Sunday, December 27, 2015

Cat Scratch Treatment / When to Get Medical Care

Since 1999 I have been trapping feral, stray and abandoned cats for veterinarian care. During that entire time I did not get scratched. But on December 10th 2014 I was scratched with puncture wound to my hand by my own cat.  
A photo by Susan Golis

I immediately cleaned the deep scratch wound with hydrogen peroxide and carefully removed the claw. I remember thinking that this is bad and will probably get infected. My six month old feral kitten was up to date with all of her vaccines but I was still worried about infection due to the deep puncture wound caused by the claw close to my fingers joint and tendon. Know that this area is great place for growing bacteria.

I took the cat scratch seriously and soaked my hand three times daily with Epsom salt and then cleaned the wound with hydrogen peroxide. Did not cover with bandage and hoped for the best. Within 7 days I had symptoms of infection and I did not ignore them. The area where the cat scratch occurred appeared red and swollen with pain and I had difficulty moving my hand. I went to urgent medical care.

Sure enough I had a cat bacteria infection in my joint and tendon. The physician told me to continue soaking my hand in hot Epsom bath three times a day and to keep hand elevated. He prescribed and antibiotic Amoxiclin and Clavulanate potassium tablets. Amoxiclin and clavulante is an antibiotic in the group of drugs called penicillin this medicine fights bacteria in the body.

I took the medication for five days and on the 6th day the pain and swelling had lessened. There was still redness with white blisters where infection resides. It took five additional days for my hand to heal.  I was happy because hand surgery was not be needed to remove bacteria from my hand.

Know that if you handle cats as a rescue, or if you socialize feral cats then any scratches that you get must be taken seriously, clean the scratch immediately and watch for infection. Since my hand infection I have made a point to wear heavy leather gloves. I keep the gloves in my pocket and put them on whenever I am handling cats.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Rescue Kitten Goes to Photo Shoot

I am not sure if it because the rescue kitten is used to me but she will not sit still long enough for me to get a photo for her adoption papers/flyer. Know that when you intend to pass out flyers of a cat or kitten that a darling photo is a must. Kittens with bows in their hair, sitting in a flower pot are so darling and will dug on the adopters heartstrings.  Try as I may this little rescue is a ball of energy and she does not want to sit still, she wants to play with her toys and my housecats.
Kitten by
Example of perfect photograph for cat adoption flyer

So I made an appointment with a pet groomer to bathe Purl, clip her claws and brush her so she is fluffy. Then I asked her to do a pet photo shoot. The appointment is on Monday and I will bring Purl in to the groomers in the morning along with her security stuffed cookie monster teething toy. Yes Purl has a stuffed toy that she sleeps with and bites. The toy will provide her with security if she is scared of the new surroundings.

We have had quite a few pet adopters that were interested in Purl but none were the right fit. Know that we do not adopt our rescue cats to anybody. Our cats are only placed when we know that it is the forever home. We do not want Purl to be put out of the house when she becomes an adult.  

We check to make sure that the apartment or rental home allows pets, know that so many people think they can have pets, sneak the cat in and not get caught. Then you have to find out about the other pets in the house.  I have had pending cat adopters tell me that they have four cats that do not need vaccines and are not spayed or neutered.   This is a red flag and no way is Purl going to that home.  

We have a list of questions that we ask and if people give us an attitude then the adoption process ends.   So far I have placed several cats in forever homes and you bet I have been lucky. 

Here is one of the flyers that I use, the information is on the backside.  Two photographs of cat are needed for this template.

I am certain we will find good people that will love this little Purl for the rest of her life.

Read the first post Found one Pound Bengal Maine Coon Kiiten

Feral Cat Photograph Calendar

Two of my neighbors who have supported my cause and have helped me to take care of the feral cats in our community asked me if I would make them a cat calendar from the photographs that I have taken of the cats in the TNR program.
Feral Cat in the Fall Season

These cats are feral and cannot be socialized so they reside in thicket dens and small crevices in the rocks that are located in a dense woods of 25 acres. We have watched over this feral cat colony since 2004 and provide the cats with sterilization, vaccines, ear tagging, food, water and outdoor cat houses and shelters to keep them cool in the summer months and warm and dry in the winter months.

Over the years I have taken many photographs, however my favorite photographs make up this 2016 calendar. So I am sharing the calendar here so if any of my followers are interested, they can view and buy.

Note: The Manx Cat for the month of April was trapped when he was 6 months old and we did socialize him. It took three years for him to trust me. I know this because he had gotten out of the house and stressed out, meowing loudly. He finally let down his defense and came to me, allowing me to pick him up and once indoors and from that day forward this Manx cat has never let me out of his sight. Yes he will follow me to the bathroom and wait for me to get out of the shower. We call him Baby and he is a sweet cat.  So he was feral but we were able to socialize him.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Found One Pound Bengal - Maine Coon Kitten

On a cool day in November I was working in my yard and though I heard a kitten meow.  Upon investigation of the bamboo and not seeing anything I decided that I must have mistook what I had heard.  Know that nestled among the bamboo shoots I have a feral cat shelter that is stuffed with straw to keep the cats warm. One of the spayed feral cats had been sleeping in this shelter and both my husband and I thought it was odd, since this cat sleeps in a large thicket den in my neighbors yard.

We watched this adult feral cat and her behavior was odd.  She  has been seen going in and out of this shelter which is my old work shed.  I keep food , water and cat beds in this shed.  Know her behavior was odd because she doe s not eat at the feeding station, my neighbor feeds her or she hunts in the woods.

 I made a point to watch her and glad that I did.  The feral cat that we call Lucy ate at my food station, then went back to where the cat house was and regurgitated her food.  This spayed feral cat had found a kitten and was trying to care for it as best as she could.

There was no way to get close to the kitten that appeared to be very small.  If I attempted to take the kitten and failed then the feral cat  would take the kitten to the woods and we would never see it again.  So husband and I watched Lucy the kitten and cat house.

The weather forecast was calling for colder weather throughout the night and I worried about the little kitten. We h ad our dinner, watched a movie and went to bed.  Then for some reason I got up at 5 AM, put on my slippers and fleece robe and went outside.  I walked 30 feet to the front of the house and the first thing that I saw was the leaves moving on the lawn.

I thought perhaps a field mouse was coming toward me or other forest animal, I soon learned it was the one pound Bengal and Maine Coon Kitten.  When the kitten reached me it was meowing loudly and I recall hearing leaf movement coming from my side yard.  I suspect coyote were coming for a snack or maybe it was Lucy the feral cat?

No time was wasted I picked up the kitten, and put it in the pocket of my fleece robe and hurried to go back indoors.   Once inside I felt the kittens ear, nose and paws; they were cold as ice.  I took steps to warm the the kitten and then followed that with bottle feeding.  The kitten is not feral which means that a human had to have abandoned the baby cat.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Interview Process for Rescue Kitten Begins

The rescue kitten that I found a few weeks back has put on weight, was weaned to eat Royal Canin baby cat food and has improved greatly in coordination. We had to take her to the veterinarian to get rid of the fleas and while kitten was there we learned that she was a Bengal Maine Coon mix, in good health and approximately four weeks old. Okay that was then and now; baby cat is six weeks old and we have started interviewing adopters for her forever home.

Learn more about found baby kitten here 

We had one adopter that we thought was a perfect match but after the interview process my husband said no. The women was a cat lover, but through the interview questions  I learned that all of her cats were kept outdoors, with under the deck as the shelter and that they were not current with veterinarian shots, spays or neuters. Husband crossed her off the list.

The other family that showed interest in rescue kitten would be a good fit if they agreed to keep cat indoors. In the past they let their other declawed cat outside  and it was killed by the neighbors two dogs. The women who wanted the kitten  had no problem keeping kitten indoors but she said she had no control over others in the house and suspected that they would leave the cat outdoors. 

Other than that we have one other person who has bonded with the kitten and has stated that they love her.   We feel it would be a perfect match, however at the present time this adopter cannot take in the kitten, but has stated they would help me to find her a home.

Purl goes in for grooming the first week of December, a bow will be put in her hair, there will be photographs taken and we will then put her up for adoption.  We are hoping that the person that bonded with her and said she loved her will take her.  But if not we must find a suitable home for her.

So the interview process has begun, we are weeding through the emails asking questions and are trying our best to find the right forever home for rescue kitten Purl.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Are You a Cat in Human Form?

Recently a friend asked me if I was a cat in a human form and I responded by laughing but later I thought about it and well I am very much like a cat. In fact I think my husband could be a cat in human form also.

What is a Cat in Human Form?

Know that I am unable to give you a factual answer to this question but can give you my opinion and if you are interested then continue reading.

For all accounts I think a person who is really a cat would have characteristics and mannerisms that are cat like. As an example cats are not crazy about new people, new pets, or anything new or out of place. Move a chair to vacuum under and it is like you turned their happy home upside down. Cats are creatures of habit and do not like change, new people or new pets...same ole same ole is music to their ears. Like my cats I do not like new people, crowded room of people and it annoys when my husband moves a chair and does not put it back or puts the TV remote in the drawer and does not tell me where it is.  Its sorta like me moving the cats scratching post and not showing him where it is.  My cat gets confused and will show me that my actions are not cool and will scratch on the sofa.

Another characteristic that I have that is catlike is that I take naps, I do not sleep as much as my cats but if I am tired in the afternoon I will take a nap. Plus I rather enjoy sleeping. I sleep late and take my time at my morning routine. I will do my yoga and then file my nails and when that is done I may take a nap.

I am curious like a cat and just like a cat if I cannot figure out the solution to whatever intrigues me I will study and stare at the object of my affection and if I cannot solve the problem or the puzzle I will move onto something else. Know this is sorta like my cats watching a fly buzzing around the room. They will pursue it for awhile because it is entertaining, but they quickly get bored and will walk away from the fly. They will move on to other things, like the scratching post or the sun porch to take a nap.

Know that one of my pastimes is watching the wild birds that come to my yard, wild turkey, woodpeckers, crow, red tail hawk and find the birds to be fascinating. I will watch the wild birds through the lens of my camera and the cats will sit next to me watching the birds also.

So there you have it, I am a cat lover and could very well be a cat in human form.

The photos shown on this post are all rescue cats that I have cared for until they were adopted into their forever homes.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ways to Keep Garage Cats Warm in Winter

Today I received a message from a follower at my Cat Adoption Guide and they told me that they have cats that live outdoors.  They went on to say that they allow the cats to go into their garage but feel that they need to do something to keep the cats warm.

Know that your outdoor cats will need a shelter inside the garage unless it is heated and there are few that I recommend

K&H makes a soft sided insulated outdoor cat house that comes with a heated pad that is covered with soft Sherpa pad.  The heat element on this pad does not generate heat until your cat lies on it and then it will keep your cat warm.  I own this cat house and recommend it for garage use because the product needs protection from rain, wind, ice and snow.

Here is cat K&H cat house and it is showing wear from being outdoors on covered porch.  Note it elevated off the ground  to prevent rain or water runoff from penetrating.  This cat house is very light weight and can be lifted by the wind.

I find that this particular cat house is good for a porch or garage that does not have heat.  Shown is my cat Sam lying on the pad.  Know that it is helpful to spray the heated pad covering lightly with catnip to attract cats to the shelter cavity.  Feral  and stray cats are hesitant to enter through the clear plastic door flap .

Now if you are on a budget but still want to provide your outdoor cat warmth in the garage then you can always get a heavy cardboard box and fill it with straw.

Here is a photo of the dish pack size box that I set on its side and started with layers of carpet on the bottom then topped that with a fleece blanket that was folded to provide additional insulation, then a foot of straw.  The straw is a natural way to provide the cat with a cozy and comfortable resting area.  Straw is natural insulation.  I set this box cat bed under my work bench in my garage. The area was away from the door opening and excess drafts.

Here are photographs of the box and the feral cat in the box bellow.

Know that K&H also makes a self-warming bed (see my photo bellow)   These beds are great for cold rooms however if your garage gets bitter cold then  I  recommend that you put these beds  in an insulated cat house like an igloo or other cat house.

Also if your garage is not heated then it does get cold and while the cat's internal body temperature may be warm from the self-heated bed their ears and nose will be cold.  It is wise to invest in an insulated cat house or make your own especially if you keep your cats outdoors or in your garage during the winter months.

Here is a video that will show you how to make an outdoor shelter for your cat.

Will a Cat Abandon Their People?

Recently  I received a message from one of my Cat Adoption Guide followers and they told me that their cat when left outdoors would wander off and be gone for 3 days to a week before returning home.  They asked me if their cat wold abandon them for another person?

Know that a cat that is not sterilized will wander the neighborhood looking for a suitable mate, or they will seek intruding unaltered male cats that have entered their territory.  A tomcat will patrol their turf and fight off any other male cat that tries to move in on their turf.  

This is a method of communication that tomcats are not welcome in your cats territory.  Now if your wandering cat is a female and she is not spayed then she too will want to go outdoors to mate and will wander away from your yard. 
Neighborhood cats will leave their home six blocks away to mate with cats in the woods.

Now if you cat has been sterilized and is still leaving your home for several days then  you need to ask yourself if your home has changed.  Cats do not like change and they get stressed out for the littlest thing. 

Know that cats that are suffering from change in their home; new baby, new person, new cat or dog may wander off and be gone for several days.  If the cat is suffering from stress or feels anxious in their home they will leave for greener backyards.

Bombay Cat Lying in Green Clover Puzzle
Bombay Cat Lying in Green Clover  is the cat that left his home to live in my yard for 6 months.

Several years ago a Bombay cat showed up at my backyard feeding station and this cat never went home.  After six months the owners of the cat did show up and they said they had taken in a young female cat that had kittens and their other cat (one in my yard) was put outdoors because the queen cat did not like him. So their 17 year old cat wandered away and came to live in my yard that was four blocks away.. 

So to answer this question I would say that cats will abandon their people for another.  You must remember that cats choose the people that they want to love.

Learn more about why cats leave home by reading my article here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Feliway Diffuser is Must Have Multiple Cat Homes

Like many cat lovers I have a multiple cat home. They are age 1 year to age 10 and they do not see eye to eye on everything. Daily I need to break up cat hissy fits fur yo one of them being territorial with their toys, litter box, or if a cat walks into their space.

I have talked at my cat meetings and found out that many people have multiple cat homes and that their cats do not get along all of the time.  
Cats are funny, they can sleep together, groom each other and seem like best friends but then out of the blue their tempers will flair and before you know it you hear hiss, snarl and the claws are brought out. Kitty wants to fight with their best buddy and if you do not run to break it up the cats may go at it and the fur may fly.

Granted we may think that the fight was brought on for no reason but for a cat that is territorial that is a just reason. Your cat may be suffering from stress from a new person in the house, or a new pet. Plus any movement of furniture or their litter box is enough to cause your cat to be upset. Know that any changes to their routine is enough to cause your happy cat to feel anxious and you bet they will take their frustrations out on another cat or they will mark your sofa, wall or chair.

It is safe to say that I have tried a variety of things to bring harmony back to my multiple cat home and found that the best product was the least expensive and it worked like magic. My veterinarian suggested that I buy Feliway Diffusers at, because this online pet store offered the best prices. I searched and found the website and bought the products needed for my home.

I plugged the diffusers into my electrical outlet and when they heated up it released a kitty pleasing pheromone into the air. This pheromone calmed all of the cats down and brought harmony back to our home.

Know that I recommend this product because I found that it it works. You can view this video and it will show you the before and after effects of the feliway diffuser when used as a treatment for a cat that is feeling anxious.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Low Carbohydrate Canned Food for Healty Cat

Today my veterinarian told me that the reason why cats are getting sick, obesity, urinary tract infection and diabetes is because of their diet.    In my defense I fed the cat a well known high quality kibble that was mixed with canned food and two tablespoons of water.  I stand corrected the fact that I was feeding my stray feral and rescued cats dry kibble was the main reason they were getting fat.

Dry food has fillers and the fillers are usually rice or grains and these foods are carbohydrates which are not good for cat that are carnivorous.  I was told to change my cats diet to a high protein, low fat and low carbohydrate food with no grains, soy or corn.  A pate food is better than a gravy formula, because gravy usually has a thickening agent and this will cause the carbohydrates and fat to increase.

So I began my  search at Pet Smart and  found many grain free foods that had high protein and low fat, none of the foods gave me a breakdown for the carbohydrates.    I wrote the name of the foods and called the manufactures to get the nutritional breakdown and to find out the percentage of carbs. 

Here is a list of high protein, low fat and very low carbohydrate canned foods.

Natures Variety Instinct
Chicken 10% protein 6.5% fat 2.13 Carbohydrate
Duck 9% protein 5.5 fat 1.82 Carbohydrate
Rabbit 10% protein 4.5 fat 1.26 Carbohydrate
Venison 11.9% protein 6.0 fat 0.00 Carbohydrate (BEST Food)
Beef 11% protein 5.5 fat 1.58 Carbohydrate

About Natures Variety Instinct

“quote: This canned cat food is made with real meat.  Wholesome fruits and vegetables.  This is your cat’s instinctive diet.  With Instinct, your cat will enjoy a hearty and nutritious diet, free of grains or fillers.  Such quality nutrition provides beneficial proteins and balanced omega fatty acids to maintain toned muscles, healthy skin, and a glossy coat.  Feed instinctively to give your cat the nourishment and energy to enjoy life every day.  Nature’s Variety Instinct for cats is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages. End quote”

View this video to learn more about cat foods and why a food that has low carbohydrates  is better for your cats well being. .

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Introducing New Cat to Existing Cat

A few days ago I decided to introduce my cat to a new young female cat that was infected with same disease; FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus.. I thought it would be good for both cats to have company and to share their lives, taking care of each others grooming needs, playing and sleeping together. My idea was good BUT I needed to take it slow when introducing the new cat because I did not want either of them to get stressed out.

I let them get used to each others scent, they played with their paws from under the safe room door for five days. Then I put the new kitty in a cat cage and allowed my cat Frankie to get to know her.  Followed by the introduction with supervision.  The face to face introduction went better  than I had anticipated.

The new little kitty was territorial and I intervened, by grabbing both cats by their scruff, the way a mother cat would do. Then I petted both cats while speaking to them  softly, followed by click from my clicker and a Temptations cat treat.

Cat treats help because both cats were more interested in how to get another treat from me and did not think about getting to know each other.  Food is your friend when introducing new cat to existing cats.

The first afternoon for introductions was uneventful, the new female followed my male cat and my male cat followed the new female.  Now things did get a little testy when the both  tried to get on the cat tree at the same time.  It was a territorial thing and I modified that by spraying the  entire tree with catnip.

At night the female cat spent the night in a cat cage and during the day somebody was always with the cats to supervise.  A week after this slow introduction process we let the cat be on their own, and that is when the claws came out and the fur did fly.

We broke it up, and thought maybe our introduction was not slow enough so new female cat went back into the cat cage. That is when my cat Frankie climbed up on the side to give her a kiss.  So we let her  out and it has been love ever since.

One cat roll and tumble and they were done. Now both cats seem to be getting along.

Friday, September 11, 2015

When Feral Cat Cannot be Socialized

A few years ago I rescued a kitten that was abandoned by the feral queen cat because neighbor deemed her a nuisance and Animal control took the nursing mother cat away and did not care about her kitten. I was lucky that the den was close by and could hear the kittens distress meow.

So husband and I went out into the woods to find the kitten and when I got her I brought her home. My husband I took care of this young kittens needs, We bottle fed her then weaned to KMR kitten formula mixed with blue buffalo kitten food.

We assumed that this kitten would accept being socialized to live with humans because we rescued her at such a young age but she resisted and to this day (3 years later) she is still feral..

Some feral kittens adjust to being tamed, not Notti. Well that is not entirely true, this feral cat will allow us to pet her when she wants to be petted, when it is time to stop the cat will bite us gently on our hand or tap us with their paw. If we continue to pet we will get hissed at.

This feral kitten let us into their life, but only on her terms.

Brushing this adult cat is out of the question. However this cat will not groom themselves. Grooming to Notti is pulling her hair out. I took Notti to the veterinarian and they gave me three choices, medicated her with kitty Prozac, feed her Royal Canin calm cat food or release the stressed out cat back into the wild. Releasing was not an option.

The feral cat was fed the calm cat food for 40 days and in that time she refused to allow the other cats to groom her. Back to the veterinarian feral cat did go. This time her long lustrous coat was shaved because her backside was matted.

While at the veterinarians I was told that releasing Notti to outdoor cat colony was not recommended. According to our veterinarian we should continue to feed Notti the calm cat food, and also continue using the feliway behavior modifier. In addition she will need to be professionally groomed every 3 to 4 months.

I was told that some feral kittens / cats can never be trained to live with humans.. I think never is too strong of a word, sometimes it takes longer. will keep working with her and hoping for the best.

Here are some photographs of Notti when she was a kitten. 

Notti on top she is playing with other kitten
Notti outdoors with her feral mother, a week before mother cat trapped

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Yes Cats Communicate with Each Other

I am convinced that the feral and stray cats talk among themselves because every day a new cat finds their way to my feeding station. Some of the cats reside down the street, but that does not mean that they stay in their neighborhood. Nope you will see the cats waking down the street, then down my steep hill but instead of going to the park entrance they will turn and go down my sidewalk, all the way back to where the feeding station is. Look around and then sit down to eat.
Feral kittens hanging out by water bowl in my garage

This is why I think the cats talk among themselves. When they are hanging out they may say check out this house they put out tasty grain free kibble and fresh water. If cats did not communicate with each other than how would the cats from two blocks away know to come to my yard?
Two satisfied neighborhood cats at my feeding station by shed

Know that when I mention the cats communicating among themselves that my husband usually laughs at me. What do you think? Do cats tell each other where to get a good meal, shelter and a comfy hangout where dogs do not chase them?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cat Diets are NO FUN

Baby my rescued socialized Manx cat is obese and needs to go on a diet. Know that the Manx cat breed is generally a bigger cat. But when you cannot locate their ribs due to the layer of fat then it is time for a diet.

This is not Baby but is a good photo of Manx cat...see there is NO tail 

So Baby has to shed some pounds and we can no longer feed him Rachel Ray grain free food, because it is dry kibble and high in carbohydrates, plus there is not enough fluid in dry foods. So I am feeding all of our cats Friskees Special diet turkey and giblets canned food, because this food provides a balanced died that is low in carbs.

So the cat diet started today and it is not a FUN day for Baby.

My obese cat ate a half a can of the turkey food this morning and I will feed him the other half tonight. Know that this cat likes to eat and is acting like he is starving to death.  Today my cat had more activity due to the pacing and begging for food.

That  first day will be the hardest since my cat is used to getting temptations catnip treats in the afternoon and well he cannot have treats.  My veterinarian thinks that my cat is eating out of habit, and not because he is hungry. I will let you know in a week how Baby does with his diet.

Learn more about Manx cats here

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Paying People to Watch Cat Colony Questions

Recently I received a message from one of my blog followers that told me that they were a caretaker to a feral cat colony and that they were responsible for the colony as there were no other volunteers to help out with the feeding station and making sure cats had shelter or needed medical care This Cat Adoption Guide follower wanted to know if they should pay someone to watch over their cat colony when they go on vacation.

I would say it would be better to network for volunteers in your area that would care for the cats.  It is better to  have a cat lover as a caretaker.  Someone that is civic minded and does not mind donating their time to this worthy cause than to pay somebody.
Feral eat cat food in back garden a photo by Sgolis
One way to find people that are cat lovers in your area is to make up a flyer for cat caretakers and pass out in your neighborhood.  Ask your veternarian if you can hang the flyer on their bulletin board or contact the Cat Network or Alley cat allies and ask if there are any feral cat caretakers in your area. Also see if anyone at your church would be interested in volunteering their time to help care for your colony of cats.

Know that it hard to be solely responsible for a colony of cats and it is better to  know other civic minded people that will share in the duties of feeding the cats and chipping in for the food and or medical costs.  My husband helps me and I have two neighbors that donate their time and help the costs for food, spays and neuters, or vaccines for the cats.

Here is a post that I published that may be of interest to you:  What it means to be a Feral Cat Colony Caretaker

Saturday, July 18, 2015

When It is Too Hot for Cat; Heat Stroke Symptoms

Recently I published an article at a social media website that addressed the temperature tolerance of an outdoor/indoor cat, the post pointed out that all cats need shelter when temperatures soar and that they all suffer from heat stroke.  

The interaction on this post indicated that cat owners assume that cats can tolerate extreme heat and that heatstroke and other serious complications are not a concern.  One particular commenter stated that their air conditioner was broken and they left the housecat home alone when they went to a hotel because the temperature change in their apartment was unbearable for humans but they felt it was okay for their cat.
Well let me tell you this comment was the furthest thing from the truth. A cat that is accustomed to air conditioner will suffer when the temperature changes to extreme heat. Even an outdoor cat that is used to hot summer weather will suffer when the heat is extreme.
The person who left the comment in question mocked their spouse when they returned from the hotel and found the cat lying on their side, panting on the carpeted floor. She also noted that the cat had vomited. This cats lethargic appearance was red flag that cat was in distress. The husband wanted to soak the cat in cool water, to try to bring that cats temperature down and this would have been the right thing to do, as long as he did not get water on the cats face. Heat stroke is serious and a trip to the veterinarian for treatment would have benefited the cat.
Know that if the cat owner left the bathroom door open and installed ceiling fans to circulate some air and left several bowls of water for the cat, then kitty would have tolerated the temperature change in the home better. Personally I never would have left the cat in a home that had extreme heat because cats do suffer when the temperature changes; cool house to temperatures in the mid 90's Fahrenheit is too hot for a housecat that is accustomed to air cooled home.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bengal Cats Get Forever Home

I helped out one of my friends by fostering two Bengal cats that had been surrendered to a kill animal shelter. This particular shelter puts the cat up for adoption and gives them a week before they are euthanized. Sometimes animal groups will make arrangements to take the cats for adoption, but that was not the case with Frankie and Larry. These young cats had fallen through the cracks and they needed to be fostered to save their lives.

So I took the cats and agreed to foster them until my friend found their forever homes. I had the cats less than a month when I got a call that adopters were found and both cats would be going to the same home.

I was happy to see that both Bengal cats, Frankie and Larry will be going to the same home because I think it would be hard on them if they were separated having been together since birth.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Feeding Socialized Feral Cats CALM Cat Food

In August of 2010 I trapped a feral queen cat and her kittens for medical care.  All cats needed veternarian care and were in the animal hospital for 21 days.  The queen cat was released and the kittens were socialized and we adopted them.  

Know that even thought this kittens were trapped when they were six weeks old,  they were unlike other feral kittens because these kittens were high strung and anxious.  

Not sure if it was due to the medication they were given to heal their infections, but I always thought it might have had something to do with their behavior.

Charlie the feral kitten at 6 weeks old.

Now five years later the kittens are grown but they are not what you would call socialized.  They still hide and occasionally will let me pet them.  I can pick them up but they are not affectionate.  

Recently the two of the kittens developed a a strange behavior.  They are plucking out their fur for no apparent reason.  Like a chicken plucks out their feathers, the feral cats are removing their fur and these once gorgeous cats are nearly bald.

I took them to the veternarian and was told that this is a common behavior or feral cats, that sometimes they can be tamed other times no.   The veterinarian said that there were three treatments; release the cat to live the rest of their life outdoors.   Medicate them or feed them Royal Cannin veternarian diet CALM.  Since releasing them and medicating them is out of the question we bought the cat food and also plugged in the feliway comfort zone.

The 8.8 pound bag of calm cat food was $50. not an inexpensive treatment, but is formulated with natural products. I started the cats on the food today. 

The cats like the food,  but I noticed they are still pulling their hair out.  So it is too soon to see results.  I will share with you all my finding in ten days.  I hope this cat food helps to calm my cats.

Friday, June 19, 2015

About Bengal Cats

A few weeks ago a friend who volunteers at one of the areas animal shelters calls me and says that a family surrendered two Bengal pure breed cats to the shelter and if she does not find a foster for them that they will be euthanized. I told her if she could not find any other fosters that I would care for them while she looked for a forever home. Well that is how I got Larry and Frankie. Cute as they can be Bengal cats that love to play and go for a walk around the block on a leash.
Bengal cats hiding in the garden

The do not care for my cats so we did shop at for feliway comfort zone diffusers for the electrical outlet. It is exactly what we needed because it took the “new cat” stress out of the room. So we have had the cats for ten days and all is well. Then our air conditioner broke and parts were needed so we were spending more time on the screened porch.

Inquisitive franking and Larry found a little rip in the screen and decided they would rip it more. Who knows maybe they had the other cats hole them also. All I know is the Bengals leaped a good six feet to the garden bellow and then took to the woods.

Yes they got out, I suspect the change in the household made them feel anxious and they just wanted to get away for awhile. The only problem was it was night and the coyote forage at night and these Bengals are definitely housecats.

Catching cats that are fosters, will they come back or will they try to go to their former home?

So both my husband and I grab flashlights and take to the woods. Bengal cats do not meow instead they make like a barking sound. I would call their name and I would hear them in the distance sounded like they were 4 houses away. They were chattering (not meowing) or screaming and then they were quiet.  We thought something happened to them, then we would hear them again. 

After forty minutes husband gave up. But I did not I sat on the furthest patio closest to the woods and called out to the cats every few minutes.

Here is a video where you can hear what Bengal cats sound like.  

It took me two hours to catch them. The cats came home out of exhaustion, they were panting and they were over heated, tongue was red and hanging out of their mouths. I suspect something may have chased them, a mother raccoon protecting her territory, a feral cat, coyote or fox? All I know is the woods was not a fun place for these fostered Bengal cats.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sudden Illness Takes The Life of Rescued Cat

Three months ago I took my 21 year old cat in for their 6 month checkup at the veterinarians.  They did the wellness exam, checked his blood and his urine, also checked his blood pressure and I was told he was in great health and that he could live 5 to 10 more years.  

My cat was a rescue after he had been put out at age 16.  He liked spending the day in the garden and I took him in at night. I asked the veternarian if the time in the garden was okay, she said yes that he would be depressed if I took him in full time.  So he got vaccinated and his annual feline leukemia vaccine. 

Brought Skippy home and everything was fine until last Tuesday when he deiced to eat very little and drink less.  Which was not normal for this cat that ate like he had hallow legs.  I called and made an appointment at my veternarian, told them something is wrong.   That night Skippy continued to decline although he did sleep on the chair next to my bed.  But by morning he was very week and was having difficulty walking.  

I picked him up and rushed him to the veterinarians office where they told me he had fluid in his lungs, was too old for treatment and this sudden illness was brought on from Feline Leukemia  FeLV that advanced into cancer.

The diagnosis put me in shock, because three months prior my cat was tested and it was negative, then he got the vaccine.  I never saw a bite wound, and yet the veternarian said he was infected and due to his age and weakened immune system my cat got cancer.

Then I was told that just like the human flu shot the FeLV shot is not 100% that if I wanted to keep my cat healthy I should have kept him indoors. Let me tell you I am still in shock over the death of my cat and feeling great sadness.

Ref: a post by Sgolis

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How We Socialize Feral Kittens

The new born kittens that my husband and I rescued were socialized to be trusting of humans quickly. We handled them daily, first with heavy leather gloves and then barehanded. We petting them under their chin, top of head and on side of face by ear. We also ran a cat brush through their fur gently. The entire time that we handled them we talked to the kittens softly.
Husband holding 7 week old feral cat

At first we needed to wear heavy leather gloves because the kittens were fearful and wanted to bite and scratch us. But after three times of holding them we were able to stimulate their appetite and coax the kittens to us with bonito fish flake treats and soon the kittens were in our lap.
By the time the kittens were 8 weeks old you would never know that they were born outdoors inside a hallow tree. All kittens were very human friendly, running in in-between our legs, purring when we petted them.
Feral Cat Tips:
By taking time to handle the feral kittens we were socializing them to not be fearful of humans. We held all kittens several times a day. My husband held the kittens while he watched TV and many of them fell asleep while being held.
Holding feral kittens makes them less fearful of humans

Feral cats are generally afraid of everything, but if you are able to foster kittens before they are 12 weeks old then you will be able to bond with kitten and they will trust a human and not be fearful.
Know that I find it is easier to socialize a feral cat that is six months or younger. That is not to say an adult cat cannot be tamed, all cats can be tamed to trust a human. Know that a friend of mine worked with your feral barn cats for a good year and then told me the other day that all were dependent upon her for food and water and that she was able to pet them without them being fearful of her.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Determining Kitten Age

A few weeks ago I thought I found a  8 week old kitten but after taking cat to the veterinarians I found out that the kitten was older.   The veterinarian examined the cat and asked questions pertaining to the kitten eating habits, feeding schedule, sleeping habits and activity, and then determined an approximate age.

I learned that the kitten was approximately 10 weeks old. The cat was small for its age because it was underdeveloped. As a stray, the kitten did not get the proper nutrition. Know that an orphaned kitten could appear to be small due to their lack of food from queen cat or from being abandoned, left to forage on their own.
Feral kitten with Queen cat

Other ways to Determine Age of Kitten 

1. Determine an approximate age for the kitten by their eating-sleeping habits. 
2. A kitten that is not able to go to the bathroom on their own or needs to be fed a milk replacement by way of bottle is a newborn age three weeks and under.
3. If the kitten is drinking replacement milk from a glass bowl, eating soft kitten food or wellness core kitten formula grain free and no GMO kibble moistened with replacement milk and eats five to six times a day the age is 4 to 8 weeks.
4. Kittens that are age 12 to 24 weeks old are weaned from replacement milk and eating solid foods that is moistened with water or canned kitten food. These kittens generally eat three times a day.
Another way to determine the age of a kitten is by their weight: each pound represents month (example 2 pounds = two months)
*The photographs that you view on this post are of the many kittens I have rescued over the years. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Checking Kitten for Fleas

Today there was an approximately 8 week old kitten in my yard and I went out to find out if this kittens was feral or domesticated. I approached the kitten with eyes to the ground and walked slowly before sitting down on the ground. 
The kitten mowed and I knew it was domesticated. Perhaps lost or worse abandoned? I knew that woods was no place for such a small cat and so I scooped this baby up and thought I would bring indoors to feed, give water and check for fleas.

Checking a kitten for fleas especially if they are out and about close to a wooded area is important because a kitten that has fleas has a high risk of becoming anemic and this blood disorder could be fatal. 
An infestation would be fleas crawling all over the kitten and this baby would need immediate veterinary care. I was lucky that was not the case with the kitten that I found in my yard. Yes he did have a few fleas but I was able to remove them with a flea comb. Then I wiped the kittens fur with a damp cloth to remove the flea dirt.

The next thing that I will do is contact my veterinarian to find out if the kitten has a microchip, if not I will see if I can get some flea treatment for this baby.  

Then I will search for his people, may be days may be weeks.  Do know that nobody in my neighborhood (two block radius) got a new kitten recently.  At least this baby kitten will have no fleas.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to Catch a Lost Domesticated Cat

Today one of my friends asked me how I go about catching adult domesticated lost or abandoned cat and I replied that it is not an easy task because they are freaked out and have trust issues, but that it can be done.

Know that before I bring out the live animal trap I try my best to get the cat to come to me. I use the trap as the last resort because it terrifies the cat, that is stressed out to begin with.

When I say lost or abandoned I am referring to cats that show up in my woods out of the blue. Could be a cat that left their home and got lost or it could be a cat that was abandoned. Know that my woods has predators and it is no place for a domesticated cat.

Steps to Take to Catch a Domesticated Cat

The first thing I do is locate the cat by seeking it with the lens of my camera.  Then I will get a safe distance from the cat, lower my eyes to look at the ground, followed by calling out to the cat.  "here kitty kitty kitty".  Pause to see if cat responds.  

Know that if you look at the cat eye to eye that the cat will become defensive because direct eye contact indicates dominance.

If the cat does not come right away, I will sit down and wait...calling out to the kitty occasionally. The cat knows I am there and if it wants to come to me it will come to me very slowly. (May take several hours)

When waiting for the cat does not work, say the cat moves closer to where you are but is still cautious. Set out a bowl of stinky fish flavored food like salmon pate or whitefish.  This food puts out a strong aroma that will get the lost domesticate cats attention. 

For me it works to squat or sit down and read a book. If a cat is hiding in my yard I will put out a sleeping bag so I can sit on it. Then set up food and water close to where I am sitting and wait.

A few days ago I rescued a lost housecat from the woods, the rescue took 6 hours, it occurred at night when coyote were out and about.   If the cat had not been stressed out we would not have rescued at night but since the cat was putting out a stress meow, husband and I reacted and did everything possible to keep the coyote back and rescue this lost cat.  
Lost cat in woods

When the cat finally came to me it walked behind me and rubbed on my back, marked me as their person. Then it stood on my lap and rubbed its face on mine. Then I could pet the cat and get a hold of its scruff before picking up to put in cat carrier.

Know that if this waiting procedure did not work then I would have to trap the domesticated cat with live animal trap. If you do not have a live animal trap then I would recommend these online stores for cat traps.

Always bait the trap with a stinky fish flavored canned food and cover the trap with a twin size blanket. But do not cover the opening.
Trapped feral kitten

Learn more about trapping and baiting a trap here