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Bring The Outdoors To Your Indoor Cat With A DIY Cat Garden

Is your cat shredding your indoor plants or always by the back door trying to get out?

Miss Kitty would be ecstatic to get her own garden patch for laying in, eating grass and nibbling and rubbing on some herbs or flowers.

 

 

Choose Plants Which Are Safe For Your Feline Friend

Cat Grass

Nothing better for a cat to lounge in the grass and gnaw on it, that is cat heaven! Always look for naturally, organic grown, GMO free (cat) grass seeds like Marley’s Cat Grass (Amazon) to keep it healthy for your cat. Lawn grass (seed) is not recommended for the unknown if pesticides and fertilizers were used in the growing process. Also particular grasses like Saint Augustine has really thick sharp blades which could damage the intestinal walls when eaten.

Besides growing a patch of just cat grass, it can be designed more interesting with adding other plants, flowers and herbs which are enticing, fun and healthy for your kitty kid.

 

Here is a selection of plants & herbs which are safe for cats: 

  • Lemon Grass (not as essential oil though)
  • Goldenseal (immune system)

    Goldenseal

  • Calendula
  • Caraway
  • Red Clover
  • Dill
  • Eyebright
  • Parsley

    Lemon Balm

  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon Verbena

 

 

Safe flowers for your feline garden:

  • Alyssum
  • Violet

    Columbine

  • Columbine
  • Dianthus
  • Phlox
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtium

 

Nasturtium

 

 

 

 

 

Catnip and Valerian: These two plants I would not make readily available as they loose their effect on a cat when constantly exposed to. It’s better to limit those to once or twice per week for your feline to have most fun with!

 

Garden Soil:

Please only use organic soil to avoid exposure of your cat to pesticides and fertilizers, like Nature’s Care Organic Planting Mix (Amazon)

 

 

 

We grew some grass for our (indoor) cat. We think she likes it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you create a indoor garden for your cats? Share yours beneath.

 

 

Peanut Butter Alert! – Does Your Dog’s Peanut Butter Contain Xylitol?


Peanut Butter – An Easy And Inexpensive Dog Treat

Peanut Butter, many dogs LOVE it for the nutty sweet taste and dog owners for it inexpensiveness and easiness to fill Kongs and other stuffable dog toys. Even better frozen in the hot summer months!

The new hype though with everyone trying to go low sugar, low calorie is that brands substitute real sugar with the sweetener xylitol but you won’t be aware unless you read labels.
For your four legged friends though this can be a fatal mistake!

 

Xylitol – A Dangerous Sweetener For Your Dog

We know Xylitol for years for mainly being used in sugar-free gum and also know that these are toxic to animals but now have to be aware that this sweetening substitute made it into other foods.
Xylitol when ingested tricks the pancreas with thinking that it is real sugar, triggering the release of insulin which in return causes the body to remove glucose (drop in blood sugar) and then results in acute hypoglycemia.
Symptoms for hypoglycemia are weakness, lethargy, vomiting, tremors, disorientation and even potential seizures!

That not be enough, Xylitol can also cause hepatic necrosis in dogs leading to acute liver failure. Though for that to happen it seems that it would have to be given in higher dosages and over a prolonged time.

It does not take much of this sugar subsitut to trigger hypoglycemia- only 0.045 grams per pound of body weight but though it does not sound all that much, a typical stick of gum already contains 0.3 – 0.4 grams!

 

Please Read Labels

Please make sure to always read labels before you give any human products to your dogs and be alerted when you read “sugar free” or “no sugar added” to make sure those are not indicated for sugar being substituded. Peanut butter is just one food product containing Xylitol but you can find this sugar substitute also in medications and supplements like in some fish oil or vitamin brands.

Known peanut butter brands with Xylitol:

  • Go Nuts, Co
  • Krush Nutrition
  • Nuts ‘N More
  • P28 Foods

 

Aim For An All Natural Product

Of course your dogs don’t have to give up on their favorite peanut butter stuffed Kong toy and peanut butter is overall a healthy treat alternative when chosen the right product, all natural and with no added sugar or sugar substitutes – for happy and healthy pups.

 

What do you have in your pantry with Xylitol?

 

Is Your Dog Suffering From Itchy And Dry Feet?

You may have noticed that your dog is often nibbling on his paws or licking in between his toes, even to the extend to were it gets all red and raw. Uhhh, I can imagine how it must be to have itchy hands and feet!

 

Seasonal And Food Allergies As The Cause

Often caused by seasonal allergies or food allergies which can be quite a process to find out the exact cause and lots of trial and error to find the perfect food without the ingredients causing the issues, there are some easy “home” remedies to give your pups some relief from the symptoms.

When you suspect seasonal allergies so pollen causing the discomfort, it is wise to rinse your dog’s feet when coming in from the yard or after a walk.
Especially grass and tree pollen are known triggers and of course stick to your dog’s feet and fur. Just look at your car in the spring time and you can imagine what is all stuck to your pup 😉

Either a garden hose or a small sized bucket to give a quick rinse will do the trick and of course a towel to dry off. Your pooch will get into the routine.

 

An Easy And Inexpensive Recipe

For irritation, itchiness and dry, cracked pads here is an easy and fairly inexpensive salve you can make from just two single ingredients:
[Best choice is always all organic ingredients]

2 Table Spoons Coconut Oil
10 Drops of Lavender Oil

[for bigger batches just multiply the amounts equally]

Heat up the Coconut Oil in the microwave or on the stove and mix in the Lavender Oil, then put in a container with lid and apply as needed to the entire paw, in between the toes and massaging into the pads.
The Coconut Oil salve will harden once cooled but it melts in your hands so it’s easy to apply.

A soothing and safe “paw conditioner” for your pup!

 

Drop me a line to let me know how you like it 🙂

Alternatives To Declawing Your Cat Or How Do I Save My Furniture

What’s Up With This Annoying Scratching?!

For cats the scratching is what a Pedicure is for us, taking care of their claws and especially to remove the outer dead layer of the nail [sometimes you can see a cat trying to pull it off with their teeth].
Of course it’s also a form of play and stretching out from head to toe and when you watch a cat closely, you will recognize that the scratching is also used to communicate with humans and other cats alike.
So overall an inherited trait of species cat, no matter if tiny kitten or huge tiger.

 

The Humane Alternatives To Keep Kitty From Destroying Your Furniture

Instead of amputating a cat’s toes [what declawing really means] here are the safe, humane ways to save your furniture from Ms Kitty’s claws:

 

Keep Your Cat’s Nails Trimmed

Clipping the sharp point of your cat’s claws makes it less destructive and less painful while playing of course 😉
It may take a while for your cat to get used to this pedicure session but it can really be trained and a routine be established.
The easiest is to have Ms Kitty on your lab and pet her while touching the paws and eventually apply pressure which exposes the nails. Now it is important to just clip the white portion of the nail and not get into the pink part, the quick.
The white is the dead part similar to our fingernails but the quick is full of nerves and will bleed when cut.
If this should happen, dip the nail into simple flour and it will stop bleeding.

 

Applying Soft Nail Caps

You can even get really fashionable with colorful or sparkly claw soft caps which are applied after trimming the nails with an adhesive similar to faux fingernails and last for about 4-6 weeks and save your furniture and yourself when ruff housing with your cats.
They are now readily available at Petsmart, Petco, Chewy or directly online at i.e. Softclaws

 

 

 

 

Providing Scratch Surfaces For Your Cat

When your cat tends to scratch inappropriate areas, observe if those areas are vertical or horizontal and what the material is like and what height or coverage is affected.

Photo credit:
EntirelyPets.com
Fat Cat Company

This can determine the best cat scratching device for your cat which could be a scratching post covered in sisal rope or a flat or slanted corrugated cardboard scratch pad.
By now there is a good selection in store to choose from and many already come with catnip to rub or sprinkle on Ms Kitty’s new scratch parlor to attract her to it.
I would recommend to stay away from carpeted material as the cat cannot define an allowed and forbidden carpeted area to scratch and the soft material is not sufficient enough for the cat to condition her claws.
Keeping the new scratch post or pad near the undesired area and later gradually moving it to a more desired area usually works with patience and a treat for rewarding.

 

 

 

 

Training Your Cat To NOT Scratch Where You Don’t Want Her To

Covering the affected areas of attack can happen with draping a blanket, applying double sided tape or aluminum foil which Ms Kitty doesn’t like for the sensation those cause.
Don’t try to correct her with yelling or hitting, it will have no or worse, reverse effect –> bad attention is attention too!
Catch her in the act of scratching [after is too late!] with a loud noise giving a quick scare and your cat will start associating the noise with scratching. An air can for the noise [and the noise only, do NOT spray a cat with the air] is working beautifully.
Squirting water with a spray bottle is a way too but means you must be close and of course have the water to clean up after.

I think when understanding that Ms Kitty isn’t viciously scratching just to annoy her owner, it is easier to work WITH the cat’s trait instead of taking away a vital part of inherit behavior and worse, her claws/toes.

 

Daniela, Mom of 12 Furrline Kids 🙂

Are Cats Really So Independent And Why You Need A Cat Sitter

We Actually Hear It Way (Too) Often:

  • “Y’all just need to take care of our dogs and not to worry about the cat we have. She’s good with her full food dispenser and doesn’t need any attention!”
  • “I need someone to check on my cats 2-3 times a week. That’s all they really need.”

Ready for Play

I must admit it worries me every time I get these phone calls as living with one dozen of cats myself,

I don’t even have one out of the twelve which doesn’t crave for daily attention from a little to a lot. My cats and many of our clients cats are very social and affectionate little fur people!

It sure is true that they don’t need to be taken out on a leash every few hours to go potty but every single one for sure appreciate the litter boxes to be cleaned and oh boy, I have a couple which surely would let me know with not so nice “surprises” that their “Katzen-klo” (translation: cat toilet) better get’s some attention now!

 

Food And Water – The Essentials

Keeping Tummies Happy!

 Now, I want to say the majority of cats are probably fed on what we refer to as “free feed” with a big bowl or food dispenser topped off with dry food where kitty cats munch away as they please. Hehe, and yes I hear Veterinarians sighing and rolling eyes as it is their daily bread to see overweight cats and trying to get them on a diet but this is subject to a different blog post (which I definitely will tackle at some point )
Food dispensers… looking at what I have in my home and numerous dispensers we get to see on our jobs on a daily basis, the majority wouldn’t quite ‘dispense’ hence, we always have to scoot the food to fill the bowl portion as it somewhat gets stuck in the dispenser.
Seeing cats only every other day or even less would risk that they don’t have access to their food unless they would go “fish” for it. Scary thought in my opinion!

Even scarier is that cats could run out of water as they are prone to not drinking enough to begin with and that on a mostly dry food diet which demands a good water intake to not risk the development of kidney disease, kidney stones and failure.

Medication And Medical Conditions

We see quite a few cats with medical conditions like thyroid disorder, inflammation or diabetes and those are conditions which demand steady and regular treatment. Going out of town doesn’t need to interfere with the medical attention of Ms Kitty but it still should be consistent to the prescribed routine instead of the other way around to adjust the medical attention to the travel schedule. Professional pet sitters and especially us at EMM are pay really close attention to the daily routine to distract a pet as little as anyhow possible.

Cats Can Get In Trouble, TOO!

“Cat to Go”

It is amazing (not a good amazing) what cats can get into in a home. We had it all, from shutting themselves in a room or closet with no food and water and no litter box to loving plastic trash bags and getting caught in it. Getting into fights because one was in a bad mood and decides to scratch the other one’s eye out. Jumping up on a counter or hutch in the living room and pulling something down and getting hurt in the heat of the moment. Getting stuck in the window blinds or curtains and not being able to free themselves.
Cats are also very quiet and silent when not feeling well or with an oncoming illness and bam, one day it’s just so bad that it needs immediate veterinary attention or worse.

 

Food For Thought For Next Time When Going Out Of Town

and yet the answer why we require to see cats at least once a day, every 24 hours and better even more often and this is not for the reason to make more money but for the physical AND emotional well-being of your velvet pawed friend  🙂
 

How Simple Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Your Dog To Be A Happy Healthy Dog

Is your dog suffering with constantly recurring ear infections and itchiness and you seem to see your Vet way to often?
Is it a constant cycle of medications and even steroid shots, just for the ear infections and itchiness to come back soon after?

It can be so frustrating but foremost worrisome and we feel bad and often helpless!

A simple, easy and inexpensive natural remedy can do the trick and help your dog to feel a lot better!

 

What Causes Frequent Ear Infections?

In most cases ear infections in dogs are actually yeast infections, meaning an overgrowth of yeast in the entire body and manifesting in the delicate ear area.
Yeast is a fungus which thrives in an unhealthy, unbalanced acidic PH balance, feeding off sugar and starches, like found in most commercial dog foods with ingredients like sugar of course, but also mostly corn starch, corn meal and corn meal byproduct which turns into sugar during the digestion process.

To take the feeding ground away for the yeast, we want to balance the PH to a more alkaline state for which it is suggested to find a healthy natural food without fillers and starchy ingredients and Apple Cider Vinegar too can help the balance from an acidic to a more alkaline environment in your dog’s body.

 

For Ear Infections And Maintaining Healthy Ears

Two words of caution:
You want to be certain that your dog’s ear drums are intact as you don’t want to damage the ears and hearing with any fluids when the ear drums are not intact.
Please never use Apple Cider Vinegar pure as it is too concentrated to use without diluting it with water. The dilution 1 part ACV and 1 part warm water is good for most topical applications.

 

Direct Application Of Apple Cider Vinegar Dilution

Application is easy with a syringe or a little squirt bottle to flush the ear with the ACV/Water Mix, just making sure to not insert the syringe down into the ear canal to avoid injuring the drum. After massaging the side of the ear, your dog will shake the access fluid out and the area and accessible part of the ear should be dried off with a cloth. You want to do this twice daily with an existing ear infection until all cleared up and then a couple of times a week to maintain healthy ears.

Even if your dog only has one infected ear, you always want to treat both.

 

Internal Application Of Apple Cider Vinegar

As mentioned above, yeast infections only manifest in certain areas of the body like the ears, but actually yeast holds hostage of your dog’s entire body, so an internal approach of taking away the yeast’s “playground” is also something what should be considered.

Here too, Apple Cider Vinegar comes into play and can be used internally with adding it to your dog’s meals.
Start with one teaspoon mixed in wet or dry food twice a day and if necessary it can be increased to one tablespoon (per about 50 lbs of body weight and more or less ACV accordingly) helps creating and maintaining a healthy more alkaline PH balance which yeast doesn’t like at all.

Additional Benefit: Dogs suffering from acid re-flux also benefit from Apple Cider Vinegar added to their food as here too, the acid of the stomach is neutralized.

 

Are You Wondering What Your Dog’s PH-Balance Is?

You can easily test that with getting little PH test strips at any local pharmacy and hold it in the stream of your dog’s morning urine.

Readings between 6.2 and 6.5 show a healthy PH balance for your pup, readings of 7.5 and up is a bit too alkaline but readings below 6.0 are too acidic and more of concern and more widely spread.

Apple Cider Vinegar- a great boost for your dog’s overall health. Inexpensive and a great addition to any kitchen and home apothecary.

Read about Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar for pets (and humans) HERE

 

Disclaimer: As usual, of course, this natural remedy is not intended to replace your pet’s Veterinarian and the Author doesn’t claim for this to cure or heal. You always want to consult your Veterinarian to discuss care.