Saturday, March 17, 2018

Hawks Attack Neighborhood Cats

There are many reasons why you should keep your cats indoors but the one that most people overlook is keeping your cat indoors due to hawks flying low.

The National Audubon Society of North America states that the Red-Shouldered hawks often kill and carry away cats, opossums, and skunks, that they will also prey on dogs.  

Please do not think that your cat is safe in your front yard.  If you reside close to a wooded area, or state park then chances are there are hawks that are foraging animals in your neighborhood.  Spring is the worst time of the year due to the feeding of their young.  

Today I received a text that was an alert of the hawks hunting and flying low to the ground. An adult red-tailed hawk will swoop down and grab your cat with their talons, or the hawk will land in your yard and kill your cat by strangulation or they will fly away with your cat and drop it to kill it.

Even a large cat is no match for a hawk that is hunting. We always know when the hawks are flying low to the ground because the squirrels and feral cats are hiding, but the domesticated cat is not as smart and will approach the hawk to investigate. The hawk has the advantage so please keep your cats indoors when hawks are flying low in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Caring For Injured Outdoor Cat

We rescued one of our TNR cats because he was injured, limping due to a large wound on his leg. A humane animal trap had to be used to catch this cat and while the kitty was in the trap I contacted my neighbor and she said she would call her veterinarian. The cat was rushed to the veterinarian for medical care.
Photo of Sylvester the cat.

Sylvester the cat was at the veterinarian hospital for a week and is now recovering in my heated garage for the next ten days. You would not know that there was a cat in this garage because it is hiding behind boxes. Occasionally there is a meow but other than that no cat can be seen.

I stayed in the garage for an hour to set up the insulated cat house with new self-heated bed, then added an elevated chair with a cat bed that was directly under the heat lamp. I also filled a litter pan with feline pine and set up a feeding station with dry cat kibble and a fresh bowl of water. When all my tasks were completed I turned to face where the cat was hiding and found that he came out and was sitting behind me. He showed no aggression and this is a good sign.

No medication needs to be administered only rest until wounds heal. We thought two weeks but have changed our minds due to the coyote in our neighborhood and decided it would be best to socialize the cat to be more friendly with humans so we could put him up for adoption.

My neighbor who helps me with the neighborhood cats told me that if I could socialize him then she would take him. Hoping that there is a happy ending for this rescued cat.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Cat Ear Mites Symptoms and Treatments

An ear mite is a spider-like parasite that you cannot see.  These mites are attracted to the wax in your cat's ear, When it comes to a cat the mite will bite the cat's ear, or around its neck. The mite will cause bites that look like a blister that are small and red.  These bites are annoying to the cat and the cat will shake their head and scratch its ear. Your cat's inner ear may look bloody or swollen. Ears that are infected with mites must be cleaned to remove the mite and veterinarian may prescribe an ear drop treatment. 

View this veterinarian video to learn more about ear mites and how to clean your cat's ear.

Recently we took in a rescue cat that had mites in its ears and on the body. We knew this because another symptom of mite on the cat's body is to look for dandruff-like flakes in your cat's fur and there were large patches of hair loss. These symptoms are due to the Demodex mite and this mite bites the cat's skin. If you have a multiple cat home where cats are indoor / outdoors chances are you have this mite.

Know that if one cat has mites then all of your cats and even your dog has mites. Mites can also get into human hair and this parasite will cause a real problem so I would recommend that you contact your veterinarian if you suspect mites.

See photograph of rescue cat with mites, you can see that she is missing fur. She had mites around her neck, in her ears, and on her backside. I suspect she got them from being out in the woods or spending time with other cats that were infected with mites.

Form our experience in taking care of the rescue cat that had mites we learned that the best way to prevent your cat from getting mites is to apply the topical Revolution monthly. Revolution will prevent ticks, fleas, mites and sarcastic manage. Revolution will also prevent internal and external parasites including heartworm. You can also give your cat a sulfur dip my friend told me that she has used sulfur for the treatment of cat mites, that it does work but you must put a cone shaped recovery collar on your cat to prevent them from liking their fur and ingesting.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

About Heat Lamps For Cat Shelters

Heat lamps with a reflector are a good way to keep cats warmer in a garage, basement or a shed. My friend raises small farm animals and told me that I should buy heat lamps with a reflector for my garage because it is a good way to keep the feral and stray cats warmer in winter.

The lamp reflector and clamp can be position easily but must be used with a heat lamp and a porcelain socket. Position the lamp to where you want it. I have two in my garage where the feral and stray cats go for shelter during winter.

The lights are 5 feet above the cats in one section of the garage I have self-warming beds under the lights for the cats. The heat lamp is a good way to provide warmth in garages, workshops or sheds.

My garage is 475 square feet and I have 4 heat lamps with reflector plus one space heater. This garage is 98 years old and is drafty, is not insulated but I did hang thermal insulated blackout drapes in a variety of colors, bought inexpensive ones at Walmart and king-sized fleece blankets over the interior walls. Then added carpet remnant on the floor.

The space heater is set at 59 degrees and the lights are left on throughout the night. The other night the temperature was 11 degrees with a windchill of 4 degrees. The thermostat indicated that my garage was 39 degrees. For a feral cat that is accustomed to living outdoors, this space is warm. Although along with the heat lamp and another form of supplement heat, you should also provide the cats with self-warming beds and insulated cat houses or doghouses filled with straw.

Feral Cat Sleeping in Winter Shelter Post Card

Do not use blankets for cat bedding in the garage, shed or cold basement because the blankets will retain the cold.

If you are interested in learning more about these warming products then here are a few shops that I recommend.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Garages Can be Deadly For a Neighborhood Cats

Many people have indoor/outdoor cats. And these cats usually go outdoors on a warm day and return at the end of the day to go indoors. But what happens when the weather is rainy or cold, will your cat go in an open garage or shed? Most cats when they enter a garage they will investigate and some may lie down to go to sleep especially if it is raining or cold outdoors.
Garden shed can also be deadly for a cat.  If the door is left open

The homeowner will have no idea the cat is in their garage because when a human approaches the cat may hide. The garage is closed because they are unaware a cat is in their a garage.

Now, what if the homeowner goes to work and returns 12 hours later and do not open the garage. They park their car in the driveway go to the back bedroom to take a nap or watch TV and do not hear the cats meow.

Know that a cat can go without food but they cannot go without water. Water is a necessity. What happens to the cat if the homeowner closes their garage door and leaves for vacation?
An open door is inviting a cat to come indoors
Garages that are left open then closed at some point with a remote are dangerous for a neighborhood cat. My neighbor leaves his garage open for many hours then closes with a remote. He told my husband that where their garage is situated that they would never hear a cat meow. He also said that they went on vacation and came home to a horrendous stench. They opened their garage door and found the remains of a cat.

This is why I say an open garage can be deadly for a neighborhood cat.

Garages can be deadly for a neighborhood cat and I am hoping that everyone spreads the word, people know to sound their horn in winter for cats that may climb into their engine block for warmth. Maybe we can get the word out about garages that are left open and that everyone should check for a neighborhood cat or leave a bowl of water.

We always leave a bowl of water and some food, especially if the garage door is left open. It is the only way to know for certain that no cat or other animal is inside. If food and water are missing then you will know to leave the door open and watch for the animal to come out.

If you leave your garden shed open, be sure to check for animals by leaving food and water and closing the door, then recheck the next day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Why Do Cats Sleep on Your Pillow

Ever wonder why your cats sleep on your pillow or around your head? Know that it is not because they want to be close to you and they are not lying on your pillow because it is so comfortable. The real reason for the attraction is because sleeping on your pillow is a way for a cat to keep warm.

Yes it is true and you can put this to the test, note when your cat sleeps on your pillow, I bet it is when your bedroom is cold. (leave me a comment below with your findings)

All of my socialized feral cats sleep on my pillow next to my head and a one will lie on my head making it hard on my hair and I put on a hat. The hat on my head was a deterrent so my cat will sleep on my husband pillow or in a self-warming pet bed on the floor.
Even kittens are heat seekers, this is Hairy and he loved to sleep under the blankets

Never underestimate a cat because if they are cold they will go to the place on your body that emits heat. Okay, it is safe to say that not all cats will sleep on your pillow. Some cats will sleep under the bed blankets next to your feet. Why, because feet put off heat.

Know that any part of your body that is exposed to the cold more than any other part has the potential to lose heat and your cold cats will lie closest to the body part. If you would prefer your cats to be off your bed and away from your pillow then buy them a self warming bed. I did and the cats love them so much that they rarely sleep on our pillow, but do occasionally sleep at the end of the bed.
Gracie sleeping on her Purr Pad.  An inexpensive self-warming bed

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ways to Stop Kittens from Biting

When my darling kitten turned two months old she began to play rough with me. Okay, it is totally normal for kittens to play at this age, but unfortunately, along with their play, they do not realize that they need to bite something other than their person. My husband thought she was hungry but learned quickly that it was not the case, because the darling kitten was biting his toes while he was making her a bowl of food and after she at a few bites she gleefully resumed her biting.  Through trial and error, I learned the best way to put a stop to the biting. 

The best way is to distract your cat when they begin to play rough or bite you is to introduce them to a cat activity.  .One way that works is to spray their scratching post with natural catnip then pick your cat up and take to the post. Set their paws on the post, once your cat picks up the scent of the catnip they will forget about biting you.
Another way to get your cat to stop biting you is to address the biting as soon as your cat begins behaving badly. Introduce them to cat toys. It is best to have the toys in a pet room or other room that is away from you.

I have often suspected that my kitten may be anxious or bored and this is why she bites me and plays rough with me. So I bought her a cat tree and sprayed the entire thing with catnip. She loves it and when she starts to bite and play rough I will pick her up and take her to her tree. 
* I recommend setting the cat tree next to a window so kitty can climb to the top. It is helpful to hang an outdoor bird feeder close to the window so your cat can watch the birds. Watching the birds eat at the feeder is more enjoyable than biting their human.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Cat Trees at Chewy Product Review

Over the years I have bought many cat trees, some were great and others fell apart quickly, some fell down when cats climbed to the top. So I was hesitant to buy this cat product online until I shopped for cat trees at
My FIV cat Sam loves his cat tree

Shopping for a cat tree takes time because not all of these products are quality made. Know that the selling cost is not a guarantee that the product will hold up under daily cats playing. So when I saw that Chewy carried cat trees I knew they must be quality because this website is highly respected for offering the best products to their customers.

Here is a photo of my FIV cat scratching on the post on his cat tree. We bought this tree at a local pet product store, it was very expensive but it did not hold up and the wood is showing on a relatively new tree. 
Scratching posts on the tree are good for cats.

Know that you can't go wrong at Chewy, there are verified customers that review the products and give the product a rating. You can trust what 1K customers say about the cat trees. I always buy products that have many reviews and 5 stars. ed this product with a 5-star rating. They confirmed that the cat trees sold at chewy were very good and all were satisfied. 
Cat tree I bought from Chewy 

So I shopped until I found the right size tree for my cats. I liked that the tree had five scratching posts, a toy for them to play with and a hiding space for napping. I bought a quality cat tree, that was on sale with free shipping because I added it as a one-time purchase to my auto ship. Chewy does ship all pet products with two-day delivery free of charge as long as you spend $49. It is easy to do because they have discounted prices on all their pet products.

Do you shop at  

Here is another cat tree review


Maintaining Cats Health with Evolve Cat Food

Many people are feeding their cats Evolve food because the maintenance formula has real slow roasted chicken and is made from wholesome ingredients; brown rice, dried kelp, fish meal, dried egg, dried cheese cranberries, and blueberries. A healthy food for your cats that does not contain corn, wheat or soy yet cost less than other cat food in this category.
Feral cat Bob eats Evolve cat food

When you feed your cats the evolve maintenance formula you will notice that your cats are healthier. This cat food provides your cat with protein and natural antioxidants as well as carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics which promotes a healthy digestive tract and immune system.
Feral cat in Winter at feeding station

I would recommend this cat food for FIV cats as the products are quality and sourced from the USA. All natural products with no preservatives added sugars or by-products. A healthy food for cats with immune disorder condition. My FIV cat eats this food mixed with the can food and he is doing great, We rescued him when he was two years old and is now age ten. Has a shiny coat and teeth are good, no sickness.
Senior rescue cat has shiny coat thanks to Evolve cat food

If you are interested in this cat food then I would recommend that you shop for evolve cat food at Sign up for their auto-ship program and get a discount. You can cancel your order anytime. Know that this is a product that you can trust as it is made in the USA.

Feed adult and senior cats Evolve cat food. This food is not recommended for kittens. Follow the average food portion for an adult cat and do not overfeed. A six-pound cat should be fed 3/4 to 1/2 cup of food daily. A ten-pound cat should be fed 1/2 to 3/4 cup of food daily. A fourteen-pound cat should be fed 3/4 to 1 cup of food daily.

Introduce new evolve cat food to your cat by mixing it with their food. Mixing the new food with the old food will help the cats to adjust to the new food flavor, texture, and kibble. Mixing will also prevent upsetting the cat’s digestive tract.

Reduce your cat's other food daily by adding more evolve. Within a week your cat will be eating evolve cat food only.

Evolve may be an acquired taste especially if your cat has been eating the same food for years. If your cat does not like evolve food they will not eat. You can entice your cat to eat the cat food by adding a little evolve canned food and then mix the kibble into the soft food.

Evolve Cat Food Ingredients:
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Rice Flour, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavors, Fish Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Taurine, Calcium Sulfate, Salt, Dl-Methionine, Dried Skim Milk, Dried Kelp, Dried Cheese Product, Cranberries, Blueberries, Lactobacillus Casei , Lactobacillus Acidophilus Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement) Minerals (Zinc Polysaccharide Complex, Iron Polysaccharide Complex, Manganese Polysaccharide Complex and Copper Polysaccharide Complex,Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite).

You will love evolve pet foods

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Neighbors Provide Cats with Shelter

There is a gray cat that comes to visit my yard daily; this cat belongs to a neighbor that resides two blocks away. Normally the weather is mild and the cat can play or sleep in my yard, but yesterday the lightning, hail and wind storm was fierce and occurred an hour after this tabby came to visit.
Rain Clouds rolling in
Happy cat in the garden 

My husband says “Sylvester is in the yard and he will never make it home before the storm." We agreed to provide the neighborhood cat with shelter in our garage. My husband picked up the cat and runs through the rain, I follow with a bowl, water and fresh pan of litter. When the neighbors’ cat was safe in the garage I called his people to let them know he was okay. They had no idea that there was a storm because they were at work and thought their cat could find their way home or take shelter in brush or under somebody’s deck or porch.
I told them that the weather was very bad, strong wind, hail, and rain and that my garage was the best shelter for the cat. That we would let their cat out when the storm passed. My neighbor said okay.
Neighborhood cat brought kittens to our garage for shelter 

Know that our roof and car had hail damage from this storm. It was very bad and I am thankful that the neighbor's cat was in my garage. 

My other neighbor two doors down always leaves her garage open about 18 inches so cats can take shelter when the weather is bad.  
Do you provide neighborhood cats with shelter in an emergency?

Friday, August 11, 2017

My 4-Year-Old Cat Died Suddenly

My cat was a normal 4-year -old orange and white short hair tabby that lived indoors and did not have any cat diseases or so I thought. There were no warning signs of sickness but that did not mean that my cat would not die suddenly.

We rescued Dini when he was a baby kitten. He was the first kitten I saw in the trash bag that was dumped in the grassy section of the highway. My husband and I parked our car on the side of the road, crossed the highway carefully and walked slowly to rescue the orange and white baby cat that was meowing and looking very scared. I prayed as I approached the kitten that he did not run into the highway traffic.
Dini / photo taken a few days after we rescued him

We reached the trash bag and kitten extended its paws toward me, It was so small that I put it in my coat pocket then learned that there were other kittens in the bag. We rescued all of them and looked around to see if there were more before taking them home to bottle feed, help go to the bathroom and remove the fleas. My husband and I did not sleep for 10 days because these babies needed our care.
Photo of all rescue kittens on day they were weaned to mushy solid kitten food

The kittens survived and Dini (short for Houdini) was a normal 8-week old kitten even though he was the runt. He had the energy and the courage of a lion and we should have named him Romeo because he was so loving. This kitten kept us entertained because there was no room, cage, the carrier that would confine him., He would slide under doors, open cages, carriers, doors, and cabinets. He would study it by watching me. hence his real name Houdini.
Dini / at 5 weeks old
Dini and littermate Larry fascinated with the vacuum cord. This was the day we bought cord covers to keep the cats safe.  Dini is a one-year-old here.

He absolutely did not like being away from me so he would slide under our bedroom door to snuggle up next to me. I would awake with a kitten on my head. Like I said, Dini was a healthy kitten and 4-year-old cat who brought joy to our lives. He was talkative, played with his toys, played with other cats, loved to eat and even retrieved his plastic cat ball.

I work out of my home so I am with the cats 24/7 so if Dini was not feeling well I would know. But this cat was never sick, not a day in his life until he dropped dead at 4-years-old. Dini died from cardiac arrest from complications of an enlarged heart and suspicion of cancer.

I have read the cats will hide their sickness from their owners and from other cats, I also read that when cats have the same diagnosis as my Dini that they generally die suddenly.  

When a beloved fur-kid die suddenly it breaks your heart.

Here are a few articles that I published about Dini

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Neighbor Took My Cat

If you have an outdoor cat that does not have a collar and this cat goes for walk in the neighborhood your neighbors may think the cat is a stray and if your cat likes visiting your neighbor, snacking at their food bowl, lying on their porch they may take your cat, assuming it is a stray.

My cat is social, she has her outdoor routine which is primarily hanging out in our yard and gardens but she does go to visit a few neighbors. Normally she is gone about an hour but today she was gone for 12 hours and I was worried and searching for her.

At first, I thought she was upset with me because when I left the yard to go into the woods she meowed in protest. I knew my husband was going to be able to console her and groom her in less than an hour. I had to go to the woods and the chance of her following me was low because it is not something that she does. She does protest whenever I leave the yard but gives up and goes to sit on the patio furniture so I did not worry about her. 

I got back from my errand about noon and saw that my cat was not in the yard. My husband said he had not seen her and this is not like her to be gone that long. We were worried, we searched for her by looking in all her kitty spots, called her, walked around the block to her favorite spots. None of my neighbors saw her.

Maine Coon Cat Note Card / Blank Inside

My cat was gone without a trace.

My husband said he would sit out on the patio and wait for her to come home. We did not want to go to bed without her being home because we must lock the cat house at night due to the wildlife.

When she was gone for ten hours I thought she must have been taken or killed. These thoughts go through your head because there are so many people in the world that abuse animals. Two hours later I went outdoors and called her name again and I hear her calling out in the distance. She is running through my neighbor's yard and she leaps into my arms. My cat is home she is safe and she is groomed! She is one fluffy cat that smells like she had a bath.

I think it is really bizarre that a neighbor would take my cat and groom by giving it a bath and brushing.   No doubt they wanted to keep her because her collar with a tag is missing. Lucky for us that my cat was smart enough to run out through an open door. I do not know where my cat went, if she was picked up by a neighbor or if she visited a neighbor and they took her inside their house. 

Know that my cat has a collar, name tag and a microchip so I think that people should respect that. The only time you would take a cat in is if seems lost hangs out at your house and never goes home is a good sign that somebody may have moved and left their cat behind or the cat is lost. A cat that is abandoned or lost is a reason to take an animal into your home, but as soon as you are able you must check for a microchip and place a classified ad in your local newspaper to report the lost cat and make every attempt to find its owner.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Trapping Feral Cats for Shelter Surrender

Today while on Facebook I asked if anyone put out a bowl of water for the neighborhood cats or wildlife. Most people were kind and said that they did, but one of my followers said that she used a humane method of trapping stray and feral cats and took them to the shelter.  Know that there is nothing humane about trapping a cat, they are terrified and if they are feral the shelter will euthanize the frightened cat.

I have no idea what she was thinking but the animal shelter does not put feral cats up for adoption and they do not sterilize them or place them in colonies. As a rule, shelters will euthanize all feral cats immediately and any cat that is aggressive, even if they are fearful; hiss-spitting cannot be adopted and they are not going to socialize it for adoption.

 It is a death sentence for stray/feral cats if they are trapped and taken to an animal shelter.  Here is an article from Alley Cat Allies that explains why trapping and killing cats is not a good way to control cat populations

Feral cats that I have trapped for TNR or socialization

Feral kittens in my yard / both Trapped, Sterilized and socialized.  Had they been trapped and take to shelter they would have been euthanized.  They were Feral, wild and terrified of humans.  Cannot be adopted. Shelters would euthanize.

Many people assume cats without collars are strays or feral cats.  We find cats without collars in our yard all of the time, some stay a few days hanging out, others find their way back to their homes. 95% of them are neighborhood cats.
This cat without collar hung out in our yard for 4 days.  He was afraid of us, hissed and spit he also meowed.  Feral cats do not meow and they run from humans so they do not hiss or spit.  Today we saw the flyer, this cat was lost and scared.  He may have looked like a stray/feral cat with no collar, but the story is he got out of the house and was lost.

 If the cat hangs around for several days we will take their photograph and post it on a “found cat flyer” and pass it out to our neighbors. We will also go online to Facebook to share a photograph of found cat at the Humane Society and our contact information. We never trap the cat to surrender to the shelter for fear that the cat will be euthanized.

Here is a flyer that I use when looking for pet owners.

Lost or Found Cat Mailbox Flyer

Backside of cat flyer:

Lost or Found Cat Mailbox Flyer

As for feral cats we do trap them and take them to the veterinarian for feline disease tests, sterilization and rabies and other vaccines before we release them to an area called a colony where there are caretakers to feed these cats and watch to make sure they are okay. Learn more about neighborhood cats and their TNR at Alley Cat Allies  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Stray Cat Hiding in Garden

Tonight a gray and white stray cat came to our backyard. At first, we did not see him because he was hiding in the grass garden. When there was movement in the garden my husband and I went to investigate and that is when we found a nice looking adult cat.

When the cat realized that we saw him he sat up and started to meow. His meows were loud and sorrowful. My husband decided that the meowing was anxiety or he was trying to tell us he was hungry. So we decided to offer the stray cat a bowl of food.

We fed him Natural Balance limited ingredients duck and chickpea morsels that were mixed with two tablespoons of water.  This food was given to us by a neighbor and the feral cats like it because there are only one protein source and no fillers.

My husband brought the food to the cat. The cat did not hiss which is an indication that it is not feral. He put the food down two feet from the cat and the cat walked by my husband, his fur brushing up on his leg. This tells us that the stray is not fearful of humans.

There was no collar on the cat but maybe the cat has a microchip? We did not want to pick up the cat because it might frighten it. So we will watch the cat, to see if it hangs around our house or goes back into the neighborhood. It is possible that it just came to visit our yard and hang out in the gardens.

The stray ate every morsel in the bowl then went to our pond to get a drink. Then we watched as the cat walked toward our front yard. Instead of heading back to his house the cat laid on our front porch until the neighbor's cat came to visit, then the stray ran into the woods.

We are not sure if this little guy is lost, abandoned or what...but will watch out for him to make sure he is okay and will look for "lost cat posters" in the neighborhood.

Here is a photograph of the stray kitty in our yard.