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feline WELLNESS Hip, cool and healthy!

WEIGHTY ISSUES The fight against feline obesity

collars COOL

for cats!




How to


Check her

your home

CHAKRAS Bring your cat back into balance



Integrative treatment and prevention SUMMER 2010

Display until August 17, 2010


“PAWTRAITS” Tips for prize-winning photos

$5.95 USA/Canada


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Contents features


issues 10 Weighty Obesity among cats is a major problem. Trouble is, a lot of indoor kitties become chronically inactive if not given enough physical and mental stimulation. Check out these tips for encouraging your feline to jump off the couch (or counter) and get moving.

up 13 Drink Have you noticed your cat doesn’t visit her water bowl too often? Don’t worry – it’s normal for a feline. But you still have to make sure she stays property hydrated.

to the rescue 14 Communication Litter box problems and acts of aggression are just two examples of common feline behaviors that can drive us to distraction. The reasons can be cloudy and the solutions even more remote. The secret? Find out what your cat is feeling and thinking.

a roll 18 On Is your feline friend an indoor kitty? Are you worried he might not be getting enough exercise? Believe it or not, you can raise his activity level by training him to walk on a treadmill!

friend to ferals 20 ADevoted to helping homeless cats, FixNation is the only free full-time spay


and neuter clinic in Los Angeles.

your cat? 22 Walking Choose from a selection of stylish quality collars, leashes and harnesses to keep your kitty safe outdoors.

her chakras 28 Check Does your kitty seem stressed or out of sorts? This energetic healing modality can help balance and revitalize her.

bladder problems 31 Banishing They’re among the most common of feline ailments, and can cause your cat a lot of discomfort and distress. A natural approach can help treat and prevent these issues.

her claws? 34 Showing Trimming those talons is a necessary task that takes some patience. first! 36 Safety Bringing a new little one into your household? Just as you would for a human baby, you need to kitten-proof your home to ensure he stays out of danger.


“pawtraits” 38 Perfect Given the feline nature, photographing your kitty can be something of a challenge. But with patience and perseverance, along with a few useful tips for the best results, you can snap successful pictures.

dirt on diabetes 40 The It’s one of the most common diseases seen in felines. Here’s what you need to know about integrative treatment and prevention.


Columns 7 24

Cat chat Health talk with Dr. Marcia Martin

Departments 43 46

Book reviews The tail end

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Purr fect products Marketplace feline wellness

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TODAY! Published four time s per year




$25/2yr. or $15/yr. US. and CAN.

1-866-764-1212 (9am-5pm E.S.T.) ON THE COVER

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Nadia Ali Sally E. Bahner Sue Becker Mary Lynn Bushong Cynthia S. Evans Deva Khalsa, VMD Tessa Kimmel Marva Marrow Marcia Martin, DVM Lynn McKenzie Shawn Messonnier, DVM Catherine Owsianiecki Charlotte Walker

SUBMISSIONS: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to Feline Wellness Magazine, 107 Hunter St. E., Suite 201, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9H 1G7. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either articles or pictures will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received. Email your articles to:

ADMINISTRATION PRESIDENT/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley OFFICE MANAGER: Lesia Wright Photo: Marilyn Barbone


ADVERTISING SALES NATIONAL SALES MANAGER: Becky Starr (866) 764-1212 ext. 221 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Lesley Nicholson (866) 764-1212 ext. 222


TO SUBSCRIBE: Subscription price is $14.95 U.S. and CAN., including taxes for four issues shipped via surface mail. Subscriptions can be processed by: WEBSITE: PHONE: 1-866-764-1212 US MAIL: Feline Wellness Magazine, PMB 168, 8174 S. Holly St., Centennial, CO 80122 CDN MAIL: Feline Wellness Magazine, 107 Hunter St. E. Unit 201, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9H 1G7 Subscriptions are payable by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, check or money order.

The material in this magazine is not intended to replace the care of veterinary practitioners. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor, and different views may appear in other issues. Redstone Media Group Inc., publisher of Feline Wellness, does not promote any of the products or services advertised by a third party advertiser in this publication, nor does Redstone Media Group Inc. verify the accuracy of any claims made in connection with such advertisers. Refund policy: call or write our customer service department and we will refund unmailed issues. DEALER INQUIRIES WELCOME: Feline Wellness Magazine is available at a discount for resale in retail shops and through various organizations. Call 1-866-764-1212 and ask for dealer magazine sales, fax us at 705-742-4596 or e-mail at

Feline Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1918-3828) is published by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyrightŠ 2010. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: May 2010.

With his brilliant green eyes and striking coat, this young Bengal clearly knows how stunning he looks. A cross between the Asian leopard cat and house cat, the Bengal has an exotic appearance reminiscent of the jungle or savannah. This guy may live many miles from his ancestral habitat, but he looks just as at home on a domestic garden bench.


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ats look after their own exercise and fitness, right? Not really, especially if they spend most of their lives indoors. I’ve found that out with Renny and Robin. While they’re not fat, I have to confess that both our kitties aren’t exactly what you’d call svelte either. Left to their own devices, they’d be content to spend all their time napping or basking in the sun, and not getting enough physical activity. Because I realize that too many extra pounds can translate into health problems, I do my best to make sure Robin and Renny stay active and stimulated, both physically and mentally. Every evening, weather permitting, I take them outside on harnesses and leashes, so they can walk about, climb trees, stalk insects and just enjoy some fun, activity and fresh air for half an hour or so. During the winter, or when it’s raining, I engage them in some interactive play indoors, dragging an old ribbon along the floor, throwing a small rubber ball for them to chase, or rubbing some dried catnip on their scratching post to invite climbing and stretching. Now that they’re nearly 13, play time doesn’t last as long as it used to, but I know it’s still important to give them an opportunity to stretch their legs and raise their heart and breathing rates a little. I also make sure Renny and Robin get lots of petting, attention and grooming, and that they have plenty of roomy windowsills from which to watch the birds and view the outside world.

In case you hadn’t guessed, feline fitness is the theme of this issue. We look at ways to prevent obesity, an all-toocommon problem in cats, as well as integrative methods for treating and preventing diabetes, a disease that often stems from too much weight. You’ll also learn about the importance of proper hydration, especially during the summer months, and the best kitty collars, leashes and harnesses for outdoor expeditions. You’ll even find an article on how to train your cat to use a treadmill! Find it impossible to clip your cat’s claws? We present suggestions on how to tackle this necessary task with the minimum of stress. There’s also advice on bladder problems, kitten proofing your home, chakra healing for cats, and how animal communication can help solve those baffling behavior problems. And during the moments when your active kitty is finally at rest, grab your camera and snap some winning shots with our tips on photographing cats. Have a fit and healthy summer!

Ann Brightman Managing Editor

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CONTRIBUTORS 1. Veterinarian Dr. Shawn Messonnier


2. Veterinarian Deva Khalsa, VMD, CVA,

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authored Dr. Khalsa’s The Natural Dog and co-authored Healing Your Horse: Alternative Therapies. She lectures internationally and is a professor at the British Institute of Homeopathy. She has almost 30 years of experience in holistic modalities. Turn to page 31 for Dr. Khalsa’s advice on natural approaches for treating and preventing bladder problems in cats.

3. Marva Marrow is an award-winning

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journalist, author, photographer, editor of the Cat Fanciers’ Association Mentoring Program and a member of the Cat Writers of America. She has over 30 years of behavioral experience with cats, and is a fully accredited member of the International Association for Animal Behavior Consultants. Marva is owned by several Oriental shorthairs, and has her own cat behavior consulting business, The Kitty Kouch ( On page 36, Marva tells you how to kitten-proof your home.

4. Sue Becker is an animal communicator,

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a registered practitioner for Bach Flower Remedies and Tellington TTouch, and does intuitive distance healing. She has helped thousands of animals and their people worldwide and receives numerous veterinarian referrals. Sue teaches for organizations at animal-related events and also through private consultations, workshops, telecourses for long-distance learning, articles and individual mentoring. On page 14, she looks at how animal communication can help solve feline behavior problems.

5. Lynn McKenzie is an Animal Intuitive and publisher of The Divine Mission of Animals newsletter. She helps others attune and awaken to the teachings and wonder that all sentient beings wish to share. Lynn offers


nationally available teleclass training on healing and communicating with animals, and a self-study audio program on crystal healing for animals ( Check out her article on chakra healing for cats (page 28).

6. Sally E. Bahner has spent the last 15 years specializing in cat-related issues, specifically nutrition, holistic care and multiple cat behaviors. More recently she has offered services as a feline behavior and care consultant, and has also offered classes on cat care. Sally is the resident cat behavior expert on Tracie Hotchner’s “Cat Chat” and “Dog Talk” radio programs and a member of the Cat Writers’ Association. In this issue, she offers advice on stress-free claw clipping – turn to page 34.

7. Tessa Kimmel has over 20 years’ experience in animal care and was employed as a veterinary technician for nearly ten years. She owns MedPet & Cozy Critters Pet Care Services, a Toronto-based business specializing in care for animals with medical conditions and special needs. She recently opened a division of the business in London, Ontario where she now resides with her three rescue kitties. For this edition (page 20), Tessa writes about FixNation, a free full-time spay/neuter clinic in LA.

8. Nadia Ali is a freelance writer who was born in London, England and now lives in the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Her work has been published online and in print. She is inspired by Cici, her family cat. For Nadia’s advice on taking great photos of your kitty, see page 38.

9. Catherine Owsianiecki is a freelance writer and designer who has contributed to publications such as Animal Wellness, Baltimore Dog, Threads, Sew News, Antique Trader and BeadStyle. She lives in Bel Air, Maryland with her Yorshire terrier, Tasha, and tuxedo-clad cat, Sasha. Turn to page 10 for her tips on preventing obesity in your cat.

10. Cynthia S. Evans has never been without a dog or a cat in her life. She has learned many valuable lessons and received many blessings from the animal kingdom in general. She is also a songwriter/musician, belongs to the duo band ViCindy, and is a writer and photographer. On page 18, Cindy tells you how to train your cat to use a treadmill.

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Tania Gunadi Photo Credit: Stewart Marcano Photography


authored the Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, and 8 Weeks to a Healthy Dog. He’s the pet care expert for Martha Stewart Living’s “Dr. Shawn – The Natural Vet” on Sirius Satellite Radio, and creator of Dr. Shawn’s Pet Organics. His practice, Paws & Claws Animal Hospital (, is in Plano, Texas. In this issue (page 40), he looks at integrative approaches to feline diabetes.

CAT CHAT You’ve heard of the dangers of second hand smoke. Now it turns out that third hand smoke is just as risky to you and your animals, according to a study done by Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and reported by Mulligan Stew. Third hand smoke is comprised of the toxins that settle on surfaces such as carpeting, walls, upholstery, clothes and even skin and hair. While second hand smoke is inhaled, third hand smoke is absorbed into the body by skin exposure, dust inhalation and ingestion. Cats and other animals are especially at risk, because they’re closer to the surfaces these toxins adhere to.

Regular grooming can help keep your cat’s skin and coat healthy and elastic elastic.

Star helps ferals Tania Gunadi, star of Disney XD’s Aaron Stone, is supporting Alley Cat Allies’ campaign to press the city of Los Angeles to restore spay/neuter funding for the city’s feral cats, and resume the promotion of existing programs. “I’ve spent my life caring for cats and advocating for their humane treatment,” says Tania, who plays girl-next-door Emma Lau aka weapons specialist Dark Tamara in the hit action-adventure series.

Tania Gunadi Photo Credit: Stewart Marcano Photography

Third hand smoke

Aaron Stone star Tania Gunadi is Los Angeles formerly lending her support to Alley Cat Allies. embraced a Trap-NeuterReturn program, and for the last 15 years provided low-cost spay/neuter vouchers that helped support and sustain many community volunteer programs. But late last year, an LA county judge ordered the city to suspend spay/ neuter funding for feral cats, and stop community education about TNR.

“This is a dangerous time for feral cats in Los Angeles, and we are grateful that Tania is lending her support to raise awareness about the terrible threat they are under,” said Becky Robinson, president of Alley Cat Allies. “If Los Angeles does not restore the funding soon, thousands of feral cats will face certain death in animal shelters.” Becky adds that Alley Cat Allies has been working closely with local feral cat groups and individual caregivers in urging the city to reinstate support for this lifesaving program.

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cat chat Raw for cats Want to transition your cat to a raw diet, but not sure how to start? Bravo! Beginnings for Cats has the answers you need. This new 18-page booklet from the Bravo! company takes you step by step through the process of switching your feline friend to a healthy raw food diet. Topics include cat nutrition basics, raw diet benefits, how to introduce the new food, supplements and more. Ask your Bravo! retailer for a copy or visit

We’re on Facebook!

To the vet we go Even the healthiest kitties can end up at the vet sooner or later. According to Veterinary Pet Insurance, the most common cause of vet visits among cats in 2009 was lower urinary tract disease. The next most common problems were gastritis/vomiting, chronic renal failure, hyperthyroidism and diabetes.

Photo finish June is Adopt-aCat month, and currently has over 122,000 cats available for adoption. From June 1 to 21, the organization is holding an Heppi is a photogenic female online photo contest calico available for adoption. to highlight some of these beautiful adoptable felines. members will nominate their top kitties in categories ranging from “Best Comedic Performance” to “Fluffiest”, and visitors will be able to vote for their favorite finalists – and visit their profiles if they’re interested in adopting.

Make your own dried

Good news! Feline Wellness is now on Facebook! Just type in “Feline Wellness Magazine” to join our interactive community of cat lovers. You’ll find all kinds of tips, photos and fun videos, and we invite you to share your own images and stories with us, or start a discussion with your fellow readers. See you there!

catnip by placing fresh stalks of the plant on a piece of screening in the sun. Strip off the leaves when dry and store them in a

cool, dry place.

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Kitty love We adopt cats for many reasons, but according to the American Pet Products Association, 89% of kitty guardians rate love and companionship as the top benefits of sharing their lives with a feline. Here a few more stats:

72% indicated they find cats fun to watch and have in the household

65% feel their cats are like a child or family member


believe their cats relieve stress and promote relaxation

TNR saves money Communities trying to solve the problem of homeless cats by killing them are not only using archaic inhumane methods but also are engaged in an useless waste of tax dollars, according to an economic study commissioned by Best Friends Animal Society. The study found that given the estimated 87 million homeless cats in the US, it would cost governmental entities about $16 billion to trap and kill them as opposed to approximately $9 billion for supporting TNR programs run by rescue organizations and individual volunteers.

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Obesity among cats is a major problem. Trouble is, a lot of indoor kitties become chronically inactive if not given enough physical and mental stimulation. Check out these tips for encouraging your feline to jump off the couch (or counter) and get moving.

by Catherine Owsianiecki


f your feline friend is on the heavy side, he’s got plenty of company. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention claims that an astounding 51 million American cats are overweight and 15.8 million are estimated to be obese. The pejorative “fat cat” can just as easily apply to our feline family members as it does to Wall Street bankers. But unlike those bankers, no government bailout can help our corpulent kitties. It’s up to us to create a stimulus plan to help our cats lose weight.

Getting started Before starting a weight loss plan for your cat, the first step is to consult your veterinarian. While feline obesity is a common problem, homeopathic veterinarian Dr. Christina Chambreau cautions animal guardians to remember that every cat is an individual. “Some need more exercise than others to live healthy and lead longer lives,” she says. “One way to know how healthy your cat is, and to know if the amount of exercise you


are doing with him is enough, is to check for the early warning signs of illness.” Visit ( or the Academy for Veterinary Homeopathy (theavh. org) for a detailed listing of signals that your cat could be developing cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal issues or even hypertension. For those who may be worried about overdoing initial exercise sessions with their cats, Dr. Chambreau has reassuring advice: “Any illness and all health are made better by the proper degree of exercise for the individual animal. Rarely are people able to make a cat play too much. They’ll make dogs play too much, but not cats.” It’s also important to consult your vet before reducing your cat’s caloric intake or making abrupt changes to his diet. Cats can get sick if they lose weight too quickly, or may develop gastrointestinal upset when their diets are changed. “It’s always best to offer cats a fresh food diet,”

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says Dr. Chambreau. “And the best real food for a cat is what makes up a mouse – raw meat, meaty bones and pureed vegetables.”

“Any illness and all health are made better by the proper degree of exercise for the individual animal.” Look at his toys Toys are the cornerstone of any feline exercise program, but it’s important to choose the right ones. In fact, any hazards associated with increased play may actually lie with the toys rather than the tempo. The most dangerous toy is the prototypical string of yarn. “With the way cats’ tongues work, it is almost impossible for them to spit anything out,” says Dr. Chambreau. “Cats that eat string, yarn, rubber bands, shoelaces or anything very thin run the risk of having those items block their intestines or get caught around the bases of their tongues.” Dr. Chambreau suggests making toys out of wider items like the sash of a bathrobe or a man’s old tie. “You also have to think about what you are throwing on the floor for your cat to chase,” she adds. “Many cat guardians will roll up a small ball of aluminum foil, which makes great noise skittering across the floor, but the cat could easily swallow it. It would be much better to crumple up some paper, which will dissolve in the cat’s intestinal tract if he happens to eat it.” Many purchased toys can be risky too. “Little things like sequins are often sewn onto toys, and many have parts like ears and tails that easily come off,” says Dr. Chambreau. Shop feline wellness

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“Once a cat reaches about two or three years old, he should maintain the same energy level and playfulness for the rest of his life.” for quality made toys that have no removable parts, or substitute items like ping pong balls, water bottle lids, or leaves from celery or carrots. Whatever toys your cat likes best, schedule in a few short sessions of interactive play every day. Your cat is more likely to exercise if you play with him (toys that move are much more fun for him than toys that just lie on the floor). To prevent boredom, rotate to different toys on a regular basis. Rubbing them with dried catnip helps get your kitty more excited and willing to play.

For confirmed lazybones If you’ve tried every toy imaginable and still can’t tempt your cat off the couch, it’s time to get creative and do some experimenting.

Mental benefits of play

• “If there is anything you know your cat would move toward, move her away from it and get her to exercise toward it,” suggests Dr. Chambreau. “For example, if your cat really loves her food, then make a game out of meal time. When it’s time to eat, take your cat to the opposite end of the house or up the stairs, and make it a race to dinner.” • Similarly, if you notice your cat is excited by the doorbell (without nervousness or fear) ring it yourself and watch him come running. You can do the same with any noise that attracts his attention and curiosity, such as a treat package (be sure not to give him too many!) or a toy with a squeaker. • Don’t run after your cat in an attempt to get her to exercise. “You never want to chase her in a threatening way,” says Dr. Chambeau. “It must always be a matter of enticing her.”

• Timid cats will become more confident through daily play with an interactive toy.

• Cat towers and condos allow felines to do a lot of climbing up and down. Most kitties love them.

• Anxious cats will become calmer. Cats cannot feel fear or anxiety while displaying animated play.

• Many cats like to leap in and out of cardboard boxes.

• Daily play can help satisfy a cat’s prey drive and stop him attacking other animals or people in the household.

Healthy cats do not “get old.” “Once a cat reaches about two or three years old, he should maintain the same energy level and playfulness for the rest of his life,” says Dr. Chambreau. So never fall back on the excuse that your cat is too old for play!

• Reduce tension between two cats in the household by playing with them simultaneously, using two separate toys maneuvered far apart. The cats will begin to relax and form a positive association with one another. • A bored cat is not a happy cat. If he has nothing to do all day and the toy mice have been forgotten, he may eat plants or claw furniture to release pent up tension or energy. Courtesy of Mieshelle Nagelschneider, cat behaviorist ( and author of Through the Eyes of a Cat (Random House Bantam Dell, 2010).


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Have you noticed your cat doesn’t visit her water bowl too often? Don’t worry – it’s normal for a feline. But you still have to make sure she stays properly hydrated. by Ann Brightman If your cat never seems to drink much water, don’t be too concerned. She’s not sick. Most cats have a relatively low thirst drive. It’s because their wild ancestors once lived in desert environments, where water was scarce and the only available moisture came from the bodies of prey animals. So is it possible for cats to get dehydrated? Yes, especially if they live solely on poor quality dry foods. Unlike fresh raw meat, cheap kibbled diets contain minimal amounts of moisture, are too low in meat protein and too high in grains. They also contain harmful additives such as artificial colors and preservatives. Cats that eat nothing but low end dry foods usually don’t drink enough water to offset the lack of moisture in their diets, and that can lead to dehydration and urinary tract problems, including kidney disease. The solution is to add moisture to your cat’s diet. If your kitty prefers dry food, and many do, make sure he’s getting a premium meat-based product that’s very low in grains and contains no synthetic additives. Try mixing some warm water into the food to make “gravy”, or use some fluid from a tin of fish, such as wild salmon. You can also try introducing some high quality canned food or raw meat to your cat’s menu. Do it gradually, though, to avoid digestive upsets. If your cat is already eating a premium canned food, or a frozen raw or home prepared diet, she’s probably already

getting sufficient moisture. Either way, always make sure she has fresh pure water available 24/7. Don’t let the water sit for days – cats are fussy, and she’ll be even less likely to drink if it’s stagnant. As well, water that sits too long will form algae and that makes it even less appealing to the cat. Remember to wash out the bowl each time you put fresh water in it. Take a look as well as the shape and size of your cat’s water bowl. Cats don’t like it when their whiskers touch the sides of a dish. Your kitty might be more likely to drink from a wide shallow water dish. It’s also a good idea to have two or more water stations throughout the house, perhaps one on each floor. This is especially wise in a multicat household, or if your cat is older and less mobile. A lot of cats are attracted to moving water. That’s why they like to dabble in the toilet or jump on the sink when the tap is running. Moving water is also aerated water, and that makes it more palatable to many animals. Consider investing in an animal water fountain that provides a continuous stream of moving water. Cats can be finicky and don’t like change, so you may need to try several different tactics to encourage your kitty to consume more water. Be patient and vigilant, and you can easily prevent dehydration and protect her health. feline wellness

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Litter box problems and acts of aggression are just two examples of common feline behaviors that can drive us to distraction. The reasons can be cloudy and the solutions even more remote. The secret? Find out what your cat is feeling and thinking. by Sue Becker


rincess is a loving yet spirited long haired kitty. She had been with Freda and Harv for two years and was a perfect companion – except for one thing. She urinated outside her litter box. Princess is the only household animal and enjoys being the center of attention. Sometimes she urinated right beside her box, and sometimes in front of the door, even though a litter box was placed right there. Freda had Princess checked for medical issues and tried many different litters in both covered and uncovered boxes, but nothing helped. As a result, the carpeting throughout the house had to be replaced. Freda asked if I could use animal communication to get to the bottom of the problem. I found Princess to be a very smart and sensitive girl, a beautiful soul completely devoted to her people. She


loved the attention she was given, but had actually become dependent on it! Freda confirmed that Princess showed “clingy” behavior. Princess communicated to me that she felt lonesome and insecure when her people left her for long periods. Urinating outside the litter box helped her surround herself with her own scent. This gave her a sense of increased security and safety. She also wasn’t fussy about her litter. Once Princess let me know why the behavior was happening, it was easy to find a solution. I suggested that Freda switch to a special litter, and give Princess Bach Rescue Remedy every day for about a month. I felt this would soothe her enough that she would use her litter reliably. Once Princess reached this point, Freda and Harv needed to wean her a little from her dependency by leaving her for short periods at first, and gradually

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Many skeptical clients who try communication as a last resort have been astounded by the changes in their feline friends. moving to longer periods, always providing lots of toys and even hidden treats around the house to occupy her while they were gone. Several days later, Freda sent me an update with “wonderful news”. Princess hadn’t wet the floor since the changes were made.

Communication can point the way Many cats exhibit behavioral issues that are difficult to understand and correct. The first step, of course, is to take the cat to the vet to make sure his behavior isn’t caused by illness. If he’s healthy, and behavior modification doesn’t have an effect, animal communication might be able to help. Telepathic communication is an interchange of thoughts, pictures, feelings and other information. Checking in telepathically with your cat can uncover his emotional state and concerns, and can reveal the reasons for unwanted behaviors. Animal communication has led yielded solutions to excessive grooming and self-mutilation, furniture clawing and stress. Sometimes, communication itself doesn’t resolve the problem, but acts as a guidepost to other solutions like flower essences, changing litters, increased

Hoss (left) is my own feline friend. He’s an enthusiastic, intense neutered Bengal male who started urinating into the hot air registers. Every time the furnace or air-conditioner switched on, “eau-de-kitty” permeated every room in the house. The behavior started when he developed a bladder infection, but it continued even after the condition had cleared. When I asked Hoss why he liked to urinate in the registers, he said he found it exciting! Their locations were sunny and he considered the two registers his “spots”. This was a very important issue for Hoss, but we did reach a compromise. To help, I blocked one register with a small piece of furniture and placed a small new litter box by the other. He agreed to use it and almost always does.

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playtime, energy balancing or resources requested by the cat, such as taller scratching posts, cat grass and the like. Many skeptical clients who tried communication as a last resort have been astounded by the changes in their feline friends.

Luna becomes Luma Take Luna for instance. She’s a playful five-year-old spayed rescue cat. She was quite feral but has calmed enormously in the year since Janet adopted her. The problem was that Luna was attacking Janet’s other cat, Elvira. Janet ended up having to separate them. She described Luna as “sassy and impudent” to the older Elvira. When I connected with Luna, she shared that she had claimed the entire apartment as her territory and felt quite powerful. She viewed Elvira as her subordinate and rather as a commodity – attacking her was amusing! When I reminded Luna that she should respect Elvira as the original resident, Luna replied that she had taken over – she was the stronger individual and the territory was now hers. Telling her of Janet’s desires didn’t advance matters. Luna was a determined girl.

ConneCt with your Cat • Find a quiet time, relax and calm your mind. • Be neutral, not emotional. • Think of your cat with appreciation, respect and love. • Bring her into your heart or imagine a heart connection, and ask her how she’s feeling. • Remain quiet and patient. You may feel her emotions, hear a voice describing them, be shown pictures that illustrate them, or just have a “knowing” about them. • Ask her what you can do to help and wait for her to send you an answer. • Thank her for sharing and promise to do your best to help her feel better. • Follow through on your promise.

I recommended Bach Flower Remedies to help balance Luna’s outlook and mental state. I suggested Vine for her bullying and dominance, Chicory for possessiveness and territorial behavior, and Vervain for her high energy level. I also suggested that Janet consider changing the cat’s name. “Luna” means “moon”, the planet ruling emotions, and connotes fluctuation and instability. Janet was quite open to this and immediately came up with Luma, which sounds similar but carries an entirely different energy, one of brightness and enlightenment. Ten weeks later I received an update from Janet. “Luma is a changed cat, so affectionate and loving, and not attacking Elvira like she used to.” She sits on Janet’s lap now, and is no longer nervous. Janet told me that changing Luma’s name was a huge step in softening her energy. Telepathy is one way animals communicate among themselves. And it’s our heritage and birthright too. Give it a try. Practice on your own (see sidebar) or attend a workshop or teleclass. You might surprise yourself, delight your feline friends, and even find solutions for those “impossible” behaviors!


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Heart is an excellent source of natural taurine, protein and many other rich, health-giving nutrients that are essential for a cat’s well being. Onesta Hearty Treats are made from the hearts of certified organic free-range chickens or turkeys that have been sustainably raised. These tasty treats are gently dehydrated at low temperatures to preserve their nutrient content, and come in three delicious flavors that your kitty will love. 1.8 oz bag – Plain: $8; Cinnamon: $8.10; Kelp: $8.15

Healing touch Cats are prone to a variety of skin issues, from simple scratches and insect bites, to allergies, ear infections and eczema. Vetericyn Wound and Infection Treatment offers a treatment option that works in tandem with your cat’s immune system to fight infection and speed healing. Gentle and non-stinging, this spray-on solution kills bacteria, viruses, fungi and spore; it replicates the immune system’s natural response to invading pathogens with an oxidative burst of neutrophils, the most common white blood cells in the body. 8 oz bottle – $28.00

Loosen up Does your once-agile kitty now seem stiff, sad and sedentary? She no longer has to suffer through the pain and discomfort of feline arthritis. Arthro-IonX is a holistic daily medicine that offers fast, safe relief of arthritis symptoms, while supporting overall health and vitality. It’s a bio-available liquid formula that turns invisible in your cat’s water dish for simple administration and optimal absorption. 1 bottle – $37 (buy 2, get 1 free)

She deserves it

Most kitties enjoy the taste of bacon, so when it’s used to flavor a healthy vitamin and mineral supplement for cats, that means you’ll both be happy. Deserving Pets Vital Vitamins for Cats is just like a tasty treat, which means your feline friend will eat it without fuss. Along with every vitamin and mineral necessary for optimum wellness, this supplement also contains taurine, milk thistle, cranberry and dandelion for bladder health, apple and pumpkin for good bowel function, and zinc and biotin for skin and coat health. 60-day supply – $39.99

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Is your feline friend an indoor kitty? Are you worried he might not be getting enough exercise? Believe it or not, you can raise his activity level by training him to walk on a treadmill! by Cynthia S. Evans Tina walks the treadmill while the author turns the cylinder.


e have two cats, Tina and Magellen. They both really enjoy taking leisurely outdoor walks with me several times a week. But as we all know, cats are very particular about the weather and who they socialize with. For those reasons, we don’t walk outside every day, and never when it’s cold, rainy or too busy with other people.

Let him explore the machine at his own pace, under your supervision, before trying to get him to walk on it. If your cat doesn’t show any interest, try getting his favorite toy and playing with him around the treadmill. Or feed him a tasty treat on or near the treadmill while it’s not moving. Whatever gets your cat’s attention is good.

This past winter, when the weather was particularly severe, we acquired a treadmill to keep ourselves in shape. To my surprise, Tina and Magellen became very interested while I was walking on it. I decided to try training them to use the treadmill too – with success! Here’s how I did it, and how you can do the same with your own cat.

Once your cat is accustomed to the treadmill, get on yourself and walk slowly while watching his reaction and being careful not to spook him away. When I first walked on my treadmill, my cats came over to check it out so I knew the curiosity was there. When the treadmill was sitting idle, they would climb on it, stretch on it, play underneath it and even sleep on it.

First of all, ours is a completely manual treadmill, which means it’s not powered by electricity and does not have any cords or plugs hanging around it. It doesn’t have any on/off switches or buttons, or anything else that can hurt the cats as they investigate all the little holes, wheels, flaps, knobs and the belt itself. What I’m saying is that you will need to make sure your treadmill is totally safe because your cat will be naturally interested in this new idea.


To my surprise, Tina and Magellen became very interested while I was walking on it.

If your treadmill is manual, make sure it rolls with ease, because you will have to make it move as your cat walks on it. He won’t have the push power to make it roll by himself. To get my cats on the treadmill, I used one hand to turn the bottom cylinder while attracting them onto the belt with my other hand, using a treat or a new string toy. (Now I can do it just by clicking my fingers.) It took awhile to get

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the cats focused on exactly what I wanted them to do, and to continue with the upward stride and movement of the treadmill (ours has an incline to it). Over time, they each finally got to the stage where they would walk straight up the treadmill and continue to walk for about 15 seconds as I rolled the cylinder. I would then pet them and get them walking another 15 seconds, gradually working up to a full minute, twice a day. Remember to praise your cat every time he does what you want him to. Thanks to the treadmill, my husband and I and both our cats now get daily exercise and enjoy quality time together. You can too!


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Cats Magellen lounges by the treadmill.

It takes time and patience to get your cat accustomed to walking on a treadmill, and some kitties will take longer to learn than others. It was easy to get Tina to walk on the treadmill because she always has to see what I am doing and to be where I am. She just needed some guidance and encouragement to walk straight up the treadmill and to continue to walk as it rolled.

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Magellan, on the other hand, was content with climbing all over the treadmill and sleeping on the incline as well as inspecting all the nooks and crannies. He would try to get on the treadmill with me but there wasn’t room for both of us. When I got off, he also got off and lay beside it watching it roll. He needed a lot of coaxing to walk on it by himself. When I dangled his favorite treat in front of him, he would walk up the incline to receive it, but would then lie down to eat it. When I started rolling the treadmill, he would get off. If I still had his attention, we would start over. As time went on, I would withhold the treat for up to 15 seconds while he was on the treadmill, and eventually he got the idea. Magellan doesn’t have a lazy bone in his body but it took weeks to get him to walk on the treadmill for 15 seconds at a time without treats. Now his reward is a pat and a “good boy”.

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D N E I R F A ERALS TO F Susie Q ID#43160

Devoted to helping homeless cats, FixNation is the only free full-time spay and neuter clinic in Los Angeles. by Tessa Kimmel


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sk any animal care professional – volunteers at the animal shelter, your veterinarian or pet supply retailer. They’ll all tell you the number of homeless, stray and feral cats in every sleepy town and bustling metropolitan city is at epidemic proportions. In fact, the ASPCA estimates there are over ten million homeless and feral cats in the United States alone. Some animal welfare groups believe the numbers are much higher. Many neighborhoods care for these cats by constructing shelters and feeding stations where large numbers of kitties have set up colonies. By providing feral cats with basic needs, they are less likely to wander onto residential properties. Other communities have implemented trap, neuter, release (TNR) programs. By targeting cat colonies, they are able to spay and neuter large numbers of cats. Although it’s impossible to trap every animal, TNR programs have proven to be an effective way of controlling feral feline populations. Over time, the numbers of cats stabilize and even decrease.


One such program started in Los Angeles in 1999. It came about quite by accident, when Karn Myers befriended two women feeding a feral colony near her place of business. As she learned more about the plight of the cats, Karn became driven to do more to help them. Her husband, Mark Dodge, echoed her passion and quickly joined in to help. According to Mark, the couple was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish their mission. Motivated by their love of cats and armed with the assistance of likeminded individuals and organizations, the all-volunteer Best Friend’s Catnippers proudly held its first spay and neuter clinic in October of 1999.

“We employ the equivalent of two fulltime spay-neuter vets and a professional medical support staff.”

Best Friends Catnippers continues to hold six bi-monthly spay and neuter clinics a year, but Karn and Mark knew more could be done by operating a full-time clinic. So in 2007, after much in-depth planning and considerable fundraising, they founded FixNation Inc. (, the only fulltime, free spay and neuter clinic of its kind.

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This is no small feat and takes a dedicated group of individuals. Although some of FixNation’s team are volunteers, the clinic cannot do its work on a volunteer basis alone. “We employ the equivalent of two full-time spay-neuter vets and a professional medical support staff,” Mark explains. “All homeless cats are examined, receive distemper and rabies vaccines, flea and parasite prevention, medication and fluids. Other medically necessary surgeries are also performed. We also employ management and clerical personnel to handle the business side of things, such as scheduling, training, trap inventory management, administration, community outreach, marketing, PR, financial and bookkeeping. We run on a budget of over $1.2 million annually to achieve the goal of performing over 17,000 free surgeries per year. FixNation serves as the only full-time TNR support organization.” FixNation also offers a variety of resources to help people caring for feral cat colonies. They loan traps, train people in using the traps, provide help for colony caregivers and have a public education program. “We are very active in helping TNR become official public policy in Los Angeles and elsewhere through public education efforts and collaborations with other animal welfare organizations,” Mark says. “We are working in collaboration with the City of Los Angeles and other animal welfare and wildlife protection organizations to develop a program that will encompass TNR as a critical component of the long term solution to the problem of homeless cats in LA.” None of this would be possible without the help of other organizations and charities, Mark points out, adding that PetSmart Charities and Best Friends Animal Society are their “anchor” donors. Fundraising events are also essential to keep the clinic afloat. One very special event held last March was a partnership between FixNation and the Broadway Production of CATS held at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. “We work hard to promote what we do,” Mark says. “We hope that more people and organizations will see the value in it and decide to help us keep our operations going”. To date, FixNation and Best Friends Catnippers have spayed and neutered more than 40,000 cats. Given how quickly unfixed cats proliferate, that translates to a staggering decrease in homeless kittens!

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your cat?

Choose from a selection of stylish quality collars, leashes and harnesses to keep your kitty safe outdoors. by Charlotte Walker


ndoor cats live longer than those that roam free, but that doesn’t mean your kitty can’t enjoy the great outdoors. You just have to ensure he can’t wander off and get into trouble. One way to do this is to get him used to wearing a collar or harness, and taking him out on a leash. There are all kinds of collars, leashes and harnesses on the market, for both dogs and cats, but it’s important to do your homework and make sure you pick a safe, well made product that’s going to properly fit and suit your feline

friend. Take a look at some of the quality options pictured here, and follow these tips for the best results. • Before shopping, make sure you measure your cat. You want a collar or harness that will fit snugly, but not too tightly. You should be able to comfortably slip two fingers underneath it. If it’s too loose, your cat will most likely wriggle out of it. Most collars and harnesses are adjustable. • Look for good quality durable materials that are going to be comfortable for your cat to wear. My own two cats do very well with harnesses made from soft nylon, and there are other materials to choose from as well. You might save money buying This breakaway collar from Jake & Micah is designed to safely come apart if the cat gets caught on something.


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a cheap product, but if it falls apart and your cat runs away and gets lost or injured, you’ll wish you’d invested in something better. • Your cat isn’t like a dog. Choose lightweight materials that won’t drag on her or cause her discomfort. That big thick leather leash might be great for a German shepherd, but it’ll be too heavy and cumbersome for your kitty. • Keep in mind that it’s easier for cat to slip out of a collar, so if your kitty is an escape artist, you may want to opt for a harness instead. • Cat collars are generally easier to find than harnesses. If you want a harness, and can’t find one designed for cats at your local pet supply store, take a look at some of the harnesses made for small dogs. Some of these can work just as well. Again, make sure you pick one made from lightweight materials that won’t weigh down or chafe against your cat. • Attach some form of ID to your cat’s collar or harness, just in case he gets away somehow. • Breakaway collars are a good idea if your cat ever roams at large. They’re designed to come apart if he gets caught on something. • A retractable leash made for a small dog can be good to use with a cat. They’re easy to handle and you can quickly control how much leeway your cat has.

Sgt. Pepper sports a quality handcrafted collar from Pattern and Paw.

Today’s cat collars come in a wide variety of stylish colors and designs.

• It’s best to train a cat to a collar or harness from kittenhood. Adult cats can be persuaded to wear them, but it’s usually more difficult, especially when it comes to harnesses. Adult cats are more likely to fight a harness or leash if they’re not used to it, and are more apt to try and squirm out of it. Today’s cat collars, leashes and harnesses come in a wide variety of snazzy colors and patterns, so your kitty can be stylish as well as safe. Whatever product you decide to buy, however, never tether your cat outside alone. He could easily get tangled up in a tree, or attacked by a passing dog or coyote. Always keep your kitty company while he’s outdoors!

This nylon harness and leash are soft but durable. (Jeffers Pet).

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Health Talk with

Dr. Marcia Martin

Veterinarian Dr. Marcia Martin is a holistic veterinarian practicing at The Center for Holistic Medicine at Calusa Veterinary Center in Boca Raton, Florida. Her treatment modalities include classical homeopathy, acupuncture, non-force chiropractic and herbal medicine. She is also the author of Quit Your Belly Aching, a homeopathic guide to colic treatment in horses. For more information on holistic healthcare for cats and other animals, read Dr. Martin’s blog at


What would you recommend for a cat who is on insulin every other day? I would like to regulate her diabetes and get her off insulin. We feed her a good quality food. I was thinking Pancreatrophin would help, from what I’ve read, but I don’t know where to buy it or how much to give her. We do not have a holistic vet in the community.


Luckily, cats are probably the only species in which diabetes can be reversed. I do want to stress that not all cats can recover from diabetes, and that proper monitoring while making any changes to their insulin dosage is critical. Improperly treated diabetes can rapidly become life threatening. That being said, the first step in the treatment of any cat is to provide a species appropriate diet. Cats are obligate carnivores and should have a diet consisting primarily of fresh meat. In this way, carbohydrates are reduced in the diet, the digestive system functions properly, and blood glucose may lower naturally. A raw food diet will help obese kitties lose weight, lowering one diabetic risk factor. Pancreatrophin is a whole food nutritional supplement produced by Standard Process. It may be helpful but won’t make up for an inappropriate diet. Generally, I start


these supplements at one tablet daily for three days, then increase to one tablet twice daily for two to three months. You should also discontinue annual revaccination, if you have not already. Over-vaccination has been linked to several autoimmune diseases including pancreatitis, so diabetic animals should not be vaccinated. [For more on diabetes in cats, turn to page 40].

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One of my cats is often constipated. The other one has regular, healthy stools, but Tike’s stools are frequently small, dry and hard. Sometimes he goes a couple of days without a proper bowel movement. They both eat the same food (dry and canned) and I always make sure there are two bowls of fresh water on each floor of the house. The water is changed every day. I see Tike drinking the water but it doesn’t seem to help. I know he eats more dry food than my other cat. Could that be the problem? He doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort and is happy and playful. He is urinating normally.


Healthy cats actually drink very little water, so the fact that you see him drinking probably means he is drinking too much. Thirst in a cat is often one of the very first subtle signs that he is ill. Thirst combined with constipation can be an indicator that your cat is dehydrated. Increased water consumption and dehydration can be associated with a number of serious medical conditions including diabetes, liver and kidney disease. Your veterinarian can run blood tests to rule out these underlying conditions.

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Another cause of constipation is inappropriate diet. Cats should be fed a diet consisting of fresh raw meat. Cats in the wild are used to eating fresh meat with a high water content, so they therefore have little need to drink water. Canned diets, as long as they are grain free, can be a reasonable alternative to raw feeding. Often, an increase in fiber is recommended to relieve constipation. This practice should be avoided in cats as it will often lead to regurgitation and vomiting. In conclusion, rule out underlying medical causes for dehydration, feed a more species appropriate diet, and your problem may be solved.


I have a cat that is about six years old. She is severely cross-eyed. She has decided for the past few months that the place she wants to stay is near the kitchen. I make sure she has a litter box close by but she has decided she needs to pee on the kitchen counter. I have to cover everything and keep disinfectant handy to clean everything before I even take a chance on fixing something to eat. This is new. I don’t know why she does this as she doesn’t seem sick. I love her but this has to stop. What can I do?


House soiling is the number one reason cats are re-homed. It is a common problem without an easy solution. First, have your veterinarian check your

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cat for underlying medical conditions; bladder and kidney infections, diabetes and renal disease can all be associated with loss of litter box habits. Underlying household stress can be another cause. Aggression or intimidation by other household cats, moving, new household members and other changes in routine can often affect a cat’s emotional state. To treat this problem, a multimodal approach is needed. First, look at the litter box. Is it large enough that the cat can enter and exit, turn around, and not get his feet dirty? The small boxes commonly sold in retail stores are generally not big enough. A large box with low sides, such as an under-bed storage box, can be used. Make the box easily accessible in an open area. Use several boxes scattered conveniently around the house. The box must be cleaned frequently. The number of litter boxes should be equal to the number of cats living in the household. A species appropriate diet will help decrease urine crystals and inflammation. Vaccines have been linked to episodes of feline cystitis, so vaccination should be put off until the situation has resolved. Assuming there is no physical cause for the house soiling, conventional therapy consists of antidepressant and antianxiety medications. Alternative therapies include the use of pheromone sprays such as Feliway, Chinese herbal medications, acupuncture and classical homeopathy.


Is it possible for cats to pick up diseases on their feet or fur? Or can people track feline diseases into the house on their shoes? My two never go outside unless they are on a leash and supervised, so they never come in direct contact with stray cats or other animals. Recently, they came down with bad diarrhea that lasted several days and caused them quite a bit of discomfort. We hadn’t changed their food, so it wasn’t that. I can only assume they picked up a bug of some kind while being walked outside. Other cats do come around at night, because we see them through the window. I haven’t had my cats vaccinated for anything since they were kittens because I don’t believe in it, and I figured it wasn’t necessary if they didn’t roam and interact with other cats. They are recovered now, but I don’t want this to happen again. Is there something I should know?


Generally, diseases are not brought in from the environment on shoes or clothing. The one exception would be parvovirus in dogs. Without more information, it would be difficult to hazard a guess as to why both your cats would suddenly develop gastroenteritis resulting in diarrhea. Although you didn’t change the food, manufacturers of lower quality pet foods will often change the ingredients based on market availability and cost of ingredients. So the food may actually have changed without you knowing it.


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Food allergies and food sensitivities are common problems in our animals. You might want to check that the food is not on a recall list, as it seems many manufacturers have recently had to issue recalls for various reasons. If you are feeding kibble, I would change to a more species appropriate diet, either raw food or a grain free canned food. The single most common cause of gastrointestinal problems in cats is improper feeding.

Send your questions to: Holistic Veterinary Advice email: Our veterinary columnists respond to questions in this column only. We regret we cannot respond to every question. This column is for information purposes only. It is not meant to replace regular veterinary care. Please consult your veterinarian before giving your cat any remedies.

It is possible your cats’ feet picked up a virus left behind in the droppings of a other feline, and your cats ingested it during grooming. Stress may also play a part in diarrhea; moving to a new household, cats outside the house, the death of a family member, etc., can all play a part in stress induced diarrhea. If recurring diarrhea becomes a problem, you should have your cats examined by a veterinarian to rule out a physical cause. feline wellness

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CheCk her Chakras Does your kitty seem stressed or out of sorts? This energetic healing modality can help balance and revitalize her. by Lynn McKenzie


ou can approach healing from a variety of different angles. One modality that produces profound results in my own work is chakra healing. The word “chakra” is a Sanskrit term meaning “wheel”. Chakras are often referred to as “wheels of light” or “wheels of life”. It’s because chakras are vital to the healthy life of all beings, including our feline companions. Simply put, chakras are energy vortices or portals located at various points throughout the body. They are vehicles for receiving, assimilating and expressing life force energy. The chakra system is like a “map of consciousnesses” for each individual animal. It is important to know that all life force energy is filtered into a cat’s energetic body through these portals and is eventually funneled, via the meridians, into the endocrine system, which consists of various glands. This is how it ends up impacting the cat on a physical level. The degree to which a cat’s chakras are healthy and balanced plays a large part in how this life force energy reaches him, so the goal is to always strive for a healthy chakra system. Animals have eight or nine major chakras depending on which system you use. For this article, we will highlight eight major chakras. Continued on p.30.


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Your cat’s chakras Chakra Root (aka Base)

Sexual Progression (aka Sacral)

Solar Plexus

Attributes Physical world issues, grounding, survival instinct, status in the group, individuality, security, trust, courage, patience All aspects of procreation, assimilation of food, physical life force and vitality, sexual organs The center of personal power and will, key center for animals and humans to communicate physically, relates to the sympathetic nervous system, digestive system, metabolism and emotions


Divine and unconditional love, the human/animal bond, energizes the blood and physical body with life force


All aspects of communication and creative expression, especially conscious communication with intent, also relates to truth, knowledge and wisdom


Sensory intake and transmission of sensory information to the brain; in other words, how cats filter experiences, and how they deal with any and all sensory stimuli (seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, feeling and even knowing)

Third Eye (aka Brow)

Psychic insight and telepathy – the way all animals communicate with one another, also related to soul realization, concentration and devotion; this chakra is very developed in most animals


Life force connection and oneness with the infinite, connection with the divine, divine wisdom, understanding, selfless service, perception beyond space and time


Possible imbalance


Insecurity, fear, lack of trust, inappropriate elimination, arthritis, issues with the blood


Hormone imbalances (irregular heat cycles), breeding issues, spay and neuter issues, low self confidence, weakness, low energy


Diabetes, digestive problems, depression, eating disorders, epilepsy, fading newborn syndrome, fears, lack of confidence, immune system issues, obsessive behavior, nervousness

Pink or green

Anger, aggression, arthritis, blood disorders, emotional issues, inability to bond, feral cat, abused and rescue animal issues, stress related (or emotional) asthma

Sky blue

Depression, excessive or lack of vocalization, vocal problems, metabolism issues, teething, thyroid issues, lack of discernment

Silver blue

Over or under-reacting to events, noises, circumstances, any imbalance of the eyes, ears, nose, tail, etc., clipped whiskers, blindness, deafness, inappropriate elimination, aggression, intolerance, timidity


Headaches, depression, concentration issues, hair loss, hearing loss, hyperactivity, post-traumatic pain, skin allergies

Violet or white

Grief, depression, disorientation, eyesight issues, fear, headaches, panic attacks, pining, senility, separation anxiety, stress, tension

When healing cats through the chakra system, imbalances on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels can all be impacted and improved. feline wellness

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How chakra healing is done Balancing your cat’s chakras can help with many common issues such as fear and timidity, bullying and aggression, inappropriate elimination, digestive upsets, living in unnatural environments and more. The sky’s the limit with what you can work on. When healing cats through the chakra system, imbalances on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels can all be impacted and improved. Most energy healing modalities incorporate chakra healing in some form. Chakra healing can be done on our feline companions in a number of ways: • Hands-on healing, which includes locating the chakra, sensing or feeling what is going on there energetically, then working with the energy to clear blockages and imbalances to bring it back to perfect homeostasis. • Visualizing each chakra and its corresponding color, then visualizing a perfectly balanced vortex spinning in complete harmony (via your intention).

Most energy healing modalities incorporate chakra healing in some form. • Using color light therapy with corresponding chakra colors. • Using crystal therapy by placing crystals in the chakra colors near or on your feline companion. • Chakra healing can be done with equal effectiveness either in person or over a distance. Chakra healing is a great adjunct to veterinary care. When the chakras are balanced, the result is optimal health and vitality for your feline companion. Note: Chakra healing is not intended to replace veterinary care.

Brow/Thirdeye Solar Plexus





Heart Sexual Progression


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bladder problems They’re among the most common of feline ailments, and can cause your cat a lot of discomfort and distress. A natural approach can help treat and prevent these issues. by Deva Khalsa, VMD


hen a cat starts making frequent trips to the litterbox, or suddenly begins urinating in unusual places like the bathtub, he’s likely letting you know he has a urinary tract problem. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), for example, is a relatively common problem in cats. Other cats get cystitis at the drop of a hat. The good news is that natural supplements and homeopathic methods can help treat, and more importantly, avoid and prevent these bladder problems.

What to watch for Anyone who has had cystitis can attest to that uncomfortable feeling of “needing to go”. It’s the same for cats. In some

cases, the urine may be pink or red. If your cat chooses a tile floor or the bathtub, it’s pretty easy to tell if the urine is blood tinged. If your cat is using the litterbox, a handy trick is to mix shredded white toilet paper into the litter. In a “blocked” cat, urine crystals or mucous block the urethra. Blocked cats exhibit frequent but fruitless straining along

Dandelion promotes urination and flushes the urinary tract. feline wellness

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HomeopatHic HelperS Homeopathic remedies are also helpful for bladder problems and can be easily found in health food stores. or, consult a homeopathic veterinarian. the remedies can be administered orally two to four times a day, depending on the severity of symptoms. • apis mellifica is a good remedy to give when the urine is blood tinged. • cantharis is excellent for cystitis that causes irritation and a frequent urge to urinate. • causticum is indicated for chronic cystitis.

with signs of stress, discomfort and painful vocalization. Urinary obstructions are far more prevalent in male cats and constitute a veterinary emergency.

Various causes Researchers are still looking for the causes of FLUTD. The theories have changed over the past 20 years. One historic cause was thought to be the ash content in cat food, but that’s been proven incorrect. Until the late 1980s, struvite crystals were commonly found in urinalyses. More currently, calcium oxalate stones have also been found to be very common. Different crystals require different treatments, so an analysis of the urine is necessary to determine the exact crystal type. Interestingly, as the urine sits after collection, some


crystals dissolve while others grow, just like in a high school science experiment. When having your cat’s urine checked for crystals, get it to the lab as soon as possible after it’s collected.

Diet and pH In many cases, the cause of simple cystitis is a bacterial infection and your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics. Blocked cats must be rushed to the veterinarian and have their urethral passage unplugged along with supportive emergency care. Unfortunately, cats that get FLUTD tend to get it more than once. Learning some simple facts about diet and nutrition demonstrate Ben Franklin’s observation that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Diet can have a profound effect on bladder health. Having evolved on the African savannah, felines have a low thirst drive. Prey animals contain about 70% water. By contrast, dry kibble has only 10% water, so cats that eat only kibble will have more concentrated urine and a higher tendency to form crystals. Feeding more canned food and even watering it down a bit increases liquid intake. Raw food diets also provide more dietary liquid. The pH of the urine is important because crystals need a specific pH in which to form. Cats prefer protein rich foods, but they evolved eating whole prey and were conveniently provided with vegetable matter and greens from the prey’s intestines. Unfortunately, most processed commercial pet foods, by nature of their preparation methods, are stripped of essential plant nutrients. Healthy nutrients such as vitamin C and cranberry work to acidify the urine and prevent the buildup of certain crystals.

Synergistic vitamins Vitamins K1 and D3 work together to help metabolize and process minerals. K1 prevents calcium from washing into the bladder while D3 creates efficient mineral metabolism. Vitamin D3 also significantly improves immune function. A high incidence of vitamin D3 deficiency is now being identified in humans, so keeping an eye on your cat’s vitamin D3 is essential. Called the “sunshine vitamin,” D3 becomes biologically active when the human body is exposed to sunlight. Cats don’t have the necessary components in their skin to do this, so they need to get their Vitamin D3 from a supplement, raw liver or cod liver oil. This new research indicates that vitamins K1 and D3 may be very important in preventing urinary crystal formation.

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Super-foods to the rescue Phytochemicals are organic compounds in plants that have protective or disease-preventive properties. They are now a huge focus in scientific research. Sometimes called “superfoods”, they work to promote health in the body for a much longer time than vitamins and minerals. For example, vitamin C only acidifies the urine for a few hours after it’s taken. • Cranberry does the same (and more) for almost an entire day. It contains a polysaccharide called mannose, which selectively binds to bacteria, carrying them out of the bladder. In fact, bacteria prefer mannose to the cells of the bladder wall. Taking cranberry on a daily basis works to prevent and help treat urinary tract infections. • Milk thistle is an herb that’s been used for centuries. Its benefits on the liver are well publicized, but many people are not aware that it also works to prevent crystal and stone formation in the bladder. • Dandelion promotes urination and flushes the urinary tract.

Cranberries (below) and blueberries are both good for urinary tract health.

Between your veterinarian, correct dietary management, a good supplement and some homeopathic remedies, you now have some excellent tools to alleviate and prevent FLUTD and other urinary and bladder problems in your beloved cat.

• Blueberries offer a diverse range of micronutrients including manganese, B6, vitamins C and K. They have so many health benefits that a Berry Health Benefits Symposium has been held every year since 2007. Their positive effects range from preventing urinary tract infections and cancer to decreasing brain damage. In fact, all super foods have a wide range of health benefits. An excellent supplement for cats, called Deserving Pets, contains all the above mentioned vitamins, minerals and super foods.

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Trimming those talons is a necessary task that takes some patience. by Sally E. Bahner


law clipping. It’s enough to elicit groans from the most devoted cat lover. In principle, the procedure seems simple enough. Just place the cat on a firm surface, with her butt tucked into the crook of your arm, gently press on each toe till the claw is extended, watching for the quick, quickly nip off the tip of the claw with your special kitty claw clipping scissors, and praise effusively. That’s all there is to it, right? Not really. Take Mollie for instance. She’s a very good kitty who religiously uses her cardboard and sisal scratchers. But scratching rather than filing down claws removes the outer sheaths, leaving Mollie with pristine needlesharp tips. Clipping those sharp tips has proven to be a challenge, and that’s an understatement. Experts recommend gradually desensitizing the cat from early kittenhood by gently stroking the paws and pressing them to extend the claws. We used that tactic on Mollie, who was a shelter kitty, but she would have


no part of it. Paws were off limits. We do keep trying when she’s relaxed, and she’s beginning to tolerate it, at least for a couple of minutes at a time.

Tips for clipping • Commonly used tools include small scissor-like clippers, guillotine clippers with a longer handle, and good old nail clippers. Trial and error will determine which is easiest to use; we prefer the scissor clippers since they are the most comfortable to position. Don’t use clippers designed for dogs; you can buy small pairs made specifically for a cat’s slighter, more slender claws. Clippers that are too large are cumbersome and can twist the cat’s toe. • Holistic veterinarian Dr. Jean Hofve says there’s no reason to clip all a cat’s claws at one time. “Even one claw a day is all right,” she says, especially if the cat is difficult. • A technique Dr. Hofve has found helpful is scruffing, then gently pushing on the cat so her feet are firmly on the surface and she feels more secure.

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• There’s also the “burrito wrap”, in which the cat is wrapped snugly in a towel with one paw extended at a time for clipping. • Various manufacturers offer pet bags that can be used for claw clipping as well as administering medications, tooth brushing and bathing. The cat (or small dog) is placed in the bag, which is zipped shut so only his head is exposed. Four openings can be unzipped to access each paw. The pet bag hasn’t worked very well for recalcitrant Mollie. Thus far, getting her into it has proved as stressful as actually clipping her claws. The instructions recommend going easy and making it a positive experience. We tried the treat technique, which hasn’t worked to date. Two of our other cats weren’t cooperative either. So your kitty is positioned correctly and acting reasonably cooperative. Things are going well until she twitches or you get a little carried away, and you clip the quick. First of all, when clipping your cat’s claws, it’s better to clip too little than too much. Second, accidents do happen and it’s inevitable that at some time you will cut the quick. The kitty will hiss and/or growl and the claw may bleed a bit. Some pressure, or a little bit of flour or ice, should quickly stem the bleeding. Fortunately, cats are quick to forgive.

Are there alternatives? There are various products on the market that can help circumvent the whole claw clipping experience. • The Emery Cat scratching board looks like a deluxe version of your basic cardboard scratcher. It’s infused with catnip and has an emery material that files down the claws. • PediPaws is a battery-operated device that files down the claws. • Soft Paws nail caps have been around for some time. They should be put on by a veterinarian, at least the first time, and must be replaced as the claws grow out. • Sticky Paws is a double-sided tape you put on upholstery and others areas to discourage scratching.

The declAw conTroversy Whether or not cats should be declawed has been debated as long as humans have had upholstered furniture. Often, veterinarians were told to “spay/neuter and declaw” in one painfully surgical procedure. Nowadays, more people realize that declawing is the equivalent is cutting off a human finger at the first knuckle. Declawing may result in behavioral issues such as biting, aggression and inappropriate urination. In later years, it may even lead to arthritis. Declawing is banned in the United Kingdom and many other European countries under the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. On this side of the Atlantic, Dr. Hofve has been at the forefront of legislation that has so far banned declawing in eight California cities. The bottom line is that claws are part and parcel of the feline, and the commitment to live with a cat involves giving her the means to fulfill her basic need to scratch. Training a cat to use a scratching post is not that difficult and there are plenty of products out there to fulfill that need. But keep in mind that one rickety out-of-theway scratcher will not spare your damask sofa. Your kitty will need your guidance in learning the proper way to use her claws.

We’ve learned to co-exist with Mollie and her claws. The effort it takes to occasionally clip them is worth it when we see how much she enjoys working out on her scratching posts. feline wellness

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SAFETY FIRST! Bringing a new little one into your household? Just as you would for a human baby, you need to kitten-proof your home to ensure he stays out of danger. by Marva Marrow


ohn and Mr. Universe, his six-month old kitten, were having a great play session with Mr. U’s favorite twisted pipe cleaner toy. The phone rang and John went to answer. When he returned five minutes later, the bright green and yellow toy had disappeared. After a twohour late night trip to the specialty clinic, and a $1,500 vet bill, the toy had been retrieved – from Mr. U’s esophagus, right at the point where it would have entered his stomach. This story had a happy ending, but it isn’t always so where kittens are concerned. That’s why kittenproofing your home is a must!

Safe sanctuary First of all, a young kitten (under four months) should not be allowed free access to the whole house without supervision. Create a play area in one room where the kitten can be confined when you can’t be there to oversee his actions. Provide a cozy warm bed, a cat tree, non-edible toys, food, water and a litterbox (placed at least three feet away from his food and water). Even a bathroom with a window will do. It doesn’t need to be a large space. You can also create a “screen door” for the room with two pieces of wire-coated shelving, joined with nylon electrical ties (left).

In the kitchen Brooms – Kittens like to chew on broom bristles and these can puncture intestines. Stand brooms on their handles instead of on their bristles. Stove – Monitor the stove when there are pots on open burners. Kittens can leap on the hot surface and even tip over pots. Turn the handles of skillets and pots away from the front edge of the stove. Never leave an open flame without covering it with a pan. Don’t turn away from an open oven. Refrigerator – Be aware that when you open the doors, your kitten can get inside quicker than you might imagine and you may not even see him.

A screen eases introductions by allowing the kittens to see one another without interacting.


Cleaning supplies – Make sure all bottles are securely capped and supplies stored in a cabinet the kitten can’t open. Some kittens and cats are

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very resourceful and find ways to open cupboards and cabinets. Use childproof locks if you have one of these feline geniuses!

In the laundry room Dryers – These are so tempting, and so deadly. Always check the dryer and know where your kitten is before starting the cycle. Detergents – Keep these and other cleaning supplies, especially bleach, in securely locked containers.

In the living room, office and bedroom Wires – If you have a computer and/or entertainment center, you know how the wires can proliferate. They should be grouped and tied with Velcro or other ties and, if possible, looped onto hanging hooks. A messy tangle of wires not only means your kitten might turn off or unhook valuable equipment; he could also get electrocuted or caught in the wires. Computers and printers – Keep these covered, again because of the damage a kitten can do (did you really want to send that fax or erase your drive?), and for the danger these pieces of equipment can pose to inquisitive paws. I keep my own cats out of my home office, thanks to the many “changes” they’ve implemented on my computer system. Block access to entertainment center cabinets so your kitten won’t get someplace you can’t reach him.

Make family members and friends aware that a curious kitten can easily slip through an open door. Always be conscious of where your kitten is when you open a door to the outside. cords for Venetian blinds and drapes well above a kitten’s reach. Many kittens have inadvertently been strangled after getting caught in the cords. Ornaments – Anchor all breakable items with earthquake putty, or put them behind closed cabinet doors.

In the bathroom Keep toilet seats down. Put up a sign if a reminder is needed! Kittens can easily fall in the toilet and there is nothing for them to hang onto if they do. Keep lotion, spray and shampoo bottles securely closed. Q-tips are very tempting to kittens – keep them locked away. Ditto for elastic hair fasteners!

A word about toys

Office supplies – Keep paper clips and other small objects, such as ink cartridges and rubber bands, locked up. Rubber bands are particularly dangerous if ingested.

Do not leave interactive toys such as fishing poles or teasers around the house for the kitten to find. These should only be used under supervision and then stored somewhere inaccessible to the kitten. Remove eyes and Sewing and crafts – Thread and needles are incredibly other loose or small plastic parts from toys so your kitten attractive to kittens, and deadly. Because can’t swallow them. I’ve already of the backward facing barbs on a mentioned the dangers of pipe Always check the dryer and kitten or cat’s tongue, once he starts cleaner toys, much beloved by many know where your kitten is swallowing a thread, he can’t stop. It kittens. Be aware if your kitten is before starting the cycle. can get wrapped around his intestines chewing on a toy and remove it if in a flash. Anything like thread or string the chewing turns into eating. (such as price tags on new clothing) can be deadly for a kitten. And forget Kittens are extremely curious and love the cute image of a kitten with a ball to explore and investigate everything of yarn. The same warning goes for in their environment. Remove or buttons, small craft supplies, glue and prevent access to anything that might glue guns. pose a danger to him, and your home Window cords – Loop or tie the

will become a much safer place for your feline toddler! feline wellness

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4/27/10 1:19:26 PM

ds warmth and

ad Natural lighting

age. detail to this im Get down to your cat’s level for the best results.

PERFECT “PAWTRAITS” Given the feline nature, photographing your kitty can be something of a challenge. But with patience and perseverance, along with a few useful tips for the best results, you can snap successful pictures. by Nadia Ali


very cat person loves looking at pictures of kitties. Do you often find yourself browsing through the pages of your favorite cat book, magazine or website and enjoying all the photos? I know I do. It inspired me to take my own pictures, only to discover that capturing a good photo of my treasured kitty wasn’t as easy as it looked.

Patience is key On one occasion, my cat Cici slept curled on the carpet with all four paws under her chin. I saw it as a great opportunity to take some photos of her regular daily routine. But as soon as I found my digital camera and made myself comfy on the carpet next to her, she got up, stretched, turned around and curled up again with her back to me. How rude! First lesson in photographing cats: patience is a virtue.


Have you ever watched those wildlife documentaries in which the camera crew is staked out behind a bush for hours just waiting for that perfect moment to film? Well, taking photos of your cat can prove to be much like that. If I had staked out Cici before she struck that pose, I would not have disturbed her, giving myself the opportunity to take as many shots as I wanted.

Technically speaking All digital cameras take photos in pixels. The more pixels, the better the image resolution of the photo. In other words, you’ll get better images of your cat with a high resolution camera. A mega pixel is equal to one million pixels, so look at your camera specs to see how many MPs it takes. Today, even a digital camera that costs about $50 takes at least 5MP photos. And most

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come with a standard 2GB (giga bit) storage memory card that can hold about 1,600 photos.

Snap shots The following tips will help ensure a winning photo: • When you see a shot you really like but there’s a background of clutter, get a large piece of cloth like a blanket or sheet and mask the mess. • For a really good frame, you need to get down to your cat’s level. Be discreet, because if your cat is anything like Cici, she’ll scamper away as soon as she realizes something is going on. • Forget the flash. If it blinds humans you can only imagine what it does to your kitty. Also, a flash tends to either give a cat red-eye or a pair of bright headlights for eyes. Consider your cat’s coloring as well. Cici is a tortoiseshell with pure white fur on her chest that tends to reflect light, so I avoid a flash whenever I can. • Opt for natural lighting. Encourage your cat to lounge near a window or take her outside in a safe setting. Don’t photograph her in the harsh sunshine of midday, but in the more subtle lighting of sunset or late afternoon. • Light colored cats looked better on dark backgrounds and dark cats on lighter ones. • If your cat isn’t sleeping, use food, catnip or toys to get his attention. • Before you start photographing, make sure you have turned off the snap sound on your digital camera. The sound is likely to distract your kitty, and may even scare him away. • Make sure you hold the camera steady, especially if you are going to zoom – the slightest jiggle will blur the frame. I’ve noticed that even clicking the shutter jolts the camera, so be extra careful. • Take full framed photos. You can always crop them later with the help of your PC. Since most digital cameras have a fairly large number of mega-pixels, cropped photos maintains good quality and resolution.

• Take as many photos as you can before your cat moves. Thanks to digital technology, you can click away until you feel you have that special shot. • To properly view the photos you have taken, upload them to your PC. That’s the only way to really tell if the frame is blurred or not. You might create a separate folder so you can move all the good photos into it rather than going back and trying to locate them at a later date. There has to be at least one shot that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Taking successful cat photos can be challenging, but it’s far from impossible. Even if you’re not entirely satisfied with the results of your first session, you can always schedule another!

Make sure you hold the camera steady, especially if you are going to zoom – the slightest jiggle will blur the frame. feline wellness

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4/27/10 1:22:03 PM

THE DIRT ON DIABETES It’s one of the most common diseases seen in felines. Here’s what you need to know about integrative treatment and prevention. by Shawn Messonnier, DVM


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lurry was ten years old when he was diagnosed with diabetes. His human family was shocked and devastated, but unfortunately they’re far from alone. Diabetes is one of the top diseases seen in cats. While many of these animals require insulin therapy for the rest of their lives in order to properly regulate their blood sugar, the good news is that many others can do fine without it. This article will explore some natural approaches to helping a diabetic cat.

What causes diabetes? Diabetes mellitus (DM or diabetes for short) is the second most common endocrine disease in cats, after hyperthyroidism. It can occur at any age but typically shows up in middle-aged to older cats. While it’s easy to diagnose, there are many causes: • Amyloidosis, the deposition of amyloid protein in the pancreas • Pancreatitis, which often develops secondary to inflammatory bowel disease and hepatic lipidosis • Chronic use of corticosteroids, especially injectable Depo Medrol • Immune destruction of the pancreas due to autoimmune mechanisms • Often, the cause is unknown As is true in humans (and very rarely in dogs), cats can experience either type I or type II diabetes. Type I diabetes is also called insulin dependent diabetes, and usually requires insulin therapy for the lifetime of the cat. However, a few of these cats may be successfully weaned off insulin, especially if their diets are well controlled and they are taking supplements that have glucose lowering effects (see next page). Type II diabetes is non-insulin dependent and usually does not require insulin therapy; in many cases, it’s a temporary problem that occurs as a result of stress or exposure to medications such as corticosteroids. Type II diabetic cats do not require insulin and can have their blood sugar maintained with diet, exercise and natural therapies.

How is it diagnosed? Typical clinical signs include excessive thirst (polydipsia), excessive urination (polyuria) and increased appetite

Diet and exercise Diet is very important for diabetic cats. Cats are true carnivores and do not have an obligate need for carbohydrates, so a canned or homemade food with minimal grain carbohydrates is ideal for those with diabetes. I recommend feeding several small meals throughout the day. Additionally, exercise is key to helping regulate blood glucose levels. As much as possible, it’s important to turn couch potato cats into active felines using controlled exercise. feline wellness

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Cinnamon can be effective for lowering blood sugar levels and is often included in herbal supplements for animals with diabetes. (polyphagia). Weight gain or loss may or may not occur. These signs are not specific to diabetes; other diseases in middle-aged to older cats, such as hyperthyroidism and kidney failure, can cause similar clinical signs. Fortunately, blood and urine testing is usually all that’s necessary to properly diagnose diabetes in cats.

have one dog that was “cured” of his diabetes when I started him on a phosphatidylcholine supplement called Cholodin. As a result, all my diabetic cats and dogs now receive choline therapy as part of their natural treatment regimen.

Insulin or not?

• Pancreatic glandulars provide raw pancreatic extract for the cat, in the hopes that the damaged pancreas can heal.

Once a diagnosis of diabetes has been made through testing, clinical signs and a physical examination, it’s important to differentiate between cats that may require insulin and those that do not. This is not always easy.

• Cinnamon can be effective for lowering blood sugar levels and is often included in herbal supplements for animals with diabetes.


In general, cats with mildly elevated blood glucose levels (300 to 400) will probably not require insulin and can be treated solely with natural therapies. It is necessary, however, to continue monitoring their blood and urine glucose levels in the event that insulin therapy may become necessary.


Cats with extremely high blood glucose levels (500 to 600 or greater) need insulin as part of their initial therapy and will likely require it for the rest of their lives, although some may be weaned off it and can be maintained solely on natural therapies.


Cats with severely elevated blood and urine glucose levels and/or ketone levels usually require hospitalization for one or more days in an attempt to lower these levels. While it is tempting to try and make every cat’s blood glucose level “normal” through treatment, the actual number is not always as important as how the cat feels and whether or not clinical signs are still present. Many of my patients are doing well despite having slightly elevated blood glucose levels.

Natural therapies

• Gymnema is an herb well known for its ability to regulate blood sugar. It’s used in many formulas for animals with diabetes. • Chromium and vanadium are minerals with glucose lowering effects. Because high doses can be toxic, they should only be used under veterinary supervision. • Various homeopathics may also help improve blood glucose regulation in diabetic cats. Some of the most commonly recommended remedies include homeopathic dilutions of syzygium, curare and phloridzinum. In general, I will start diabetic cats on some combination of these supplements, and use low-dose insulin if necessary. It is very important to carefully monitor these cats so blood glucose levels don’t fall too low too quickly. Carefully monitoring the cat allows us to properly fine tune his therapy to get maximum results. Each diabetic cat is an individual who requires customized therapy. By working with a holistic veterinarian, you can find the right combination of natural therapies and (when necessary) insulin to keep your diabetic feline alive and healthy for a long time to come.

Many natural therapies can help cats with diabetes. Here are some I have found helpful. • Phosphatidylcholine is useful for many problems including seizures, cognitive disorders and liver disease. It may also provide support for diabetic cats, and I


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TITLE: Energy

TITLE: Fabulous

Felines AUTHOR: Sandy Robins Cats love to be pampered, and most cat lovers enjoy obliging them. In Fabulous Felines, animal lifestyle writer Sandy Robins reveals the latest trends in health and beauty secrets for coddled kitties. Find out how to keep your cat’s fur and skin healthy, and what you need to know about the “perfect peticure”. There are also chapters on spa treatments for cats, and how to use hydrosols and flower essences for feline well-being. Additional sections cover the health benefits of massage and the importance of fitness, and provide helpful tips on the best type of cat toys, home accessories such as cat gyms, scratching posts and outdoor enclosures, and travel tips for comfort and safety when you take your kitty on vacation. There’s even information on photographing your cat, and how to get her into the entertainment industry or train her as a therapy cat. Fun and entertaining as well as informative, Fabulous Felines is for anyone who wants to give their kitty companion lots of extra TLC.

The Ultimate Cat Lover AUTHOR: Marty Becker, DVM, et al TITLE:

“How can I keep my cat entertained while I’m at work?” “How can I stop her from shedding so much?” The answers to these and many other questions can be found in The Ultimate Cat Lover, written by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker and animal authors Gina Spadafori, Carol Kline and Mikkel Becker. This book takes a two-pronged approach. It’s both a compilation of moving stories that celebrate the life-changing bond between cats and their people, and a guide to feline health and behavior. You’ll find tips on picking the right kitten for your family, solving litter box problems, preventing health issues, enriching your cat’s environment, understanding feline body language, how to find him if he gets lost, and much more. The stories and practical tips are interspersed with beautiful color photos, making this the perfect book for contemplative browsing – or for providing answers to important questions.

Publisher: TFH Publications Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.

Healing for Animals &Their Owners AUTHOR: Sandra Cointreau Animals, especially cats, are very receptive to energy healing. In this new book by Sandra Cointreau, who has years of experience working with animals and energy healing, you’ll discover how to help cats and other animals using hands-on energy work. Prefaced by veterinarian Dr. Nigel Brown, the book takes you on a journey that begins with an explanation of what energy healing is and how it works. You’ll learn how to quiet your mind in preparation for the work, how to use intention for the best results, and how to gather and build your energy to heal your companion. Cointreau also teaches you about animal chakras, meridians, basic anatomy and behavior, and energetic diagnostic techniques using your vision, hands or a pendulum. She also takes you through the actual process of energy healing and balancing and offers methods of energy input, clearing and extraction. A fascinating and enlightening read, Energy Healing for Animals & Their Owners opens you up to a whole new field of possibilities for maintaining your companion’s well-being.

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Tail end

The “claw” by Mary Lynn Bushong


y husband and I had only been married a couple of years when we moved to a duplex on a very busy street. And as anyone who has ever lived in the south can tell you, it gets very hot in the summer. Our duplex did not have central air conditioning. The only thing keeping the suffocating heat at bay was a small window unit in our bedroom. Crackerbox was our salt and pepper tabby cat. He’d been abandoned as a small kitten at a house we were renovating, so we took him home with us. There, he quickly made himself part of the family and grew into a lithe, intelligent cat. Crackerbox amused us endlessly on Saturday mornings, stalking our feet at the foot of the bed. Under the padded safety of our blanket, we would move our feet and he would leap on top with unsheathed claws. Then he would roll back and forth trying to subdue his prey. It was not uncommon for him to forget where the edge of the bed was and overleap, landing unceremoniously on the floor. Not willing to let anything stop him, he climbed back on the bed and began his hunt once more. When he tired, he would flop down and go to sleep between us.

the room. We didn’t think anything of it, but Cracks had a new trick in mind. He jumped on the arm of a chair next to one of the front windows. Before we could blink an eye, he whipped out his paw, hooked a claw in the side of the shade and gave it a flip. As it rattled all the way to the top, he moved with lightning speed to the other window and executed the same maneuver with that shade as well. Then he made a mad dash back into the bedroom. I swear I heard him laughing as he ran by. Did I mention the “clothing optional” thing? And that we lived close to a busy road? We hit the floor. Doing his best military impersonation, my husband crawled over to the window. Careful to stay out of view, he shinnied up the wall and pulled down one shade at a time. No cat has ever embarrassed us as Crackerbox did, but no cat has ever amused us as much either.

When hot weather came, Cracks would stay in the cool bedroom during the day and wait for us to come home from work in the evening. The rest of the house was like a sauna. The usual routine for us after work was to have cool showers. Then, making sure the window shades were down, our apartment would become a “clothing optional” site. After spending the day alone, Cracks was ready to play. He loved to run around the room chasing a rolled-up ball of paper. One evening, while we were sitting in the living room watching the nightly news, a gray streak raced through


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