do not miss out! We're thrilled...