Training Your Kitten to Enjoy the Grooming Routine


3-7 cat with brushRegular brushing and combing are important to make sure that your cat has less hair balls and will leave less hair around the house. For long-haired cats, daily grooming is essential.

The best conditions for training your kitten to get used to the grooming sessions is to gently comb or brush him when he is relaxed or sleepy. Using a gentle approach, don’t insist that grooming take place when the cat is nervous or wanting to play.

Grooming is done the right way of the fur, with the exception of the neck area. Position the comb in a slanted position, and make sure that the teeth are not too sharp. You may take several tries to find your cat’s favorite grooming place. There are plenty of combs on the market, find one that is recommended for your cat’s fur length and texture.

3-7 Robert Groppi1Also, during the grooming process, be sure not to overstimulate your cat so that he becomes rambunctious and aggressive. You want to associate the grooming routine for your cat is time for the two of you to bond and relax.

For some cats, daily grooming may take place several times per day or on a regular basis. Take notice of any “sensitive” areas on your cat and try to avoid those areas. One of my cats does not like having his stomach combed more than a few times.

Grooming is not only essential, but can be an enjoyable activity that you and your cat can share for his entire life.

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A Puzzle from the Past


A couple years ago, when we were hosting Hazel Swift and Effie Brisker, an old client of mine from my days as a florist asked to borrow a couple of kittens for a project. She was working for a local company that manufactured jigsaw puzzles, and they were in need of a kitten or two for a photo that could possibly be used on one of their puzzles.

We had the brief photo shoot with Effie and Hazel one afternoon, and that was that. I never followed up to see if an image was used for a puzzle, and the whole thing just slipped my mind.

Well, earlier this week, I was hunting online for a new jigsaw puzzle project for Craig and myself, and I ran across a familiar face!!!

LOOK! It’s Effie Brisker right there in the middle of that picture puzzle!!!

How cute is that??!!

If you want to pick up a copy, the puzzle comes in 750 or 1000 pieces and is available at Puzzle Warehouse, Barnes and Noble , Simple Pastimes, and Amazon.

I think I’ll order one for us. We normally prefer to tackle puzzles with more pieces, but for this cutie I will make an exception!

It was fun to be reminded of this sweet little pair of kittens. They were the first set Wylla got to help foster, so they will always be special to us!   Here are a few photos of the dear things from their time in our care.









If you want to see the lovely cats these two became, here’s an update their parents shared with us last year.

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How Much Would You Spend on Your Pet?


goldfish photo How much would you spend on your pet?

While many pet owners know only too well that vet bills for their beloved cats and dogs can easily run into the hundreds and thousands, more than a few eyebrows raised at the news that a man in the UK had paid £300 (about $400) for a goldfish to have a groundbreaking operation to relieve its constipation.

The story takes on even more significance when you find out that this goldfish was not a beloved family pet, but instead was an ‘office goldfish’ which lived in a tank at the man’s place of work.

The unnamed man had noticed that the goldfish was struggling to pass solids and seemed to be in pain, so he consulted a vet to find out how the fish could be helped. When the vet quoted £300 (about $400) for the mini-operation, the man reportedly balked at the cost, but after thinking about it, he called the veterinary practice back to give them the go-ahead for the surgery.

Without the operation, the vet’s opinion was that the buildup of toxins would eventually have resulted in the death of the fish.

Toll Barn Veterinary Centre in North Walsham, Norfolk UK carried out the operation, which involved first mixing anesthetic with the fish’s water to prepare it for surgery. A tiny tube was used to pump water laced with more anesthetic into the fish’s mouth and a mini heart rate monitor was used throughout the procedure to ensure that the goldfish had a heartbeat and continued to breathe. A tiny scalpel was used to remove two blockages from the goldfish during the 50 minute operation, after which the vet used 3 stitches and waterproof skin glue to help aid healing when the goldfish was back in its tank swimming around.

Faye Bethel, a vet at Toll Barn Veterinary Centre, told local press that: “There was nothing special about the fish. He just liked it a lot. People love their pets – but that was an expensive little goldfish.”

Happily, the fish made a full recovery from its surgical adventures!

The things we do for love

This pet fish isn’t the only one to undergo surgery in recent times. A pet goldfish named George in Australia underwent an operation to remove a tumor from its head. Using a similar process used for the UK fish, the antipodean patient underwent a delicate operation to cut away the tumor and seal the wound.

The procedure, this time costing approximately AUD $200 (£100 or $140 USD), was also considered successful, with the goldfish now expected to live for several more years.

While it’s probably true that most goldfish owners would draw the line at an expensive operation to save the inhabitant of their fish tank, you might be surprised at the lengths some people will go in order to give their pets a second chance or improve their quality of life.

In another UK-based survey, 86% of owners say they consider their pet as part of the family and are happy to pay high vet bills. A couple from Rotherham, Yorkshire UK racked up vet bills for £24,000 ($33,600 USD) since they brought home a German Shepherd puppy several months ago. The couple sold their car, canceled vacation and even decided to forgo Christmas gifts to pay for the four operations the pup has needed thus far.

When asked if it was all worth it, the pup’s owner, Miss Mitchell said, “A lot of my friends say they would have had him put down, but I could never have done that. It’s cost us a lot, but he’s worth every penny.”

This pup is still less than a year old, so could potentially have another 12+ years of costly veterinary treatment ahead of him thanks to his rare genetic condition. Thankfully for his owners, their vet is allowing them to pay off the current bill in monthly installments.

Our pets cost more than you might think

We’ve seen some extreme examples of the lengths (and costs) that owners are prepared to go to in order to save the lives of their pets, but even fairly routine costs can take owners by surprise sometimes. A UK-based survey of pet owners in 2015 found that on average, dog owners spend approximately £427 (or nearly $600.00 USD) a year on unexpected costs, including everything from vet trips to stays in kennels or catering for dietary conditions, which require specialty food.

You may think that cat owners get off more lightly, but the survey showed that wasn’t necessarily the case, with the average owner spending £322 (or about $450 USD) a year on things they hadn’t budgeted for when they got their kitty, including vet bills, pet stting and money owners have spent on replacing things around the home which the cat has damaged, such as carpets, rugs, wallpaper and electronics which have been nibbled or smashed.

Millions of people in the UK find that owning and sharing their life with pets is hugely rewarding, but anyone going into pet ownership without looking at the potential costs involved could be in for a surprise.

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Easter Hazards


Photo: bob in swamp / / CC BY

Photo: bob in swamp / / CC BY

It’s that time again when Spring is upon us and we look forward with great anticipation to the upcoming Easter holiday and nice, long days of summer ahead.   With 10 to 12 million lily plants produced annually, the lily is a very popular plant to receive as a gift, especially during this time of year.

Cat owners must be aware when bringing lilies into their homes. The following species are known toxins to cats: The Easter lily, Tiger lily, Day Lily, Rubrum lily, Japanese Show Lily, as well as other members of the Liliaceae family can all cause kidney failure in cats. In most plants, the leaves are known toxins along with the stems and flowers in certain species. With some species, cats can eat as little as two or three leaves which can result in liver failure and, if left untreated, can cause death if not caught in time.

Photo: flores do meu jardim / / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo: flores do meu jardim / / CC BY-NC-SA

If you catch your cat eating a lily plant, contact your veterinarian immediately. Should your cat ingest lily plant material, he may vomit, have diarrhea, became dehydrated and lethargic and develop a lack of appetite. As internal damage progresses, symptoms can become more intense without prompt, appropriate treatment by your veterinarian. Take the plant along when you take your cat to the veterinarian to make it easier for your veterinarian to prescribe the proper care and treatment.

If you receive a lily plant, take extra caution to make sure that the plant is out of reach and kept away from your cat, especially if he likes to nibble on things. Rather than struggle with the problem of where to put the plant, you may decide that cats are more fun and more decorative than a plant and just ban them from your home.

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