Sunday, January 6, 2019

Why is My Cat Marking my Sofa

Normally cats do not mark the sofa however when a cat feels anxious or is under stress they will mark the sofa and other areas of your home.

I used to rescue cats that were abandoned and bring them through the house to my safe room. Well, that was enough for my pet cats to feel threatened. They would immediately start marking everything. They certainly got my attention and I knew they were not happy, It was their way of telling me that the cat was not welcomed.

Any changes made to the home can cause your cat to become agitated and feel stress. Your cat may roughhouse with the other cats or the family dog then feel stress or anxious. New visitors to your home may upset your cat. If you have a quiet home and the noise level has changed such as more people making loud noises, yelling, fighting or even loud music.  If the environment of your home changes in any way it will have some effect on your cat.

When a cat marks the sofa, the door, the bed or anywhere else in your house they are marking their territory. As if to say this is mine, mine, and mine. You can prevent territory marking by using Feliway room diffusers.
A new pet may cause your cat to feel anxious.

Buy Feliway and plug the diffuser into your electrical outlet 10 days before you bring the new pet into your home. This will allow your cat to feel the effects of the diffuser and will calm your cat. Cats will then be more welcoming to the new pets or people. Feliway is a great product to calm an anxious cat. For best results buy, only Feliway cat products, do not mix them with other products and I recommend shopping at (best price for this product)

NOTE: If there are no changes in your home that would trigger your cat to mark then your cat is telling you that it is sick, Cats will mark or pee outside of their litter box when they are ill, It is how they communicate with you. Don't yell at your cat for doing this as it will frighten them. I would recommend taking your cat to the veterinarian for a wellness checkup

Thursday, January 3, 2019

How To Care for Stray Kittens

Where I reside it is common for people to abandon their cats and kittens. Every spring we seem to find boxes of kittens left in the woods by my home. Some kittens are weaned others are not.

Photographs of stray kittens

Catching and caring for them are very important because baby kittens rarely survive. They do not know where to go for shelter, how to protect themselves from predators and do not know where to go for food or water.
When we find kittens in our woods we will bring them back home and feed them, hydrate them then check for fleas or injury, We keep all kittens in a room that is safe. This room is their sanctuary where they have all that they need. It is an area in our home that is away from people and other pets. A quiet room that has cat beds, litter boxes, a cat tree and food and water bowls.
This is where the stray kittens will stay until we take them to the veterinarian for a wellness check, dewormer, and vaccines (if they are old enough)
Stray kittens may or may not be people friendly. So it is important to interact with them daily, I like to go into the safe room to read my book or look at a magazine. I never approach the kittens first, instead, I will sit and wait for them to come to me.
Once the kitten makes the first move to be friendly, then I will hold them, pet them and love them. I always talk to the kittens with a calm and caring voice. This helps to not fear humans.

I work with the kittens so that they learn to use their litter box and to scratch on a tree. Spending time with the stray kittens is a way to get them ready for their next step. Being adopted and going to live with their forever family.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Taming a Stray Cat

Any cat including a feral cat can be tamed, but it does take time and you must be patient.  My husband and I trapped a stray cat that had been injured and needed veterinarian care. This cat had been living in the woods by my home and we had assumed it was feral. We quickly learned that was not the case because the trapped cat was meowing. Feral cats will hiss, snarl and spit but they do not meow.

We took this stray cat in and oversaw the socializing/taming of this cat. The cat was terrified of us, had behavior issues such as marking and was suffering from stress.

Socializing a stray cat that has lived outdoors for several years takes time and patience. The cat has to learn to live indoors and to not fear humans. We have to teach the cat manners, to use a litter box, not scratch the furniture, and to also allow humans to pet the cat without the cat scratching or biting.

Before we could socialize this cat we needed to take him to the veterinarian. The cat was tested for FIV and FeLV, given vaccines and was neutered. The veterinarian also stitched up a wound on his paw and give the cat an antibiotic shot.

When we brought the cat back to our home we put him in the cat safe room where he would reside until he was dependent upon me and socialized to live indoors and to be nice to humans.

View this video to learn more about a cat safe room.

We tamed this cat by spending time with the cat daily. We also used the product Feliway classic diffuser that goes in the electrical outlet. This product is very good for calming a cat that is feeling stress. Feliway is a clinically proven formula that comforts cats in your home and decreases urine marking, scratching on furniture and hiding.

Whenever we are socializing a cat we make a point to spend quality time with the cat. I will take my laptop and work in the same room as the cat, or I will read a book. The cat knows you are there, and at first, the cat will hide from you, hiss at you from afar. But soon the cat will start to trust you and each day your bond with the cat will grow stronger.

Feeding the cat at the same time daily is important. Also never leave food bowls for the cat to snack on. You want the cat to look to your for food, to be dependent upon you. We feed all cats a mixture of canned and dry kibble food and provide the cat with fresh water twice daily. The water stays in the room at all times.

Most cats become dependent upon people quickly, it took this stray cat 10 days. One day I walked into the room with the food and the cat came out to greet me. He was sitting where I set the food bowl.

When the cat was sitting waiting for its food my husband tried to pet the cat. The cat was fearful and scratched my husband. Then the cat hid behind the chair.

I do not recommend that humans make the first move when socializing/taming a stray cat. The cat will have to make the first move, normally they will roll around on the ground or floor and show you their stomach. In the cat world, this means “I feel safe with you and I trust you”. Or the cat will rub their body on you, they are putting their scent on you as if to say “you are my person”

I think it is best to wait for the cat to accept you rather than to corner the cat, make it feel uncomfortable” “The stray cat will let you know when it wants to be petted”.

I suppose the black and white cat that we rescued must have been abandoned longer than we thought because it took a good six months for this cat to let down his guard down.

Now the cat lets me pick him up, pet him and he will sit on my lap. He is very talkative and will come to sit next to me when I am reading a book.

We never force a cat to accept humans but instead wait for the cat to let us know when petting is okay.

Now, this cat is ready to be adopted. His leg is fully healed and he is walking better. My neighbor that helps us with the cats did sponsor this cats vaccines and neuter and told us she loves the cat. So he adopted him and the cat went to his forever home.

Learn more about Feliway Classic here.

Friday, November 23, 2018

About Declawing Your Cat

To declaw a cat by surgically removing the cat's claw is inhumane and animal abuse. Many people declaw their cats because their veterinarians still offer the procedure but you should know that if the shoe was on the other foot a declawing on a human would be cutting off your finger at your knuckle.

 A declawing is extremely painful, and many times the cat becomes lame, has pain when they walk, cannot put pressure on their paws, they are not able to jump. They cannot use the litter box, inability to scratch and move the litter and they develop behavioral issues such as biting.

I have rescued a cat from people who no longer wanted it because it would not stop meowing, they had the cat's claws surgically removed and the cat was in extreme pain. The problem is cat declawing is still allowed in many states so the pet owners are not breaking the law and their veterinarian is in agreement to do this, It is an extremely painful procedure and cats that are declawed may be lame for the rest of their lives..
This is Lucy the cat I speak up that people no longer wanted because she was meowed constantly after declawing.  She no longer meows but she does hide and she bites.
 See her front paws, they look deformed. 

Cat owners need to be educated on the procedure and they should be aware of alternatives, such as clipping the claw short and gluing it. The cat that I rescued this week (white cat) I thought it was declawed as I could not see the claws, but learned that the cat's claw was cut short and glued. (I have searched for the nail cut and glue procedure online and found nothing on it, so it is maybe something a local veterinarian is doing) The claw can grow back but it is very slow to a grow..the cat is not lame, will act like it is scratching, can jump up and down and run through your house but it cannot go outdoors.

I have seen cats with cut and glued nails, In fact, one of my cat helpers told me she had this procedure done for her cats, said her veterinarian did it...the cat is fine.
You cannot see a claw because it is cut very short. My friend has 4 cats all of them have clipped and glued nails, she said it has put a stop with them hurting each other when they play rough and they no longer scratch her.

Instead of declawing, you can clip your cat's nails weekly so that they are not sharp and provided them with many scratching posts or you use soft claws on your cat.

Another option would be soft claws. My veterinarian recommended this product to me because my one cat refused to use his scratching post, he would use when catnip was applied but got bored and would go after my Berber rug. The soft claws allow Budd to scratch on my carpet and furniture but his scratches are not damaging. I am not going to kid you, it takes practice to put the cap on your cats claw. I managed after my husband held Buddy still. You clip your cats claw then put the glue in the cap and slip the cap onto the claw

soft claws 

. .Learn more about declawing your cat by viewing this video.

I do not recommend surgically declawing cats. If you are someone who is considering this procedure I would suggest that you reevaluate the type of pet you bring into your home and consider adopting an animal that does not have claws.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Christmas Shirts for Cat Lovers

For the last several years I have designed a variety of Christmas cat pattern shirts at my Zazzle store. I bought the shirts to give as gifts to my neighbors and friends who helped us throughout the year with the feral cat colony and stray cats that were in our care.

Then to my surprise, one of my neighbors asked if she could buy one of the shirts for her daughter.  From that point forward I was in the business fo selling my Christmas cat shirts. 

As a designer at Zazzle I will do the artwork for the shirt but I do not own the shirt.  I earn a royalty for the design when it is sold and this royalty I use to pay for the products that I use for the cats. 

So with that said, if you are someone who likes cats then you will love the Christmas cat shirts.  To view at my online store you would click onto the hyperlink under the photo and this link will take you to the product where you can view it larger and in a higher resolution. 

Thank you for your continued support of our mom and pop cat shelter.

All of the shirts come in a variety of styles which include long sleeve and hoodies. The cat design can be transferred to another product if you do not want cat clothing.

Fun Christmas Party Ready T-Shirt

Christmas Cat with Holiday Tree T-Shirt

This shirt was designed from a cut out of my rescued FIV cat named Sam

Cute White / Red Santa Cat Christmas Girls T-Shirt

Meow it's Christmas Toddler Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Found a Lump on My Cat

We have a semi-socialized feral cat that shares our home with us. She is not what you would call affectionate. She spends her time being stand-offish but at night when my husband is asleep she will come and sleep on his head and he can hear her purring.
Daisy on my husband's pillow

We trapped this cat when she was 4 months old. We felt we needed to because a neighbors dog had killed all of her litter mates and thought she would be next. As a rule, when feral cats come into a home and are socialized they tend to overeat. Our cat is now older and overweight and due to this, she has developed a lump.

We found the lump yesterday when my husband held her down and I examined her fat belly. The lump is solid and the size of a Kiwi. It could be a fatty tumor called lipomas. This tumor will show up anywhere on a cat and even though they are not cancerous they do not need to be removed unless they hinder the cat from getting around, or make the cat feel uncomfortable.

As a rule, this type of fatty tumor is common in overweight older cats. I made an appointment at the veterinarians because I need to know what this lump is. My veterinarian will do a wellness checkup and may do a biopsy with a needle to get a sample to test fluid inside the lump for cancer.

I think it is a good idea to examine your older cat once a month for lumps and bumps and if you find them to take your cat to the veterinarians. Best to get your cat a checked to know if the bumps are cancer or not.

Learn more about cat lumps or bumps by viewing this video.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Moved Shelter Cats to Warmer Location

The two neighborhood stray cats that have been hanging out in my yard all summer have entered my shed and are using it as a shelter from the cold. The shed has heat lamps and a space heater and it provides the cats with a windbreak, protection from the rain and snow but it is not insulated and is cold.

 Last night we used a space heater and heat lamps and the shed was 56 degrees. The cats had cozy self-warming beds but with tonight's low in the single digits, we decided to move the shelter cats to a warmer location.
cat tree
It is not a good idea to leave a space heater unattended so I stayed awake last night to check on the unit hourly. I did not get any sleep so my husband and I decided to move the shelter cats to our attached sun porch.

The sun porch is insulated but has no heat. It also has an exterior door that leads to our fenced in patio and dogs kennel. The sun porch is primarily all windows and this room is quite enjoyable during the daylight hours. The sun from the south keeps the room warm and cozy but at night it does feel chilly to cold.

We like that the stray cats can go outdoors during the day and come into the sun porch at night. Overall by allowing the stray cats access to this room we will save on energy because we will not have to use the space heater during the day and I will not need to check on the heater all night long because the room is insulated and we will not have to set the heat thermostat at a high setting.

Another benefit to moving the cats to this warmer shelter is ease of access for my husband and I. We will not have to get dressed, put on rubber boots, coat, hat, and gloves to walk 150 feet to the shed. Now we can walk across the house and look in the glass panel on the door that is located at the entrance of the sun porch. It is a room that was added onto the house that is closed to us and our other cats by a door. An ideal shelter for stray cats during the cold winter months.

About the Cats

The stray cats have homes two blocks away but their people put them outdoors when they got kittens. The older cats did not get along with the younger cats and when the cats were not allowed to go back into their home the cats found their way to my yard.  The owner knows they are in my yard, know that we feed them and give them shelter.  The owner never came to get the cats.  So they are now neighborhood cats, they visit my yard and my neighbors yard, busy being social during the day but come to my shed for shelter at night.

Getting the Room Ready for the Cats

The only thing that we did was remove the drapes, and the furniture and replaced it with self-warming cat beds, cat toys, litter boxes, a cat tree and food and water bowls. We also added a Feliway Multi cat diffuser to the electrical outlet as this will help the cats to adjust to their new shelter without feeling stress.
garden shed for stray cats
* We would like to buy a window unit heater for our shed in the yard.  Because I think it is a better shelter for the neighborhood stray cats.  But in the meantime, the sun porch will have to do because it is too costly to run a space heater 24/7.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Cat Virus is Serious / Rescue Kitty Euthanized

It is never easy to have to put down a rescued kitty. But that is exactly what needed to be done today. For the last month, I have been working to get a pretty calico kitty to become dependent on me for food and water because this kitty was abandoned when her people moved away and was not doing good on her own.

Most cats when abandoned are stressed out and do not trust other humans. When we tried to trap her we found that she ran and hid in the woods and instead of trapping a cat we got a raccoon and a possum. Two weeks ago we were able to get a hold of her long enough to get flea control on her. But at the last minute, she jumped from my arms and got away.

We finally made headway and this little kitty came to us and we put her in our garden shed where there were self-heating cat bed and a space heater to keep her warm and cozy on a cold winters night.

I checked on the kitty and the space heater many times during the night and noticed that she was not eating or drinking from her bowl. I figured it was stress so I plugged in a Feliway diffuser to aid in calming her since she was in a new area. By early morning I noticed that the rescued kitty was hiding, in a self-heated bed behind a storage container and that her eyes were draining and there was a discharge from her nose. I suspect a cat cold and planned on calling the veterinarian as soon as the office opened.

At 9:00 AM I noticed that her breathing had become labored and I called the veterinarian. They saw her at 2:00 in the afternoon and told us that she had Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis. An infection that had gone into her lungs and caused fluid to build up. He also suspects Feline Leukemia or cancer. Her teeth indicated that she was a very old cat and being abandoned and getting beat up by other cats put her at risk for cat disease.

There is no cure for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, all you can do is provide your cat with comfort, keep your cat warm and treat the symptoms. Your veterinarian may give you a prescription for antiviral medication. But in our case the veterinarian recommended euthanasia.

We stayed with the little stray kitty throughout the entire procedure, I held her paw and kissed her head told her she was a good kitty. Even though I had not known this kitty for a long time I did feel attached to her. I had thought we could get her the medical treatment she needed, and give her good food and make her a healthy and happy kitty again. But I guess she was outdoors too long and had to too many cat fights, lack of food and shelter and the stress was too hard on her.

We buried her in our yard with all the other stray cats that we could not save.

Know that the only way To prevent your cat from getting infected with Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis or feline influenza is to get your cat vaccinated. The best way to prevent Feline Leukemia is to get your cat vaccinated and keep your cats indoors. A cat that is permitted to go outdoors may easily come in contact with a cat that has infections feline disease:

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Cozy Beds for Stray Cats

Tonight is the first cold night and we have three stray cats in our garden shed. This shed is not insulated, but it is dry and protects the cats from wind, rain, and snow.

All cats prefer to be warm, they are heat seekers and that is why you will view them lying on the hood of a newly parked car or lying in the sun on a cool day. I have also viewed cats tunneling under a pile of leaves because the leaves block the cold air. So when it comes to stray cats that are in a cold garden shed we made sure that they all had cozy beds that would keep them warm when temperatures dipped into the low 30’s.

We have dog houses that are filled with straw and self-warming beds that are up off the cement floor. Then one of my neighbors gave us a high-quality space heater that has a thermostat, timer, and automatic shutoff when it overheats or is knocked over. Then another neighbor gave us insulated drapes for the windows and my husband picked up a few Berber area rugs to cover the cold cement floor and heat lamps for the ceiling lights.

Presently the temperatures outdoors is 41 degrees and in the garden, shed thermostat indicates that it is 61 degrees. I am thankful to my neighbors for giving us the products to keep the cats cozy and warm on this cold night in autumn.

Here is a photo card that I created from one of the neighborhood cats that goes to my garden shed for shelter. We call this cat Bob and he is sleeping in a bed of straw.

Feral Cat Sleeping in Winter Shelter Post Card

View video to learn how to make an insulated winter shelter for stray or your outdoor cats.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

TOP PICKS for Cat Houses

When it comes to shopping for cat houses for the winter season I tend to shop offseason because the selection is better and prices are lower. I will shop in town before I shop online and will look for quality made houses that are not drafty. Many pet houses look great and you think they are made well but you really need to check them out because not all cat houses are made well.

My husband and shopped locally for an outdoor cat house. We went to Walmart, Pet Smart and did not find quality outdoor houses. What we found was flimsy wood houses with drafty floors or plastic houses that really were intended for a dog. Since the selection in town was poor I shopped online at Chewy. Pet Supplies. It did not take long as I found a few cat houses that were suitable for outdoor feral and stray cats.

Here are my top picks for outdoor cat houses. I recommend these houses because they provide the cat with their own space and the houses were insulated to keep the cat cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Plus they were waterproof. The houses offered year-round comfort and safety for the outdoor cats.

Found at a large multi-cat outdoor house that is waterproof and has an overhanging roof to prevent snow and rain from getting inside. This house is good for a family of cats to sleep together and be safe and comfortable all year round.

We also bought a Trixie outdoor cat house that was on sale at Chewy for our stray cats that go into our garage at night. The garage is not heated so my husband chalked the bottom of the house to prevent drafts. The house will have a Mylar blanket for extra insulation and on top of the blacked with be a thick layer of straw. One large cat will be able to sleep in this house and feel cozy and warm. If you were to use this house outdoors I would recommend applying a water seal and setting it up on a covered porch or deck. I have read reviews at other websites that said it did not hold up in a hard rain. 

Here is a video on K H birchwood manor outdoor cat house.

For feral cats, it is important that there is a front door and back door so the cat can escape if a predator is close by. For feral cats I think that K&H cat houses are very good and like their Birchwood Manor outdoor unheated cat house. This house is made from natural birch wood which will protect the cat from wind, rain, and snow. There is a front door and an exit door, both have the plastic flap to keep the rain, snow and wind out of the house.

I do recommend waterproofing the exterior and to fill the house with straw. A house like this should be set up on a covered porch or deck because it is lightweight and does need to be protected from hard rain or wind. I also recommend setting it on a concrete block or a wood base to lift it up off the ground. Lifting it up will help to prevent snow and rain from getting into the interior where the cat is sleeping.

Shop for all cat houses mentioned at

Friday, August 3, 2018

Helping Baby Kitten to Pee or Poop

When it comes to caring for baby kittens that are rescued you must feed, keep them warm and teach them to pee or poop. Newborn or baby kittens do not go to the bathroom on their own, so if you are the foster kitten mom then caring for them means helping them to go to the bathroom

A mother cat will stimulate the kittens by grooming them, so the best way to replace the roughness of a cats tongue is to use a soft washcloth that is dampened with warm water.  Use a new cloth, and designate this washcloth for kitten use only

After you bottle feed the baby kitten, set the kitten on a towel or small blanket. The kitten should be on their back. Then use a soft cotton cloth that is dampened with warm water and gently massage in a circular motion the kitten’s anus and urinary areas. If the kitten is wiggly you may have to hold him in one hand and use the other hand to stimulate the kitten.

A circular motion with the damp cloth will stimulate the area and enable your kitten to go pee or poop. Wipe the kitten clean with the damp cloth and then put the kitten into their warm box so that they do not get a chill.

When your kitten is older (2-3 weeks) and going to the bathroom on their own you will be able to teach them how to use a litter box. I recommend that you buy a litter box with a covering and natural litter like Feline Pine. There are many natural litters available, choose one that you like.
Learn more about helping your kitten pee or poop by viewing this video

Friday, June 15, 2018

Found Cat / Seeking Pet Owner

Two weeks ago we observed an adult fox chasing a gray and white tabby Cat The cat was running for its life down the middle of the street at dusk. People who were close to the chase did run toward the fox waving their arms, this of course scared the fox and he gave up the chase. The same cat that was chased by the fox ran for its life and ended up at my house 5 blocks away from where the chase began.

It is safe to say that this cat was found because the cat ran into the open door of my basement and commenced with a sorrowful meowing. My husband and I investigated and found a friendly kitty, that is well groomed and nails trimmed. We decided to keep the cat in our basement overnight to prevent it from getting chased by another fox. We were certain that in the morning the cat's people would be searching for this very well groomed and cared for cat.

Nobody was looking for the cat. So my husband and I went door to door with a photo of the cat asking if anyone had lost their cat. To our surprise, not one person in a 5 block radius knew the cat, but all agreed it was a very nice looking cat and that there was a problem with foxes in the neighborhood.

When we could not locate the owner we took the cat to our veterinarian so they could check for a microchip. None was found. Then we learned that the cat was sterilized, nails clipped, no fleas and if the pet owner does all that, then the cat is current with vaccines. We also learned that the cat was in excellent health.

The next thing that we did was see if the kitty would go home on its own. Nope, it laid in my catnip garden most of the morning then laid by our pond or chased lizards in my wildflower garden. The following day I posted a found cat classified ad in our newspaper. No calls were received. Posted on a public cat rescue on Facebook and on the Humane Society Facebook page.

After having the cat for a week, we looked for flyers for a lost cat, when none were seen we posted a found cat flyer. We spoke to so many people that we made new friends. Everyone says it is a nice looking cat and did you find the owner?

We know that most people do not realize that their cat is missing until the cat has been gone for 10 to 14 days so we are still hopeful that we will find the cat owner in our neighborhood or somebody will know the person who lost their cat.